Tips for Organizing Your Digital Space

A messy home office = negative mental health.

Everyone knows that a messy home office can negatively affect your mental health and productivity, but did you know that digital clutter can have the same effects too? Digital clutter refers to the disorganization of things like photos, apps, downloads, and files on devices like your computer or smartphone. Much like physical disorganization, digital clutter can increase your stress levels and reduce your productivity. Whether your online workspace is just a little cluttered or you’re a full-blown digital hoarder, try out these tips to help you get your digital space under control. 

1. Clear Your Desktop

While it may be hard to ignore a mess in your home, it’s easier to shy away from clutter on your desktop by just powering down your device. If you have random files and folders filling your desktop screen though, taking the time to clear it will help you work more efficiently. Start by collecting floating digital files into clearly labeled folders. 

Folders can be named based on their purpose so you know where to look when you need something. Examples of folder labels by purpose might be “Taxes” or “Client Requests.” You can also use dates to help you organize further such as “Client Invoices July 2021.”

Once your files are sorted into folders, go through and delete any documents you no longer need or duplicates you may have. This will help clear up space in your folders and make it easier for you to find the right files when you’re working. Because the amount of files and folders on your desktop can affect the speed of your device, it’s important to minimize this number and only keep things you need to access right away. 

2.Organize Your Email Inbox

A messy email inbox can really slow down your productivity and be a source of stress. Additionally, about 35% of all emails go unopened. Try organizing your emails into categories so that you never miss something important.

When you receive a new email, try labelling them and sorting them into appropriate categories such as “Needs Reply,” “Save for Later,” “Action Requested,” or “Urgent.” Not only will this system help remind you of tasks you need to do and people you need to reply to, but it will provide an easy location for you to store and retrieve important emails. 

3. Declutter Your Phone

Your phone is another place where digital clutter can crop up fast. Clutter can come in the form of thousands of saved photos, too many unused apps, old text conversations, and multiple opened web browsers. When your phone is running so many platforms and storing so much data, it can have a negative impact on the speed of your device and the battery life. 

However, it’s easy to remedy these problems with a little digital clean up. Walk through each of these steps to digitally declutter your phone:

  • Delete old text conversations that aren’t in use.
  • Sort through your saved images and choose what to keep and delete. Keep images you’d like to save on the cloud or on a hard drive.
  • Offload or delete apps that you don’t use regularly.
  • Close out of web browsers once you’re done using them.
  • Purge your social media by unfollowing those you don’t care about. 

Now that remote work is here to stay, it’s important to get organized online. An organized physical and digital workspace can help you be more efficient at work and improve your quality of life. For more about digital clutter and additional ways to deal with it, check out the following infographic from The Zebra

*Credit to SiegeMedia for this great content July 2021*