It is the time of year I like to do a bit of a digital declutter, cleaning my digital life sets me up for a new year. It also tends to trigger thoughts about what next year might bring and the things I might like to pursue – always worth having a notebook to capture these as I go. Here are the things I like to declutter…
I take a look at the photos I’ve taken this year and delete those I don’t need any more. Remove pictures that are duplicates, out of focus and those random things I no longer need (usually pictures of things I might buy). I like to take time to review those images that are of things and not people, do I really need 5 pictures of an amazing building I saw on holiday? Really?
Two jobs to do here:
- Search for terms in this year’s email that will find the dull emails I won’t want to keep. Tend to search for eBay, amazon, delivery, newsletter and delete what I find. It would take too long to review every email and this culls most of them.
- Delete the emails from over 5 years ago. I have only ever kept 5 years worth of email, this covers most things I’d ever need to find – receipts are the most likely things I dive into my email history for.
A quick review of my digital files, nothing too drastic here – but some things have clearly gone way past their usefulness.
I set up my notes along a projects, areas, resources and archive (PARA) methodology. This does make the annual review of my notes quite easy as I tend to move things to the archive section as I go through the year, so just a few things to run through:
- Go through the inbox area and decide what I might do with the notes
- Archive any projects that are now complete
- Check the areas section and archive any areas that are no longer applicable.
- Check through the resources area. Anything in here I definitely won’t need?
passwords and accounts
This is the bit I really hate! Going through my passwords list to remove all those things I signed up to during the year that I’m not using. Every year I promise myself I’m not going to sign up to the latest new thing, every year I end up spending far too long working out to close those accounts. Tend to reward myself with a beer (or two) after this one 🍺.
convert analogue to digital
Not strictly digital decluttering but the process of cleaning out my digital life tends to trigger thoughts on what I should be converting from the physical world into digital. Paperwork, physical photos and objects that trigger memories but don’t want to keep – digital photos are a great way of achieving this.