Here in the Midwest we’ve had a taste of spring, but it’s not quite here to stay. However, the few nice days we had, kicked us into a spring cleaning mindset. Maybe you’ve been watching organizing shows on Netflix inspiring a deep clean, but how about your computer and digital life?
For motivation, think about that time you deleted a large file off your desktop and your computer started running so much faster! I’m looking at a very full desktop (both on screen and my literal desk) and while I think of ways to tackle it, maybe you could also benefit from that fresh feeling of clearing clutter – the digital edition!
Clear cookies, history and cache
Let’s start with an easy one. Clear your computer’s history, cookies and cache. Take a breath!
Repeat with your phone and any other devices.
Go through your emails and unsubscribe to all the lists that tempt you to spend too much money or are no longer an interest to you. Woo hoo – you just cleared some very valuable time in your day!
While you’re in your email, think of the email accounts you no longer use. Old client emails, old spam accounts, etc. When you forget about these, they can be compromised without your knowledge. Delete, delete, delete!
Do you save your passwords in Chrome or an extension? Now would be a great time to update your passwords and reveal which accounts you have that you no longer need. The more you delete, the safer you’ll be from hackers. Change passwords older than 3 months and those that aren’t unique and long.
Delete unused browsers. Don’t use Safari anymore? Remove it and all the data that may be waiting for someone to compromise them.
Update your OS and software. How many times have you clicked “remind me later”? (I’m guilty of this one!) Staying updated means you’ll have the latest security updates and everything should run more smoothly. Make a practice of updating at the end of the work week or set to automatically update while you’re not working.
Okay, now that you are feeling motivated and Marie Kondo’d everything on this list so far it’s time for the biggest clean – your desktop and files!
Do you have old client files? Check your contract first for how long you are obligated to store them (shift these to an external hard drive) and delete! Woo hoo! That felt good, right?
Now for the big one. Your computer’s desktop. Maybe you’ve been meticulous and have a squeaky clean desktop or you’re like the rest of us and keep saying “someday” you’ll finally organize. First assess your most common files and think of buckets they easily fit into.
The easiest is to create a folder for each client with subfolders by project (consider keeping these off your desktop and in your “documents” and keep a back-up for safety). Keep going with your personal files. Once you’ve done that, you can organize the folder icons easily. On MacOS, open Finder and click View > Clean Up By to organize by date or type. On Windows, sort by name or date by right-clicking on a blank area of the desktop and choosing Sort by.
Newer versions of MacOS has a feature called Stacks. Click on a blank area of the desktop and choose View > Use Stacks.
Digitize and organize receipts like our CEO, Justin. He uses Evernote to take a photo of a receipt and easily store and organize in the cloud.
For extra security, delete old apps and plugins you no longer use. Remove personal information on social media that could be used to steal your identity or passwords. Make profiles private, remove connections you don’t really know or are no longer in touch with. Delete old embarrassing photos if you are on the job hunt.
You did it!
Enjoy a faster running machine and save time finding files and rest easy knowing you just up-leveled your security. If you’re riding this high, and are ready to refresh your brand or website, hit us up.