In the digital age, maintaining an organized digital space is as crucial as keeping a tidy physical workspace. We’ve gathered insights from fourteen professionals, including content creators and marketing managers, to bring you a spectrum of strategies. From scheduling monthly decluttering sessions to auditing routinely for digital minimalism, discover their top tips for digital decluttering and organization.
- Schedule Monthly Decluttering Sessions
- Embrace a Fresh Digital Start Daily
- Organize Files into Specific Folders
- Safeguard Your Digital Identity
- Prioritize Based on Stress Levels
- Adopt a “Less Is More” Approach
- Implement a “Zero Inbox” Strategy
- Maintain Daily with 10-Minute Cleanups
- Purge Quarterly for Organized Digital Hubs
- Establish Consistent File-Naming Systems
- Address Clutter Immediately
- Apply the “One In, One Out” Rule
- Turn Off Unimportant Notifications
- Audit Routinely for Digital Minimalism
Schedule Monthly Decluttering Sessions
I think digital decluttering is super important. Seemingly harmless things, like having too many links in your browser’s bookmark bar, can affect your ability to focus without you even realizing it. Not to mention, an ever-increasing number of files across all your digital devices will quickly turn into a nightmare.
My tip is to schedule a little decluttering session once a month. This way, things won’t get out of hand, and decluttering will become a simple routine for you. It’s also good to back up everything important at the same time.
Nina Joanna, Content Creator, Goals Calling
Embrace a Fresh Digital Start Daily
First, you have to give yourself some grace and know that you won’t always be perfect in your digital decluttering. Instead, focus on the one thing that will get you closer to your decluttering goal.
For instance, I’ve always been someone with a billion (give or take) open tabs in my multiple browsers—articles to read, shared documents for work, email, etc. I like to give myself a fresh start every day by simply closing all of my browsers and closing all my tabs with no intention of reopening the same ones the next day and starting the process all over once again. If I didn’t get to it, it wasn’t important enough, and it can go. A fresh digital start each day does wonders for your productivity and stress level.
Laura Antenucci, Marketing Manager, Demag Cranes & Components Corp.
Organize Files into Specific Folders
I always take some time to organize my files into specific folders. This makes it easier for me to locate important documents and helps keep my device clutter-free. I also use cloud-storage services to store and access my files from anywhere. This saves space on my device and gives me peace of mind, knowing that my files are securely backed up.
Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency
Safeguard Your Digital Identity
My top advice for digital decluttering is to safeguard your digital identity. In a world that’s more and more online, it’s really important to protect your digital self. Make sure to use strong and different passwords for your online accounts. These should be a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Whenever you can, turn on two-factor authentication for an additional security level. Also, frequently check and change your privacy settings on different websites and apps to manage what you share. By being proactive, you can keep your digital identity safe and reduce risks.
Patrick Beltran, Marketing Director, Ardoz Digital
Prioritize Based on Stress Levels
While I naturally lean towards analytical methods, I’ve discovered that effectively managing digital clutter requires tuning into my instincts to identify sources of subconscious stress. I periodically assess different aspects of my digital life, such as email, file management, social media, and goal-tracking systems, to pinpoint which area feels most overwhelming at the moment.
The key to my strategy is prioritization. I focus on one specific area at a time based on this intuitive assessment. Rather than attempting to overhaul my entire digital space simultaneously, I concentrate my efforts on the identified priority until I achieve a sense of relief and reduced stress. This focused approach allows for more manageable and effective decluttering, ensuring each area is addressed thoroughly before moving on to the next. This method not only helps in maintaining an organized digital environment but also in alleviating the psychological burden that clutter can create.
My one tip for maintaining an organized digital space is, therefore, to stay in touch with your body and stress levels and to then ruthlessly use prioritization to come back into balance.
Dr. Mark Farrell (FIA), Actuary and CEO, ProActuary Jobs
Adopt a “Less Is More” Approach
Navigating through cluttered digital spaces can be like trying to find your way in a maze. With the growing importance of digital workspaces, it’s crucial to keep them organized. One practice I’ve found effective in maintaining an organized digital space is the “less is more” approach.
A while back, I noticed my digital workspace was filled with numerous files, some of which hadn’t been touched in years. It was slowing me down and making it difficult to find what I needed. That’s when I decided to declutter. I started by ruthlessly deleting unnecessary files or moving them to an archive.
This approach not only freed up storage space but also made it easier for me to locate important files. So, my tip for maintaining an organized digital space is to regularly review and purge unneeded files. A clutter-free digital space leads to a clutter-free mind.
Swena Kalra, Chief Marketing Officer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.
Implement a “Zero Inbox” Strategy
As the owner of a marketing agency, digital decluttering has become essential to maintaining productivity and efficiency in our operations, and in my life—both personally and professionally!
One tip I’ve found effective is implementing a “zero inbox” approach not just for emails, but also for other digital platforms like project management tools and communication channels. This involves regularly reviewing and categorizing or deleting items to ensure that our digital spaces remain organized and clutter-free.
I’ve found that utilizing keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up this process, whether it’s archiving emails or navigating through project management software, allowing us to streamline our workflow and focus more on strategic tasks.
James Parsons, Founder, Content Powered
Maintain Daily with 10-Minute Cleanups
I always advocate for using monitor screens when you can; it not only allows for a larger visual space, but it also allows you to physically change your body and accommodates a more open posture. Hiding cords where possible and using cordless chargers for your devices is also helpful.
On-screen, it’s about maintenance: taking 10 minutes at the start and end of your day to clear out tabs, organize your desktop files, and empty your trash can go a long way.
Brooke Persich, Founder, Onlign Lab
Purge Quarterly for Organized Digital Hubs
As a prolific creator reliant on multitudes of digital tools daily across devices, maintaining an organized digital environment is essential for my efficiency, yet it easily becomes chaotic clutter. My approach to continually decluttering while preserving utility is ruthlessly archiving content and communication across centralized hubs.
Specifically, I religiously leverage platforms like Notion and Asana that integrate notes, tasks, emails, and file storage under one searchable roof. De-duplicating access points into universal workspaces, I can always pick back up quickly, is liberating.
My top tip is setting quarterly reminders to mass-purge unused folders, clear out ancient messaging chains, and delete redundant notes/docs. I compartmentalize content by project relevance and priority tags, rather than endlessly adding new ones. Preventing sporadic, scattershot saving creates focus.
It’s humbling to confront the sheer volume we accumulate across apps and accounts over months. But regularly archiving what no longer serves your goals, or reorganizing systems that enable scattered saving, creates mind space equivalent to cleaning house.
Brian Meiggs, Founder, My Millennial Guide
Establish Consistent File-Naming Systems
Implementing a consistent file-naming and organization system is vital for maintaining my digital space. Consistency and purposeful arrangement make future access and retrieval far easier and quicker.
At the heart of this is establishing a clear, logical hierarchy for files and folders. For instance, I categorize files based on the project or client they are associated with and sub-categorize based on specifics such as date, type of document, or version number. Additionally, consistent naming conventions make it easier to search for a specific document.
With multiple team members accessing various project files, consistent and clear organization helps avoid confusion, reduce time spent hunting for specific files, and increase overall productivity. So, it’s also great for work!
The key is consistency. For digital organization to be effective, everyone needs to follow the naming and organizing rules. This discipline helps maintain a decluttered, efficient digital workspace.
Craig Bird, Managing Director, CloudTech24
Address Clutter Immediately
I have learned the hard way that decluttering, whether digital or in real life, needs to take place regularly. It does not have to be a one-off, daunting event where you plan to take on more than you can handle.
One best practice is to address the clutter as soon as you notice it. For example, when you start your computer, Skype pops open, although you might not need to use Skype immediately. Instead of closing the window, permanently switch off the option of applications popping open without permission. This practice applies to simpler items too, such as photos.
One of the first things I do after installing a messaging app is to change the setting for photo downloads to “never.” Multimedia shared through messaging groups is rarely significant enough to be saved on one’s phone. These are just two simple examples of how to maintain an organized digital space, and you can apply this approach throughout your digital life to keep it clutter-free.
Warda Humayun, Marketing Coordinator, Achievable
Apply the “One In, One Out” Rule
In my journey through the intricate world of CNC machining and manufacturing, digital decluttering has become akin to organizing a complex blueprint. My approach is systematic: categorize, prioritize, and simplify.
One best practice I swear by is the “One In, One Out” rule. For every new file or app I add to my digital workspace, I ensure to remove an old or unused one. This practice keeps my digital space efficient and mirrors the precision required in engineering, ensuring that every component serves a purpose.
Gavin Yi, CEO, Yijin Hardware
Turn Off Unimportant Notifications
In my digital decluttering routine at TechNews180, I prioritize turning off unimportant social media notifications. The constant barrage of notifications can be overwhelming, disrupting focus and productivity.
By intentionally switching off non-essential notifications, I regain control over my time spent on social media, preventing mindless scrolling and allowing for a more organized and focused digital space. This simple step reduces distractions and also contributes to a more mindful and intentional use of technology in the workplace, promoting a healthier work-life balance.
Neil Hodgson-Coyle, COO, TechNews180
Audit Routinely for Digital Minimalism
For me, digital clutter can be as overwhelming as physical mess. The key to digital decluttering lies in the principle that less is more. Adopting a minimalist approach, focusing on what’s essential and discarding the rest, can be a game-changer.
One effective strategy is to establish a regular audit routine. This involves setting aside time, perhaps once a week or once a month, to go through your digital assets and decide what’s still relevant and what can be archived or deleted. This not only keeps your digital space tidy but also ensures that you’re only ever working with the most current and relevant data.
Laia Quintana, Head of Marketing and Sales, TeamUp