Quick Review of My Organizing Digital Clutter System

My inbox currently has 18,060 emails. That’s just one account. Also, that’s not counting the hundreds of notes I’ve saved in draft, the other documents I’ve saved to Google Drive and the saves, favorites and others links I’ve put aside in social.

Thank you, Facebook, for that saving feature and then the reminder that tells me I’ve saved who knows how many other videos, events and links.

Way to help me remain sane.


But although it’s great to keep track of things, it’s also great to delete a lot of it that’s just blocking your creativity. When you think about it, how much more wisdom can you get from reading about how early some of our era’s greatest thinkers get up and how much you can benefit from waking up at 5 a.m.

Really, it’s all the same.

There are some things we know. That probably now serve more as reminder. Heck, you might be thinking the same as you read this right now. But I guarantee, just keep reading.

Truth is, we have to get rid of things not just in our physical space – but our digital space as well. It blocks us from often thinking clearly and not allowing us to focus. So here are my tips to get rid of almost everything – yes… including the crap in your Inbox. Also, noticed I wrote almost, because we have to be real about our crap, and how you’re probably not going to get rid of everything in one fell swoop.

Inbox Cleanup. First, go as far back as you can in your Inbox. Take note of that year. Then, create a folder and name it “20XX” or whatever decade your Inbox ends. Then, go far back again in your Inbox and select all the emails from that year. Drop those emails in your newly-created folder. Continue with this until you reach this current year. Then, go back to each new folder and scroll through the emails. Scrolling through them – noticing how far back they go – will help put things into perspective. Do you really need a “Daily Feng Shui Tip” from 2008? (This is a real email in my 2008 folder.) I do love that tip, because I actually forwarded it to a friend, and the thread that followed is quite priceless. But again, seeing old emails for what they are – old emails – will allow you to delete them quicker and with less effort. It’s about perspective.

Social Cleanup Criteria. After your Inbox, you’ll have to go to your social next. And I don’t know about you, but I have thousands of “likes” in Twitter and a few hundreds of saves in Facebook that I have to get rid of. Most of Facebook ones are events that have long-gone passed. On Twitter, I have a different array of likes… although I have to say and this is where like my Inbox, cleaning up after it has forced me to create a criteria or way to organize my likes. With Twitter, I ask myself a few questions – does it have a link, is it a resource or am I just liking it to be polite? If you’re pausing and thinking too much for any of these questions – then just delete.

Then The Actual Cleaning. I don’t know about you, but I tend to get antsy when I put my phone to my face or have it in my hands for too long. The same goes for my laptop and computer, when I know my daughter or husband have been using it, because although I’m not a germophobe, I just don’t like knowing something’s gone uncleaned for far too long. I usually wipe my tech-gear with a baby wipe or lightly spray Lysol on to a paper towel and wipe down. Point is to do it often enough where it doesn’t look like you’ve been digging your gear through dirt.



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