Just like re-energizing your home with a deep cleaning when the seasons change is beneficial to its function and feel, a fresh digital domain really does make a difference in productivity too. (There’s no hyperlink in that sentence because I don’t think there’s scientific proof of that– but in my experience, it’s true.) Now that spring has officially sprung, a few easy fixes can really improve your tech environment and make your gadget usage more engaging.
Online, clear out the cobwebs. If you don’t have the heart to un-friend people on Facebook, hide ’em and they won’t know. Don’t punctuate it with some dramatic announcement that you’re eliminating people, you don’t have to hate or even dislike folks to hide them. I hide negative people, for example: the kind who can’t stand their life because of horrible things like traffic, weather, laundry, etc. I can still say “Hello” and “Happy birthday,” without the constant cumbersome griping, they can do the same. Remember, you can make anything that bugs you on your social network disappear: political rants, too many baby photos, game-addicted acquaintances, etc.
It’s amazing how much better my phone, and my brain, functions without the TMZ mobile app.
Simplify your email too. Dedicate just a few minutes each morning to unsubscribing from sales emails and spam. It won’t take more than a few days to eliminate a lot of your e-clutter before it starts. I was deleting-without-reading a minimum of forty emails a day. That’s stupid. Archive old messages to get them out of the inbox and easier to find if they’re needed again– just like in the real world, labels, folders, and filters can be your best friend.
Spruce up that inbox with a new coat of paint while you’re tooling around in your settings. Change your email’s color palette and/or theme. Now do the same for your browser, and the wallpaper and screensaver on your phone, iPad or tablet, and your computer’s desktop. Anywhere you can apply a new theme and freshen things up a bit with new colors, icons, or pic, take a few clicks to do it. I’ve always loved PixelGirl Presents for a nice variety of unique backgrounds and icons to customize my experience.
Lastly, back it all up and start deleting. Save songs, videos, pics, documents, and other important files to a reliable drive or cloud storage and free up all of that space you’re holding hostage on your devices. On your mobile toys, don’t forget unused apps too. It’s amazing how much better my phone, and my brain, functions without the TMZ mobile app and dozens of #selfies shot in the bathroom saved to my camera roll. What’s your favorite way to tidy up your tech arsenal each season? —Casandra Armour