How to Get Digitally Organized

Monday, June 19, 2017

If you read Friday's blog post, you know that I got a new laptop last week to use for college this fall. I'll be sharing more about my computer and how I choose it in a future blog post but for now, I wanted to talk about how I have been getting myself organized with it.

I feel like I'm always the most productive on Mondays as the new week is a fresh start to get ahead and get organized (you can read old organization posts here!) so I figured today would be the perfect time to share this post with y'all. I would say that I'm pretty organized in most aspects of my life from my agenda to my closet to my purse. One area that is often overlooked is my laptop, which is slightly ironic considering how often I use it for blogging and for school work during the school year.

image via an old Instagram story (be sure to follow me on Instagram to see my stories!)

Put your emails into Folders based on categories
I like having my inbox at 0 or as close to it as possible and having folders for different categories helps me do that. I have a folder for every category I could think of (on my personal, I have a shopping category for promotional emails from stores; on my school email, I have a folder for each class; on my blog email, I have folders for collaborations with brands and then with other bloggers) and when I receive an email, I'll put it immediately into the appropriate folder.

Delete emails older than a year old
Last week, I was going through some of my old emails to clear them out and realized that I had random promotional emails from different brands from like two years ago. Some emails I do hang on to because they're good to have on hand but obviously, you don't need a J. Crew email from 3 years ago. This helps to clear some digital clutter as well.

Delete the deleted folder
Once you sort through each folder of your email and delete the old ones, delete everything in your deleted folder. Deleting items doesn't create space until you do this. This not only applies to your inbox but to your trash can as well!

Put your files into folder
The system that works for me is having a folder for each thing I can think of (so a folder for each class, a folder for each organization I'm involved in, a folder for the blog, a folder for personal items, etc.) and then creating sub-folders inside of each of those folders. I may do an entire blog post on how I organize this but having folders help because instead of searching your entire computer for your English essay you can go to your English folder, then to the unit folder, and then find your essay easily.

Find a home for each item in your downloads folder
I don't know if computers other than Macs have the downloads folder feature but if yours does, keep on reading! I hate having a million and one things hanging out in my downloads folder so take those items and find them their "home," whether it's in one of your folders or in your trash can.

Utilize the cloud
I used Google Docs and Google Drive in high school a lot and it was so helpful as you know the cloud will always be there regardless if you get a new computer or whatever. It also helps to save space on your computer as your files aren't physically being stored on your computer so utilizing the cloud, whether for your pictures or for your old files, is so useful in staying organized!

Be patient
Being digitally organized, despite our best efforts, takes time so it's important to be patient. Whether it's taking a hour to airdrop your photos to your computer or it's taking longer to get organized than you expected, be patient and know that you will get there. Since it does take time, maybe dedicate a day to getting everything organized or group different organization tasks together that you can get done in a set amount of time.

Organize your pictures by month or by year
Since my old laptop was a school computer, I never kept my personal pictures on it but would keep them on my family's desktop computer. When I got my new computer, I knew I wanted to transfer everything over so it would be in one place. I've been sorting my pictures by month (so like June 2017) or by year for older pictures (Freshman year) so that they are easy to access and every picture has a "home".

Do you have any additional tips for getting (and staying) digitally organized? Let me know in the comments!

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