Digital Spring Cleaning - Infographic

View the FLIRT Spring Cleaning Infographic!

Tis the season to clean away the dust bunnies, wipe down the windows, and put away the parkas (hopefully)! And while you’re busy doing all of that, you can clean up your digital life as well! How do you do that? Let us give you a few tips to get started:

First, let’s start with your phone. Ohhh the phone. There are so many things to do with it already, and yet we are constantly adding more and more to our little mobile friends.  Sometimes your phone can start to feel a bit heavy (in terms of storage) so the first digital spring cleaning stop should be our reliable little buddies that go everywhere with us.

Mobile Apps:

Everyone with a smart phone is guilty of splurging on a few apps (or ten) during a moment of weakness. Usually, you go in wanting to find one particular app that you might actually find useful, and all of a sudden you have 10 new ones loading on your home screen. Take a moment to go through your phone and take a good look at every app you have. It’s important to remember that the more apps you have, the less storage you have for other things. If you haven’t used an app in the past two weeks, it’s a safe bet you won’t be using it in the future either so TOSS IT. Keep the ones you use on a regular basis and discard the rest.  If you find yourself missing an app that you have decided to part with, don’t fret! Once you officially download an app on your iPhone, it’s stored in the cloud. Even if you delete it off your phone, you can easily re-install it.

Read on for more great digital spring cleaning tips for your mobile phone and more!

Photos:

Photos, photos, photos! With our growing need to be visually stimulated, our photo albums are larger than ever. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, taking pictures has become just another part of our everyday routines. Sometimes, however, this can become a bit excessive. Once you take a picture, either post it and delete it, or send it to a cloud storage of your choice. You don’t need all your photos on your device all the time. For those who like to hoard their photos, I’ll share my favorite trick with you. I have the Dropbox app downloaded on my iPhone which means any photo I take will automatically get sent to my Dropbox account once connected to WiFi. What this means for you photographers is you can take as many photos as you would like, delete them off your phone, and you will still have them in your Dropbox (or cloud storage of your choosing). Ta-da!

Emails:

Next is the dreaded email inbox. Communicating via email is unavoidable and unfortunately, finding the time to clean out our emails can be very easily avoided. To fix this, find and install a program that organizes your email for you. If you do not have one already, Inky is a great one to get you started. Simply download the program on your computer and set up your numerous email accounts. Inky uses the cloud system as well so you can take your organized emails with you to a new computer or new office with no fuss or extra work on your end. Inky will sift through your incoming mail and place them in categories that make sense, which ultimately allows you to skip through daily deals, social updates, newsletters, etc. until you actually have the time to go through them. This way you are able to get to the emails that are really important and save the rest for later.

Desktop:

Now, how about your desktop? Is it just another place that becomes a black hole of unnecessary junk? If the answer is yes, then set aside some time to organize it. This will help you get a fresh start and make you feel much more efficient upon completion. To start, use folders as well as sub-folders. No, this is not a new concept, but a very effective one. Label accordingly by project, date, client, personal, etc. and then start pouring the documents in. Having a messy desktop does not look nice, but also is a pain when trying to locate important documents in a hurry. I’ve said it already but I’ll say it again, USE THE CLOUD (or online storage of your choosing). Send important folders, photos, projects to your online storage. Computers crash and things get lost.  If you have everything backed up, good for you! If not, you can’t say we didn’t warn you!

Now if you want to really clean your computer from the inside out, find a safe and reliable program that helps you do that. Cleanmymac2 is a program that removes data, schedules regular cleanings, and finds unwanted junk among other things. There is a PC version as well so everyone can get their clean on. For other helpful hints check out this article by Macworld that gives you a few more options to speeding up your browser, and getting rid of forgotten items.

Passwords:

For extra cleanliness, change your passwords! I’m sure some of you (myself included) have gone years without a password revamp. If that’s the case, it’s probably about that time! With the number of logins we are faced with on a daily basis, it’s completely understandable that you use the same password for at least of few of them. In retrospect, however, this is not the greatest idea. If changing your passwords seems like a daunting task, or you are afraid you may forget your new one try using 1password. This is a great website that allows you to store all of your passwords, credit card info, and automatic form fillers in one secure location. And the best thing is you really only have to remember one password.

Happy Cleaning!