Stuck Inside On A Rainy Day? Get Your Digital Files In Order!

Aubrei walks you through some strategies to get digital clutter under control

I know it’s beautiful in so many parts of the world right now but if you find yourself unable to enjoy the outdoors, then use these tips for a digital tune-up.

- Can’t find the files you KNOW you downloaded from an email or the Internet? Whether you’re using your phone, PC or laptop, they likely went to a folder called ‘Downloads.’ Search for this folder and once you find the files, either move them to a subject-specific folder for easy retrieval later or delete them.

- Create folders on your PC, laptop and email so you can retrieve your files more easily. Name these folders the same as you would if they were actual paper files – just be sure that anyone else who needs access to them knows your system.

- Backup your files automatically using Dropbox, ICloud or another app. Most of the free versions of these offer more than enough storage space for the average user but if you find yourself running out of space, then go through the files and delete some. Rarely does any one individual need that much e-space.

- Take out your trash. Normally, when you delete something from your laptop or PC, you also have to delete it from your Trash folder, as well. There is usually an icon for this right on your desktop.

- Only keep the files, photos and emails you know you’ll need in the future. It’s just like our physical possessions – they’re clutter and can make it hard for you to really see the files you do need. Moral of the story: less is more, even in the digtal world.

- Too many usernames and passwords to keep track of? Use a password manager. They’re super easy to use and you can even share passwords with friends or family members. This is MUCH safer than the Post-Its you keep around your computer monitor!

- Worried that your old photos will become damaged or get ruined? (Hint: you should be.) Scanners are relatively inexpensive if you’re a DIY-kind-of-person but there are also so many people out there who would do it for you. Check out The Photo Managers (https://thephotomanagers.com/) and you’ll get a list of hundreds of professional photo organizers. They’ll even make albums for you!

- Are you a list-maker like me? Do you often leave your lists at home (also like me)? Use the list app on your phone or try a different one like Google Keep (personal fave) or Evernote. Most allow you to upload photos and rearrange list items, as well as allowing others to add items to your list.

- Do multiple calendars have you and your family running all over the place? Use one, single, SHAREABLE calendar, like Google Calendar. From there, you can choose who sees which events and you can even invite others.

- Tired of getting to the store and realizing you forgot your coupons? Use online coupons, instead.  Most stores nowadays allow you to load them directly to your shopper’s card so you don’t even have to scan the coupon at checkout. Others, are there in the app waiting for you when you need them.

- Are you still hanging onto old bank statements and utility bills? Remember these are usually available online for a certain number of years. Think you’ll REALLY need to go back more than what they provide online? Then keep those as a file labeled ‘not available online’ and recycle/shred the rest.

- Worried about your information being stolen? Invest in a shredder but don’t keep it in a closet far, far away! Keep it plugged in right next to where you sort your mail. Then, incorporate shredding into the whole ‘opening the mail’ process! Remember: keep it where you use it, friends!

Happy Organizing, everyone! 

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