Archives

Tidying Your Digital Life: The Pros and Cons of the Process

There is no “organize” button on the computer. There is no “tidy up” menu that neatly puts all your files and folders away in a manner both logical and simple. When making the decision to clean up your digital house you have to tackle it in the same way you do your real home. Methodically.

And just like the process of organizing your physical home, organizing your digital house has its own set of pros and cons that are not always that different from the ones you experience when tackling a particularly cluttered room.

keyboard, like and dislike, thumbs up, thumbs down

CON: If you are the type of person who gets overwhelmed, be prepared to feel overwhelmed. Chances are you have kept a few small things well organized, a few more loosely organized, and the rest are in very generic folders and scattered about all over the place. You may have duplicates, triplicates, or even more of the same file. (I’m not counting back ups.) You may have vacation photos from just one trip scattered about in three different places. It’s the same thing as having your clothes in three different rooms. How are you supposed to go through them when you don’t even have them all together?

Unlike the KonMari method which tells you to save organization for last, I think you have to organize your digital clean up as you go at least to a certain degree. That doesn’t mean it has to be your end-all style of organizing, but you need a loose system. For example, I have a folder labeled “Funnies and Quotes” where I dumped all the comic panels and memes I’d saved. This kept those in one place and one place I could find easily. Once they were gathered up from all over, I furthered my organization by creating sub-folders for types of comics and memes, making it easier to always find the one I want.

In the same way the KonMari method tells you to gather all items of one category before you start going through them, use a loose organizing system of folders to gather your files. You can fine tune your organization later.

PRO: You might be feeling overwhelmed, but you can very easily break up the task of organizing your digital life into dozens of much smaller, much more achievable goals. Continue reading

Advertisements

Tidying Your Digital Life: The Initial Assessment

The bathroom is scrubbed. The kitchen is spotless. The curtains are freshly washed. The couch cushions are arranged just so. But what kind of mess is your digital life in?

digital life, digital woman

I didn’t want to talk about this side of tidying until I’d managed to make it a steady habit. I’m good at announcing projects and effectively shooting myself in the foot when doing so because then I never get anywhere. With this one though, I’ve been steadily making headway for about a year now, so clearly I’m not about to give it up.

You might be following my series “The Quest to Tidy” which is all about my adventure in trying to use some of Marie Kondo’s tactics (dubbed the KonMari method) to tidy up my household once and for all. It’s been an on-again, off-again project since late last spring and while my house is not yet perfectly organized, her words inspired another project for me to work on. Digital tidying.

Take just a moment and evaluate your digital situation.

Here’s just a smidge of where mine started: Continue reading