a phone showing a homescreen of apps

5 Steps to Declutter Your Digital Life

It can be hard to keep on top of all the apps, files, photos and emails on our devices. Mess means stress and you don’t have to be a digital hoarder for your devices to need a declutter. There are benefits to decluttering too – a clean, uncluttered space can leave us feeling energized, relaxed and maybe even more confident. Here’s how to get your digital life in order.

infographic showing 5 steps to decluttering: 1. declutter your computer 2. tackle your apps 3. organize your home screen and desktop 4. save your photos 5. email 6. bonus: create systems to stay organized

1. Organize Your Computer

To organize your computer you need to file logically, delete unwanted files and put systems in place to keep things in order.

Filing, Naming and Don’t Forget Backups!

Give your files logical names organized in a logical folder structure. For example:

Work Documents > Graphic Design > Clients > Harry Miller > Final Logo Designs

Name files consistently for easy searching and to avoid sending the wrong attachments. Try to keep your desktop clear by scheduling regular clear-ups and remember to backup your data!

Check out our post ‘Goals Series: Organize Your Computer’ for a full computer organization checklist.

2. Organize Your Apps

Before you decide which home screen arrangement philosophy you believe in, you need to delete apps you don’t need and unsubscribe from services you don’t use.

Delete and Unsubscribe

Once you’ve deleted those experimental email apps and long-forgotten what-ever-they-weres, it’s important to set a time to review what’s on your device. Future clean ups can be anywhere from once a month to once a year, it just depends on how frequently you download new apps.

Remember, deleting the app won’t cancel a rolling subscription. Here’s how to unsubscribe to apps on Android and iOS.

3. Arrange Your Homescreen

There are many ways to organize your home screen, including:

One Page Per Category
Category Lines: 3 Apps, 1 Folder
Verb Name Folders
Reachability
Minimalistic One Page Home Screen

See our post, ‘Goals Series: Organize Your Smartphone Apps’, for an overview of home screen arrangement methods and a full app organization checklist.

4. Organize Your Digital Photos

Cull your photos to a more manageable collection by deleting duplicates, screenshots and blurry images. Then it’s time to pick your favorites, file them neatly and set rules to keep them that way.

Found a real gem? Put it on display!

Check out our post ‘Goals Series: Organize Your Digital Photos’ for the full checklist to rescue your good photos from Camera Roll oblivion.

5. Deal with Email

Email can get overwhelming and fast. Useful tips such as doing mass deletion of emails you’ll never read and unsubscribing when you get something unwanted can help you reach the dream of Inbox Zero.

Thomas Frank weighs in on his email tips in this helpful video:

Get Organized, Feel Better

What do you do to keep your digital life organized? Let us know @TextExpander and in our group on Facebook.

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