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It used to be that workspaces got filled with notebooks, binders, cards, piles of folders and papers, etc. Now, it’s far more likely that your computer is full of clutter. You may not notice immediately, but as soon as you go looking for something and can’t find it, the clutter is obvious. Don’t worry! Cleaning up digital clutter isn’t as hard as you think.

Start with Email

How many lists are you on? Do you even want to be on them all? Check out unroll.me to quickly remove yourself from lists and consolidate the ones you do want into a convenient digest. Then take your inbox to the next level by creating rules or filters to put incoming messages in the appropriate folders automatically. You’ll be able to respond to important messages more quickly and easily find reference emails later.

Digital File Storage

Music, photos, and important files such as tax info take up a lot of space on most people’s computers. At a basic level, these should be organized into folders (and subfolders.) But to really clean up and organize your digital clutter, you need to get down and dirty with file names. Use something that makes them easy to find at a later date, such as VISA_May_2018 or recipe_moms_chicken_soup.

Have a Backup

IT pros know that if something doesn’t exist independently in at least two places, it doesn’t exist. Even the best digital devices fail at some point. Without a backup, you’re in danger of losing all your digital files with them.

There are two basic options for backups: cloud services and physical drives. With cloud services, you can log in from anywhere, making it easy to work from a temporary location or computer if necessary. Look at DropboxAppleGoogleAmazonMediaFireFlipDrive for cloud storage. Be aware, however, that if you sync photos or music and then delete them from your hard drive, they will also be deleted from your cloud storage. Don’t panic, though. Most digital music vendors make it easy for you to re-download the song(s) you’ve paid for, so there’s no need to back them up.

Physical drives can be an excellent option for sensitive data – anything you don’t want out on the web.

Take charge of your digital clutter today with these simple steps.