Tips to Clean Up Your Digital Clutter

When you think about spring cleaning, you generally think about your surroundings- -your home, your car, the backyard.  As a business owner, spring cleaning should include your digital “house” too.  That could include, email inboxes, electronic documents & folders, web browers, and online bookmarks just to name a few.

Digital clutter is a reality that many of us deal with on a daily basis as we conduct much of our business electronically through computers, tablets and even on our smartphones.

Sometimes digital cleaning is about restoration. Spring may be the right time to get your online accounts back in order.  Go through your Amazon wish lists, work on organizing your social media accounts or revisit learning how to use them.

Dealing with digital clutter or digital restoration is a great task to delegate to your virtual assistant.  Feeling empowered by your digital world instead of bogged down by it can help you be more efficient, more productive and ultimately more successful.

Some tasks to delegate to your VA could include:

Sort & Delete Email Messages

  • Go through your inbox and identify the emails that you want to keep vs. discard. Keeping emails takes up storage and can also potentially be a security risk if your account is compromised.
  • Take out attachments! Attachments take up a lot of room and shouldn’t be kept in your email. Make sure you create a folder on your hard drive for important attachments. If you need online access to those attachments, consider saving them in the cloud.
  • There may be some emails that you don’t want to delete. Move the “keepers” into specific folders. Create specific folders by topic or by sender’s name.
  • Delete all the emails that you know you will never need or want to look at again, they are just taking up space.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, retail offers, or others industry specific emails that you don’t look at and find no value with.

Web Browser

  • Organize your bookmarks. The best way to do this is to look through all your links and determine which ones you still need. Create folders that makes sense to the links you are bookmarking.
  • Clear the history, cache, cookies, and old temp file.  Your VA should know how to do this with whatever browser you are using.

Documents (files)

  • Sort files into 3 categories…Keep , Trash and Backup.
  • Delete documents you no longer need.  That would include files that you haven’t opened up in the past year or two– chances are you won’t need it. It’s time to delete or remove those files and remember to empty the recycling bin!
  • File e-docs sitting on your computer deskop that you use all the time or are project or customer oriented.  Have your VA create folders that make sense to you, for easy access.
  • Determine if you have any irreplaceable documents or projects that you are particularly proud of.  These should be backed-up on an external hard drive, CD or other back-up system.  Photos should be included in this process.

Social Media

  • Unfollow people that do not influence or add value to you or your business.
  • Follow  social media users that add value or are influential to your business.
  • Join industry related groups on Linkedin.
  • Attend or host a TweetChat that interests you.  Learn how to use #hashtags.
  • Organize your followers/friends into lists.
  • Re-engage with social media if you stepped away from it.
  • Get suggestions on what Social Apps to load onto your smartphone for easy access to each platform.
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