ave you ever tried to carry a thousand of books upstairs? How about a library of DVDs? Or maybe a bunch of photo albums? If you really have, then you might know its even more easier to carry them when they are digital. Around 700 books can fit inside in one gigabyte of space. That's incredible. Isn't it? And now we are carrying a biggest library human has ever created: The Internet. We all are digitized by the technology. I mean, you can stream your favourite movies or series back to back effortlessly from the cloud or you can store millions of photos on it. That's the pace of technology.
Take the Internet as an instance: the world wide web is boundaryless and thus impossible to declutter. So its best to organize our own stuffs in computers, smartphones and whatever the other devices we own. We are unknowingly aggregating the stuffs from the Internet as soon as it starts breathing. And technology move very fast, I mean really fast. Too fast for me most of the time. The moment I think I'm getting top of my email inbox, I get distracted by the mails which are waiting to be read. A blink of an eye and there's a bunch of apps that comes up and promises to help you to organize your stuff, keeps track of your health, improves your mental capacity and many more. When was the last time you thought about how the things on Internet affects your life? There's a simple tactic of minimalism: dealing with less is much easier than trying to organize more. And this tactic equally applies to the digital world just as much it does in the physical world.
But being a digitized person can still be a problematic: you can't eliminate the digitized clutter completely. But you can organize your possessions. Right? Here are some of the areas that are suffering from digital clutter and some simple tips which you may find useful to declutter your workspace and thus maintaining your workflow.
1. Desktop | Saving files on your desktop is a perfect way to keep things under your reach for quick navigation. At the same time you should also be very careful not to let your desktop get over-crowded with stuffs which becomes distracting and fatiguing. A clean and clutter-free desktop can help you to make it easier to focus the next time you bootup your computer which eventually saves your precious time.
2. Documents | Searching a file through every folder to folder can be a wastage of time if your folder structure is disorganized. Keeping an efficient folder structure will automatically save your time and energy. Delete every file(s) or folder(s) that serve no purpose to you. It makes no sense to keep things just becuase you have a space on your hard drive.
3. Web browser | Remove the bookmarked sites that you haven't visited in the past 90 days. I would also recommend to look after your credentials, like social login(s), bank account(s) and payment card(s), to maintain the online security by keeping things as simple as possible.
4. Emails | Once I had around 80,000 emails in my inbox and I had hardly read even 10% of it and the remaning 90% was nothing more than just a junk. So, I cleared all of my emails the next day. Unsubscribe every promotional newsletters that have useless purpose to sell the things that you don't need. If you are receiving mails from an unauthorized source, I would suggest you to use a spam filter. Every email service provider should have "Mark as spam/junk" or "Move to trash/bin" option that will automatically move suspicious one straight to the bin.
5. Music | Weed out and delete every single album(s) or song(s) that you don't listen anymore which will leave you only with songs you love. Internet is a great option if you want to listen to a song on a rare occasion. And if you are a real song-lover, then I would suggest you to consider a subscription service like Spotify or Apple itunes where you get access to an entire library free for a month.
6. Photos | These, ofcourse, enhance the conversation we have with other. But sometimes we fall into the trap of the getting attached with the photos that doesn't bring us much value. Photos are meant to capture our experiences, relationships and memories you had in the past. But remember one thing, your priceless memories are not your photos but your memories lives inside of you. Keep the one that you really like the most and delete the rest of all. Delete every duplicate and blurred photos as well. Instead of showing that you really enjoyed the moment through photos, show them that you've experienced.
Conclusion: Once a month, try to reduce the every extra stuff that doesn't add value anymore. Delete execess photos from your phone and clear the bookmarks that you haven't accessed in last 100 days or so. By clearing up the fritter, you will have a searchable access to all your remaining files and folders.
Speaking personally, we save everything in Google Drive or Dropbox and after every month, we move the unused files to an "Archived" folder. This ensures that whatever the devices we have are clear and easy to access. If you want to more tips on simplifying the excess, read - '25 Areas of Digital Clutter to Minimize' by Joshua Becker.