21 Tips To Unclutter Your Digital Devices & Social Media Presences
Spring is in the air making everything seem fresh and new. But open one of your digital devices such as your computer, your smartphone or your tablets, and there’s lots of stuff that’s accumulated over time.
Just as you give your home a through spring cleaning, now’s the time to go through your digital inboxes, files and profiles on digital devices and social networks to get rid of the information that’s irrelevant, reducing your effectiveness. (Here’s 111 points to get your 2012 marketing on track.)
Here are 21 tips to help you clear out the information you no longer need. The objective is to remove as much clutter as possible from your digital and social media life. This advice applies to both the personal and professional aspects of your life.
- Scan hard copy documents for online storage. Want to keep your information easily accessible? Create a digital version and file it appropriately. (Keep originals where necessary!)
- Unsubscribe to email newsletters that are no longer relevant. For each newsletter you receive, consider if the information is still relevant and useful? Did you only sign up for a one-time sale or white paper? Is it related to an old project? Is the information redundant with other sources like Twitter or LinkedIn feeds?
- Delete or archive your email inbox. Does your email inbox contain hundreds of emails waiting for future actions? If so, they probably distract you every time you open your inbox. Take the time to ruthlessly go through them.
- Stop alerts that are now irrelevant. Assess the alerts you’ve set up. Are they still relevant to your job, projects and other interests? Stop them to remove inbox clutter.
- Add or change email filters. Are your current email filters working for you? Are regular newsletters and alerts automatically filed and reviewed in batches.
- Check email signature file(s). Is the information up-to-date? Are you announcing events or promotions that already occured?
- Organize digital documents into folders. Take time to systematize your digital content to help you find it faster when you need it.
- Delete redundant documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Many people keep every version of every document they create during the development process. But once you’ve finalized the content, purge the interim versions.
- Examine your download folder for clutter. It keeps information you may forget about once you’ve used it. Go through this folder to free up space on your computer or other device.
- Check software updates. Most software signals users to install the latest updates, but if you’re like me, you put them off since it’ll interrupt what you’re doing at the time. So, take time to ensure you’ve got the latest software version.
- Review your mobile apps and uninstall those you don’t use. Mobile apps have a way of expanding since you want to test new things or your spouse, partner or child wants something. It’s useful to get rid of those apps you no longer use and lose the clutter.
- Transfer photos and videos from your mobile device(s) to your computer. While everyone likes to have a few special photographs of family and friends with them, you don’t need your entire photo library on your phone or tablet.
- Back up your digital devices. Do you feel you’d be lost without the information on your computer, smartphone or tablet? Then make sure you back it up either to another computer, external drive or the cloud.
- Clean out your RSS feeds. If you’ve got an RSS reader, go through and eliminate feeds you’re no longer interested in. Also, get rid of feeds where you receive the information via another format.
- Arrange your bookmarks whether they’re on a social sharing site or your browser. Organize and delete bookmarks that are no longer useful or available.
- Give your social media profiles a new spring look. Use a new photograph. Edit and update your profiles, keywords and links.
- Check privacy settings, especially on Facebook. Determine who you want to see the information you share. Remember your family and friends may be less stringent with their settings than you are. As a result, your updates and information may be available to others you don’t know.
- Eliminate third party applications on social media you no longer use. Third party apps often request a lot of information and may have access to your data. Therefore, if you’re not using them, delete them.
- Untag yourself from social media photographs that reflect badly on you. Since you never know who’s checking on you, ensure you present a consistent image. Start with the oldest photographs first and work your way forward.
- Purge your social media inboxes. Delete old requests, invites and conversations.
- Sift through friends and followers. If you’re no longer interested in receiving information and engaging with the people to whom you’re connected to, get rid of the connection. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Think in terms of having a more engaged following. (To understand the rationale for this tip, read Why Isn’t Anyone Listening to Me on Twitter?)
While spring cleaning your digital life can be time consuming, the process can be cathartic. More important, it ensures that the information you receive via your digital devices and social media platforms are relevant. By eliminating the messages you no longer need, you remove distractions that keep you from being your most efficient.
Do you have any other suggestions for spring cleaning your digital devices and social media profiles?
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/helga/3883933580/