How to Stay Digitally Organized (And Sane)

The digital world is noisy and vast. If you aren’t careful, your life can be strewn across dozens of apps and devices. But with the right system, you can finally get organized.

6 Quick Digital Organization Tips

When your digital presence is organized, things become much more manageable. Stress and confusion are replaced by peace and stability. Rather than running around like a chicken with his head cut off, you can systematically locate and utilize every file, app, or resource you need.

The thing about an organization is that each person will have their own unique approach that fits their personality and preferences. However, there are a few tactics that are universally valuable. Check out the following and consider how they could get you moving in the right direction:

Clear off Your Desktop

Start with your computer desktop. This is the first thing that you see when you log onto your computer. Thus, it should also be the first thing you address.

Your desktop isn’t a place to store stray files. While it can act as a temporary holding cell for downloads and documents, you should purge these files at the end of the day (either deleting them or moving to a specific folder). Only use your desktop for shortcuts and folders that you use regularly.

Use a Cloud Storage Tool

If you don’t already have a cloud storage tool like Box, now is the time. With a cloud platform, you can store and share any type of file (and access it from any device, anywhere). It doesn’t matter if you’re on your smartphone, tablet, work computer, home computer, or any other device, the cloud is accessible anywhere you have a connection.

Develop a Filing System

Having a cloud storage solution is the first step. But if you want to maximize the value of the cloud and enjoy optimal organization, you need a system. More specifically, you need a filing system.

A filing system is simply an intentional method by which you organize files within the main cloud drive. It consists of a series of folders and subfolders. It also addresses issues like formatting and file naming (so that there’s total consistency across the board).

Clear Out Your Email

Few things cause as much friction and chaos on the digital front as email. It’s a massive source of tension. And though it’s certainly not a task that anyone wants to tackle, getting organized is a must. Here are a few quick suggestions:

  • Use a tool like Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unwanted email lists en masse. As for the ones you still want to receive, you can bundle those together into a single daily email digest.
  • If using Gmail, optimize your inbox to account for primary, updates, and promotions.
  • Create a flagging system within your inbox. For example, a green flag may mean “read, responded, and waiting for feedback.” A red flag might mean “opened but have not responded.” Create a system that works for you.

If nothing else, following these tips will help you regain the upper hand in your battle against email. Done consistently, an intentional approach such as this will prevent email from being a massive distraction in your digital life.

Use a Password Organizer

Get control over your passwords by using a password organizer like LastPass. With a LastPass account, simply create one master password and then store all of your login information for hundreds of websites and applications inside your “vault.” This allows you to create complex and unique passwords for each individual account without ever forgetting your login information.

Use One Digital Calendar

Most people use a digital calendar these days. However, there’s one big problem: People tend to use multiple calendars at once. In other words, they have a calendar for work and then another calendar for their personal life. On top of that, their spouse has their own calendar. It’s a mess!

The best thing you can do is switch to one digital calendar. By having everything displayed on a single calendar, you never have to worry about double-booking or experiencing scheduling conflicts. (If you find it distracting to have your personal and professional calendars in one spot, you can always optimize it so that you can toggle different views on and off.)

Adding it All Up

Getting digitally organized takes time. So once you finally do get organized, make sure you keep it that way. The hard work is done. Now it’s up to you to simply follow the system you’ve created. Before you know it, it’ll become second nature.