Cleaning Your Digital World

I finally get control of things in the real world and then I find that my digital “house” is a mess! Emails, websites, photos, documents, blogs, newsfeed and the list goes on and on. It’s wonderful to have all these digital resources at our fingertips but they aren’t really helpful if we can remember where we put them or we lose them when our computer decides to go belly up.

The first time I lost a hard drive I was devastated. I lost a lot of my writing but more importantly I lost about three years of pictures. I knew I had to find a way to make sure I didn’t lose any more pictures and also organize all those files on my desktop and clean up my email. I have several email addresses because I use them for different things, this helps me find things quickly, I know immediately which email to go to but there is a better way.

I started with email, I read an article that said most people have at least three email accounts and two hundred unread emails. This is the electronic version of hoarding, it’s pretty safe, no one is going to come and take your children because you have a trillion emails but you still might want to clean those up.

Everytime I log in to my email I’m overwhelmed by the things I don’t want in there. First thing I did was unsubscribe to all those notifications I somehow got myself subscribed to. Then I consolidated all my email accounts into three, I know three is still a lot but they serve different purposes. I have one for financial things, bank statements, electronic bills, things like that, one for my writing and craft business and a personal one. I was able to set them all up to filter so as emails come in they are sorted for me. I felt this was necessary to keep all those forwards my family and friends send me out of my financial and business email.

I don’t ever want to lose pictures again so I did a bit of research to find the best way to store them. I still have tons of pictures on my computer but now they are safely stored away from my computer as well. There are lots of sites for storing pictures some are free, some charge a small fee, the most well known are Picassa, Flickr, Shutterfly and Photobucket, do your research and see which is best for you.

I use Dropbox for everything. I can upload files directly from my computer and access them anywhere. All my pictures, documents and writing are safely stored on my own little piece of the cloud. It’s great to have the peace of mind of knowing that even if my hard drive gets fried, all my important things are safely saved and easily accessible.