206 5 Things I Do Each Week to Keep my Digital Life Organized
Ever wondered how to stay on top of the digital declutter? In this week's episode, I'm going to guide you through five effective strategies that have transformed my digital life, from managing emails and digital photos to social media and data backups.
Digital decluttering refers to the process of organizing and streamlining the digital aspects of our lives, including emails, files, photos, and tasks. It's a vital practice in our increasingly tech-driven world where the digital clutter can accumulate quickly, leading to stress and overwhelm. The digital realm's stress factor arises from the fact that, unlike physical clutter, we often don't see it until it's too late. Hidden behind screens, the accumulation of unorganized emails, countless unsorted photos, and incomplete tasks can become a daunting, invisible source of anxiety.
Join me, as I share my personal weekly tasks that ensure a clutter-free digital environment.
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Hey, hey, welcome back to the podcast. Everyone, we chat a lot about planning and organization and planners and all of that, but I realize there are a lot of ways in our lives, a lot of tools that we use, that can get out of control if we don't get the processes in place to be able to really streamline that. So that's what we're going to be talking about today is how to stay a little bit more digitally organized, because I get questions all the time from people asking me what tools do I use, how do I keep my photos organized, how do I keep documents organized? So I'm going to be sharing with you guys today five things that I do every week, just once a week, and I do them all at the you know, kind of have a little chunk of time on my calendar every Friday where I do these that help me keep my digital life declutter. So listen up, because I'm going to be sharing five activities that you might want to consider doing once a week to help keep the digital clutter at bay.
Welcome to the WorkLife Harmony Podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling, hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life that is more than just a day. When you manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity, so you can have WorkLife Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my WorkLife Harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram at Megan Sumrell with the word harmony and my team will send it right over. Hey there, welcome back to WorkLife Harmony.
So we spend a lot of time here on the show talking about planning techniques. You all know I have shared regularly. I currently am a paper planner user. I use the top planner here. If you're watching the videos, that's what I'm holding up, but what I don't often talk about are how I keep my digital life organized. So I use my top planner, my paper planner, to keep my calendar, my activities, my things that need to get done, organized. But in the world that we live in, let's face it, we all are leaning on digital things, whether we want to or not. We're using emails, a lot of people are using social media or different apps to communicate through real time text messaging, et cetera. Our phones have now become our cameras, right, so we're not walking around, as I did as a kid, with a camera and then going to the drugstore and turning in our film. So I wanted to share with you here today five tasks that I do once a week. I do these every week and I do them on Friday. That works for me. Again, you don't have to do these things on Friday. That helped me keep my digital life organized, less cluttered, et cetera.
Now, the reason why it can be so easy to let our digital life get out of control is because we don't see it. It's not in front of us. Right Now, when we think about physical stuff, it's very easy to be reminded when things are getting out of control. If I walk into the kitchen and no one's done their dishes for three days. I'm going to see it right. They're all going to be piled up in the sink. But it gets really sneaky with our digital lives because a lot of time things can get disorganized or cluttered, and it's not in front of us the way that physical objects are All right.
So let's go through what the five things are that I do every week to help keep my life digitally decluttered and a little bit more organized. So number one is around my photos. So every Friday and this takes me probably two, three minutes tops I scroll through All of the photos, videos, et cetera that I have taken over the last week and I clean them up. Now, how do I clean them up? Well, they're going to fall into two different categories. I either want to keep them or I don't need them anymore, because sometimes I'm just taking a quick picture of something that I'm sending to someone. Like the other day my husband was at the store and he's like, oh, what's the brand that we need? I took a picture of the bottle of the thing I needed him to buy and texted it to him. I don't need to keep that, all right.
So, as I go through all the photos I've taken over the last week. The first thing I do is select all of them that I know I'm not going to need and delete them. Now for the ones that I want to keep, my weekly task around my photos is to either move them into albums I do like to lean on albums to help me organize my photos and or tags. Now, this is not going to be a how to keep photos organized deep dive training, because it really depends on what tool you use. I'm currently an iPhone user, so I use iPhoto for backing up and storing all of my photos, but once a week I just go through everything that is new on my camera roll and I either delete it or I get it organized into its albums. And, seriously, if you do that every week, this is something you can do in a matter of just a couple of minutes.
Now, the second thing that I do to help stay digitally decluttered and better organized is around my email. Now I have a deep dive training inside of my signature program, the top program on how to stay different strategies of keeping your email organized. But one thing that I do to kind of clean things up and not let stuff get cluttered is, again, every Friday, I actually go through my sent items folder, delete any of the stuff in there that I don't need, and then I go one step further and I actually empty my trash bins in all of my email accounts. Now, depending upon the week, how email heavy things are, this is the longest of my digital declutter task and that probably takes me about five to six minutes for me to do that once a week. Now my inbox and everything is always organized and decluttered based on how I process my email. But if we're not careful, all of that junk stuff and things in our sent box can really pile up. Now I have different decluttering activities that I do on monthly, quarterly and annual basis for my email and for my photos as well, but that's just a weekly task to help you keep that email storage under control.
Now the third thing that I do this was taught to me by someone I had on the podcast a couple years ago is when I am stepping away from my desk. On Friday, I actually completely shut off my computer. So I am currently using one of the newer MacBook Airs and I never have to shut this thing off. It's not like I'm in an office setting or anything like that. So if I'm not careful I will leave that thing on for weeks and weeks and weeks. And it is good occasionally to reboot your computer. So I actually, when I'm stepping away from my desk on Friday, I shut down my computer and then, if I need it over the weekend, that is when I will turn it back on. And this way I'm just rebooting, getting any excess tabs etc. All cleared out on my computer, and then this also helps prevent me from having to do potential midweek operating system updates etc. Because if I go to shut that down on, you know, when I'm done on Friday, I'll either see then and there that I need to run an update, and then I have the weekend to get that done. Now the fourth thing that I do, similar to shutting down my computer, is when I do that I also go and grab my mobile device and the tablet that I use to do some training on and I do a complete shutdown of both of those as well. That helps with some performance and make sure that anything that's open that needs to get shut off, and this is also an opportunity for me to run any updates there as well. So I can kind of do a full shutdown, restart of computer's, phones, tablets. Now the fifth thing that I do and this is really just for anyone that is using an online project management tool, especially if you are a small business owner, as I am, but if you are, this also can apply to anyone that is using Trello, perhaps for any digital calendaring system.
The fifth thing that I do is what I call processing my incomplete tasks. Now, for me, for the business, we keep everything in a project management tool called ClickUp, and so what I do on Friday, this is my opportunity to look back into my project management tool and see whether any tasks assigned to me that week that did not get done. So when I say I'm going to process those incomplete tasks again, I cover a very in-depth training. I call them carryover tasks inside the top program of the step-by-step process of what to do with those tasks you wanted to get done that week but didn't. So for me, because I run the business through a digital project management tool, I go through this process of looking at everything that didn't get done the last week that was assigned to me, if there are any, and then working through a systematic way to determine how and when I'm going to get them done, based on priority, notice. I don't let them just by default sit there being overdue day after day after day after day, because then it's just piles up and we don't actually have a plan to get it done. So as I'm looking through any of those incomplete work tasks, I'm making very intentional decisions about when and how I am then going to get them done. Do any communication changes around that necessary as well?
So quick recap the five things that I do, and I do mine on Friday. And, guys, I go through all five of these in less than 30 minutes, I'd say. On average, it's really about maybe 15 to 20 minutes every Friday. So cleaning up the photos from the past week, deleting or filing them into albums, making sure that everything in my email sent is cleaned up, trash is empty, giving my computer break completely, shutting it down, rebooting any other mobile device, tablet, et cetera same thing clearing that out, cleaning it up, rebooting it and then going through and processing any incomplete tasks, intentionally figuring out how and when they're going to get done. Now, those are the five digital things. Here's a little bonus. There are two other things I do during this window. I actually schedule 30 minutes every Friday to kind of wrap up my week.
There are two other tasks that I do that are not digital, and I cover them in lots of other training and podcasts as well. One is all around how I process my paper. So any paper that I need to deal with, I process that. On Friday, again, if you were in the top program, I have a deep dive training on exactly how I keep paper clutter at bay. It is in the little mini-course called Top for Home. And then the second is processing my notebook.
All right, if you have not heard me train on how I stay organized using one and only one notebook I don't have notebooks all over the place. You can go catch that on my app. I have an app in the app store called the Pink Bee all one word. And when you unlock all the training in that app, one of them is called the One Notebook Challenge. So when I talk about how I process my notebook every week my paper notebook that is covered in there. So if you really want to dive into how to stay organized with one notebook, go check that out, all right. So that's just two other bonuses of how I stay organized at the end of every single week.
Now, if you have things that you do weekly to help you stay digitally decluttered. I'd love for you to reach out. Let me know If you're watching this video here on YouTube. Go ahead and throw it in the comments below. If you're listening to this podcast, please come find me on Instagram at Megan Sumrell. Shoot me a DM and let me know what additional weekly digital decluttering tasks you use. Have a fantastic week. Getting on top of all things time management, organization, and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one-tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the app store or Google Play and download the Pink Bee app. It's one word, the Pink Bee. It is jam-packed with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of overwhelm and into harmony. And if you have a question you want me to cover on a future episode, go to iTunes and ask your question in the podcast review section. And while you're there, don't forget to leave a five-star review.