Tag Archives: business organizing
If you’ve ever spent a morning trying to track down a lost file on your hard drive or searching through a decade of email, you know that digital disorder can also take a toll on your wellbeing. Most people handle a constant flow of text messages, emails, photos, videos, and other digital information. When all that digital data piles up, it can slow you and your devices down. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to downsizing and organizing your digital clutter.
Does your documents folder or email inbox resemble a junk drawer with everything tossed in together? Do you usually rely on your search box to help you find files? An organization structure can help you declutter, share, synchronize, move, and easily track down files. Follow these simple steps to get your digital life organized:
Browse through your files and emails and determine the major and minor categories they fall into. For instance, you may be able to divide photos into “work photos,” “family photos, “head shots,” etc. Within those categories, you may have subcategories.
Once you’ve determined what categories and subcategories you want to use for each type of file, make folders or subfolders for them.
Develop Naming Guidelines
Librarians who manage large digital collections use consistent, meaningful, and descriptive names to identify what’s inside each file. Follow suit, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to track down specific files and photos when you need them. For documents, designate a naming structure such as “descriptive keywords-type of document.” For example, this article might be named “digital-decluttering-article.” For images, create a structure such as “descriptive keywords-month-year.” For example, vacation photos might be named “Hawaii-vacation-March-2017). For emails, use descriptive subject headings.
Automate Email Organization
Email inboxes can become unmanageable quickly. Depending on your email provider, you can automatically filter incoming emails into certain folders. For instance, all newsletters can be sent to a “newsletters” folder, and emails from colleagues can automatically be sent to a “work” folder.
Declutter Your Digital Past
Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve sorted through your digital data, you may need to do a major purge to get back on track. As with any big organizational project, the hardest part can be getting started. Set aside plenty of time, and commit to going through everything saved on your computer, mobile devices, external hard drive, or in the cloud, including photos, files, and personal records.
Decluttering can be an emotional process. Set a relaxing tone by listening to music and treating yourself to your favorite beverage. Repeat the decluttering motto: “If in doubt, throw it out,” and begin sorting files into folders. If you find yourself deliberating for more than a minute about keeping any item, create a “maybe” folder, and put it there.
Most of us accumulate a lot of photos and videos, because it’s so inexpensive and easy to snap and upload them these days. Photos and videos can hold a lot of sentimental value and can be difficult to downsize. However, it’s worth it! Not only are these files large and expensive to store; you don’t want to have to scroll through hundreds of files to find the photos that are meaningful to you.
Start by purging the following:
Destination Peace of Mind
5.0 out of 5 stars an Amazon Book Review
Kathi Burn’s book is one of the most important “how to” books on the market today. Her step-by-step guide was priceless for creating the needed space I needed in my office so I could write in the state of joy instead of confusion.
My creative work depended upon a space that was clear and balanced. When I adopted her techniques and cues as outlined in her book, my office (and my work) were transformed.
Thank you Kathi, for your wisdom, your expertise, and your good humor!!
By Candace Conradi (Poway, California)
Before / After Case Study
( Move mouse over picture for after )
Papers were the dominant player on the desk of this busy CEO. Years of inaction kept these papers piling up until they were no longer important. Time was the organizing factor for this desk. Once a few years past, the bottom layer could be removed because it no longer was a pressing matter.
Every paper in the office was touched and either filed or tossed. The Freedom Filer filing system was implemented so that all papers put into the file system would have an exit strategy. This way the folders would not expand into more file cabinets over time.
We created a filling system that kept piles off of the desk and focused on keeping 60% of the desk area open for business. Instead of laying a paper onto the desk surface when in hand, a decision was made as to whether it should be tossed, filed into a hanging folder or moved into one of the vertical desktop folders as an active project. Months later, the desk is still clear and the system is functioning!
What Our Clients Say:
“You’ve been a significant agent for change in our client’s life. He has kept up with your system and his desk remains clear. I’m sure this has increased his effectiveness/productivity.
You’re terrific at what you do, and I thank you for it.”