I love all things organized including my computer and electronic files.
Everyone knows a person that have a million things on their desktop or that email inbox where the number exceeds 100. I mean how can this people breath?
I need my inbox showing 0 every night before I got to bed. I need my desktop clear of unnecessary things every time I start my computer. That's just how I function. Otherwise my anxiety goes through the roof.
Here are my tips to keep you computer and online life more organized.
1. Go through your inbox and get it back to 0. It may take you an entire day but it will be worth. Any email that needs to be saved, add to a proper folder. Any trash, delete. Anything that can be unsubscribed, make sure to do it. Unsubscribing a junk email is like getting time back into your life, once you get the habit to click the unsubscribe button every time you get a junk email, soon you won't be receiving them anymore. Then once a day, set a time to go through your email and get the inbox to 0. If something needs to be done, replied, whatever, just do it. Leaving it for later won't help.
2. Your desktop is not storage. It's for things that you use on a DAILY/ WEEKLY BASIS. Everything else should be stored in your documents.
3. Have a "TO BE ORGANIZED" folder. I have a folder named TBO on my desktop. When I download something, import pictures, write new files, things that yet don't have a home, they go to that folder. Anything that I don't feel like putting away yet, or that I'm not sure if I need to keep it. Then once a week, go through that folder and make sure it's empty by the time you are done organizing. That way, you know, the only messy place on your computer is that folder.
4. Eliminate all programs you don't use from the dashboard (in case you use a MAC).
5. Use only ONE type of scheduling software. Have you heard of people that use Evernote, iCal, Google calendar, paper planner, all at the same time? I mean, finding your schedule needs a schedule in itself. Don't make things more complicated. Choose one program, online or paper, and use it for everything. I mean everything. Your gym schedule? Your meal plan? Your work to do? Your house chores? They need to all be in one place. You should only have to look in one place to know what you are suppose to be doing that moment. I personally use ical because I like to separate things, but if I only want to see my gym schedule, all I have to do is uncheck all the other categories. Here is a screen shot of my categories. I used to use a paper planner but I just couldn't fit everything in it, and it was too messy if I had to reschedule my entire week for a last minute client project.
6. So now you have a way to schedule your things, but what about all the future things you like to do? Like books to read, movies to watch, things to make, or personal or work to dos that don't yet have a date on your schedule. Then you need a way to have all of those to do lists in one place. I use the app TodoIst. Here is a screen shoot of my categories. I don't have anything personal there because when something shows up that I need to do, I schedule on my calendar right away. And each category, has subcategories when you open them.
7. Shopping list. You can keep your shopping list if it only consist of a few items in the Todoist too but I like to divide all the things I would like to buy. So I use the app dropkick. Then every month I choose what I really need that month and move the item to the "Month" Work folder, or "Month" Home folder, or "Month" personal folder.
8. And that's it. I use 3 apps total, but you can probably just use 2, a calendar and a todo list app. More than that and you are cluttering your head and your computer/smart phone. Keep things simple. You have no idea how much that helps your productivity and helps you relax. I used to be the person that liked to try all the apps and all the websites for this stuff, but what really works is to just keep it simple.
I have more tips on how to keep your finances (income and expenses) organized, your social media organized, your pictures, etc, so if you would like to know more, let me know in the comments.