Dealing With Digital Clutter

Laptop open, coffee on the table beside the laptop

An organized and clutter-free digital space can increase efficiency and productivity.  It can be quite stressful searching for important work documents or your favourite vacation photo amidst a disorganized digital space. Digital clutter is quite common especially if an organizational system has not been used to prevent disorder from occurring.

Similar to your home, working in a clean space (in this case, a digital one) can lead to a more efficient use of time when completing tasks using your digital devices.  Give yourself the productive work space that you deserve with the following tips for organizing your digital devices.

Label Your Files

Be specific when choosing file names, and it will become much easier to search through documents, photos and shortcuts. For example, by labelling a cover letter “Cover Letter – CIBC” instead of just “Cover Letter 03”, you will be able to easily retrieve this document afterwards without having to search through items that are not categorized within a particular organizational system.

Designate one common organizational system to use when naming files on your digital device. This is one of the most effective ways to organize your computer. Often this important organizational step is skipped when a file is being created. This can result in wasted time searching for documents and even the permanent loss of valuable information or photos.

Create Folders

Before creating your main folders, come up with a sorting system based on the way you prefer to categorize items. A good starting point would be to think about what purpose the document serves. Sort your content and place each item in the appropriate digital folder. Then create subfolders to further organize these items.

The goal is to prevent disorder within your digital space by ensuring that every item on your computer has been categorized within the chosen organizational system. If you come across items that can’t be placed into a particular category, you can easily solve this by creating a “Miscellaneous” folder.

Delete Old Applications

Remove applications that you no longer to help save storage space. There is no need to keep apps that are no longer of importance to you. You are now one step closer to decluttering your computer and transforming it into a clutter free digital workspace.

Clear Your Excess Downloads

Your Downloads folder is a great place to start if you’re looking to remove unnecessary items from your computer. Start by arranging your downloads by size or category. Then determine which files you would like to keep or delete. Remember, you shouldn’t have to keep around extra downloads of files that you’ve already renamed and saved elsewhere as different file types.

Organize Your Mail

The amount of email that we receive on a daily basis can be overwhelming and our inbox can become immensely cluttered as a result. Creating folders for things like receipts or important documents can make it easier to find emails that you may need to reference in the future. Frequently delete old emails and empty your junk mailbox in order to remove excess clutter.

Maintain Your Organizational Plan

Our final recommendation is essential to maintaining an organized computer. Adopt a more disciplined and determined mindset toward digital organization. Take just a little bit of extra time to use proper labels and keep your files organized. By decluttering your devices on a regular basis, you will be rewarded with increased productivity, and a clutter-free digital workspace.

Blog Post Written by: Danielle Lau, UX/ UI Designer and Writer