11 tech tips to declutter your digital life
In today’s world, it’s so easy to connect to people all across the globe. It’s a wonderful feeling and can be so much fun.
But have you ever stopped and wondered if ‘going digital’ really saves you time or whether it adds to your to-do lists and takes up heaps of time? I have.
I love simple, and I love the fact that I can have almost anything (files, images, contacts, etc.) anywhere I go with just my mobile phone. But what I don’t like is all the time spent keeping up with the digital world, especially social media.
Do you cringe when you see your email inbox so full and wonder how you’ll ever keep up? Do you long for more simple days of less digital, more simplicity?
The goal of the following technology tips are to simplify so that you’re harnessing the power of digital. You’ll be able to access things wherever and whenever, but keep a balance so the digital realm is not eating up all of your time. Read to the end and you’ll also find a bonus video training.
Here are 11 technology tips to free yourself and declutter your digital life:
Save your digital pictures
Make sure you’re saving all your digital photos, and they’re getting backed up. In today’s world where we’re tending not to print things so often, it would be sad to lose a beautiful picture because you either accidentally deleted it or you lost your phone, and you didn’t back it up. Whatever you use, find a system that works easily for you. I use Amazon Cloud and all my pictures from my phone and tablet are instantly backed up to Amazon Cloud, and I know that Anna uses Google Photos.
Organise your computer files
Take a few hours (or longer if you’ve got a lot of files) and organise your computer files. Using an application such as Evernote that will cut down on a lot of computer files.
For the rest: organise into folders that make sense to you.
Power tip: make sure you’re backing up your computer files. I use Carbonite and many times I’ve gone back to a file backed up from months ago that I deleted, and it was so easy to download.
Clean up your apps
Go to your mobile phone (plus your tablet) and clean up your apps. Delete those you never use and organise them into categories so you can find them quickly and easily.
For example, I use an iPhone and I have all my business related apps on one page of my iPhone and keep my personal ones on a separate page.
Unsubscribe from emails
Go to https://unroll.me/ and easily unsubscribe from all those email lists you have subscribed to but never seem to read the emails. Power tip: You can go to https://feedly.com/i/my, get a free account, and add all the blogs you like in your Feedly. Then unsubscribe from the email list. That way you don’t get all the emails, but you can go into Feedly and read them when you want. I love this!
Save to the cloud and save trees
Get the free app Evernote and install it on your phone, tablet, and computer. You can save most of your computer files in Evernote. You can add PDF’s, images, and even record audio. Evernote is an amazing ‘big filing cabinet’ that saves tonnes of time. Once a file is saved in Evernote, you can delete it from your computer.
Use folders and tags inside Evernote to find things quickly easily. You can even email directly into your Evernote. For example, when I get an emailed receipt, I just forward it to my Evernote account and save all my receipts there.
Power tip: If you have the paid version of Evernote for about $45 a year you can even search for words inside PDF’s. Think about all the time you’ll save searching for files and content!
Turn off email notifications
Turn off some (or all) of your social media notifications that you get through email. I know, you don’t want to miss anything, but do you really need to have LinkedIn notify you when someone got a promotion? If you do, great. But really think about what you want in your inbox. You can always go into each program and still see the notifications so you’re not losing anything. It’ll really cut down on all the zillions of emails you get.
Set up filters and tags in your inbox
Now I know you most likely need to do social media, but why not set up filters using Gmail so certain emails are tagged to stand out and then you can ignore the rest? For example, you can set up a tag in Gmail that includes the words “mentioned you” and that would flag those Facebook posts where someone mentions you.
Move important emails into the ‘Primary’ folder
If you’re using Gmail (which I highly recommend as it allows you to prioritise and organise your email easily). Simply drag any important emails such as social media posts from important groups into your ‘Primary’ folder. Incoming messages from these sources will always go to that folder now. That way you’ll more easily see posts that are important. For example, I have posts from my private Facebook group ‘Design a Simple Life & Business’ go into my ‘Primary’ tab so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Set up labels in Gmail
Set up coloured labels in Gmail for important items so they stand out. For example, when I get a new client I set up a filter so that any email that comes from them is labeled ‘Client’ and it’s bright green so it easily stands out.
Get your calendar up-to-date
Spend some time and get all birthdays, appointments, and other important dates on your digital calendar. I suggest Google Calendar. Then have the calendar available on all your devices. Power tip: set up birthday reminders a week in advance so you’ll have time to shop for a gift.
Make all of your contacts digital
Once again I will recommend a Google product. (Can you tell I love Google?) Google Contacts is an easy way to store all your contacts. Take some time and get them all entered and then sync across all your devices. I suggest categorising them into “groups”. For example, I have clients, wellness, family/friends, and more.
So there are my 11 tips to free yourself with technology and declutter your digital life to restore balance. Click-to-tweet the article out to your friends here.
If you’re looking for more balance in the non-digital aspects of your life as well, there is another great post with actionable steps here.
Now, Anna and I would love to hear from you. What do you think of these tips? Are there any you would add? Which is the first tip that you are ready to try out?
Start with even one of these tips and you’ll be on your way to digitial simplification.
Angela Andrews teaches you simplifying techniques to declutter your digital life and business so you can create more freedom to do the things you really want to do. As a Simplicity Coach, Angela has helped many people to free up time, save money, reduce stress, and get more clarity in all areas of their lives. With her vast experience, she educates women on how the secret to creating more freedom in their lives is not about organising, it’s about simplifying… There is a difference.
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