If you’re anything like us, your digital desktop can be a scary place. Some days, you might even feel like a bit of a hoarder — how are you supposed to keep track of your important tasks and communications when you’re living in the digital equivalent of a messy room? That’s why we’re sharing this series here on the blog to help you Declutter Your Digital Life! Once a month, we’ll be sharing easy tips and processes you can implement into your workday to make it a little more organized and a little less chaotic.
Today, let’s talk about your files. From a cluttered desktop to an overflowing downloads folder, you probably feel like you’re drowning in disorganization. Here are a few tips to help you take your files from chaos to calm.
1. Create a filing system and stick to it.
Once you’ve recognized you have a digital clutter problem, the first thing you need to do is purge. It’s like cleaning out your closet — get rid of anything you don’t need and start organizing what you do. Get specific and make good use of folders! When everything has a place, it makes it all the easier to maintain. You can even give yourself a virtual “junk drawer” folder or two for anything that doesn’t have a home or needs to be sorted later! Take 10 minutes a week for file management and you’ll see a noticeable improvement in the overall clutter of your digital space.
2. Change your default save locations.
Are you overwhelmed with downloads, screenshots, and general file clutter? One easy way to mitigate this is to change where your files save. Did you know that you can reroute your screenshots so they don’t clutter your desktop and instead go straight to a designated spot? You can even set your browser to ask where you want to save files as you download them instead of defaulting to your downloads folder. This allows you to more easily maintain a system for organizing your files and spend less time cleaning up the mess automatic save locations create.
3. Clean up and spruce up your browser.
Make sure to remember your internet browser in this declutter too! Clean up your bookmarks first. For any websites you visit frequently, save the bookmark to the bookmarks bar without any text — you probably recognize the Facebook icon on its own, so there’s no need to take up more space with the name of the website. Use folders to organize messier bookmarks or groups of bookmarks, keeping the bookmark bar easy to navigate.
You can also look into some new extensions to make the most out of your browser. Some of our recommendations include Momentum (for a beautiful and inspiring “new tab” display), 1Password (for managing all your logins), Grammarly (for advanced spellcheck), and Instapaper (for saving tabs and articles to read later).
4. Backup your files regularly.
Most importantly, you have to back up your files. For most of us these days, life and work are almost entirely online. Losing important files could be catastrophic when your business or memories are at stake. Invest in an external hard drive or cloud storage subscription and back up your files at least once a week — you’ll be glad you did if something happens!
We hope these tips will help you tackle your digital clutter and clear your head — it’s much easier to be productive in an organized space than a chaotic one, after all!