Tidying Up My Digital Space

Tidying Up My Digital Space

How I Finally Got It All Organized

Clutter is the opposite of motivational for me (whatever that word is). It takes over my mind with feelings of overwhelm and discouragement.

Whenever I want to start a new project, or begin a new task, or even prepare a meal, the very first step: clear a space to work.

The same goes for my digital spaces. When my photo gallery gets too junky, I avoid my pictures altogether. If my email inbox is looking out of control I get in and out of that thing as quickly as possible.

Here are the steps that I took to clean up my digital clutter and hit the reset button on my devices.

there's no perfect time

Personally, this urge came over me because I was transferring my website domain. My old one had completely uncategorized photos, deactivated plug-ins left and right, and I never really felt like I had nailed down a solid core for my blog content. Moving over meant that I would pretty much be starting it from scratch in these regards, so I took that as my chance. Having tidied while transferring though, I wish I had just done it much sooner.

The rationale that big sweeping cleanouts should be saved for year's end or spring cleaning or some other arbitrary day can be an easy way to validate that procrastinator spirit. Just get cleaning now. You'll be happier when the end of the year finally does roll around because everything will already in place to start fresh.

Related: Organizing Blog Content for the Year | Baby #2 Bumpdate

 

how to organize digital spaces

where to start

I thought the downloads folder on my computer would be the easiest step, since I've only had my computer for a few months. It took far longer than I'd like to admit, so I won't even get into that. I will say that starting here might have been the perfect place. With the goal of having the folder completely empty, I was forced to create folders and archives for all of these items (or throw them in the trash) which helped me get a better system setup.

email chaos corralled

After tackling the Downloads Folder I was on top of the world and decided to just jump right into clearing out my email inbox. I started by sorting emails into four categories:

  1. Follow-Up: Emails that I still need to complete a task on, or am waiting on a response for, or anything with a to-do attached.
  2. For Reference: These emails hold special links I still need, old coupon codes that haven't quite expired yet, guides, login in/account setup information, etc.
  3. Scheduled: Emails that have a deadline or set date attached to them for any reason.
  4. Inspo: Holds emails with concepts I want to try in my business.

Anything that didn't fit into these categories was either archived, or went directly into the Trash.

storing and sorting my photos

My poor phone's photos app finally ran out storage two weeks before my baby was due, so I had to take care of that mess immediately. I didn't want to risk that dreaded storage full error when trying to snap photos of one of my new favorite people.

I started by doing a big sweep through the Screenshots album. Almost everything in there was junk now.

After screenshots I cleared out the videos section. It was almost comical how my phone started to speed up performance as I did this. Once all of the videos were either moved to their new homes or deleted, I moved on to pictures. Luckily, I have only had the phone since early last year so most of the pictures and memories were still pretty fresh.

I removed duplicated photos, blurry or unusable pictures, and all of the photos my two-year-old must have taken. Once I had done the big clear out, I went through each month. I printed and deleted photos simultaneously to save time and energy. I printed out pictures I wanted to frame or add to my scrapbook, deleted what I could, and sent the pictures I wanted to keep to my desktop computer. Working through it month-by-month helped me stay on track and keep it all organized.

Pictures are all split by year and then month in my computer, and at the end of the year I will decide whether I will invest in a cloud storage system or just trust a hard drive.

merging all the lists

I shared about my content migration to OneNote a little in this post but I have far too many digital sticky notes spread across multiple apps. I use the iPhone Notes app for grocery listing, OneNote for blog and shop content, TeuxDeux for daily tasks, just to name a few. Each of these worked well for individual uses but switching from app to app proved to be pretty distracting for me.

I started merging my lists first by shutting down my Evernote account. I had already moved all of my content but held on the account as a "just-in-case" which just ended up clogging up memory on all of my devices.

Next, I had to figure out a way to store all of those random little notes-to-self that were scattered across apps. At first I just copied and pasted them into one big Google Doc just to hold them all together, and then I discovered Notion. My workspace there now holds: recipes, grocery list, to-do tasks, quotes I want to save for later, articles I plan to re-read, wishlist items I want to mull over... pretty much all of the things. They are all neatly displayed, organized, and categorized. I wish I had tried the program sooner! It's web-based, so I can use it on my computer, but it also has an app which has been great to hit me with alerts and reminders for scheduled items.

how i plan to keep things in order

The final step in my digital cleanup was to try and setup a system in which I could continue to have clear and open workspaces on my devices. Here is what I will be testing out over the next few months:

  • Monthly resets on my email inbox (this video had great ideas).
  • Save downloads in the correct place right away once they are used.
  • Downloads folder clearout at the end of every month - if needed.
  • Photo audit once per week to remove duplicates and backup important pics and video.
  • Keep plugging in new lists and databases into Notion when possible.

Cleaning up my spaces online and on my devices has been at the very bottom of my to-do list for far too long, but it feels great to see them now. It was much easier to navigate my photo gallery while finishing up my 2020 family photo album, and my email inbox has never been so shiny haha.

How do you keep your digital spaces in check?

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About

hi, i'm v.

about v

Sticker maker, shop owner, Marine wife and mom.

ISTJ, Taurus, Type 5

I recently discovered bullet journaling, but have scrapbooked since grade school. I enjoy many aspects of papercrafting and share them here, along with any productivity tips I stumble across because ase I can tend to be a bit of an organization junkie as well.

You can contact me here.

what you can expect on the blog

  • papercrafting and journaling
  • intentional living and productivity
  • shop updates and behind the scenes
  • a personal post sprinkled here and there

fun facts

faq

What’s in your shop?

Stickers first and foremost. I started the shop after I realized I wasn't the only paper girl who was itching for simple stickers for women of color. You'll find digitally illustrated sticker sheets, die cut stickers, and printable/digital stickers. 

Limited-time products also include: magnets, bookmarks, post cards, and greeting cards. 


How’d you get started?

I started the blog almost five years ago as an outlet for myself, but it quickly transitioned into being just about my hobbies: travel, taking photos, and scrapbooking.

Through my blogging journey I discovered bullet journaling and my scrapbooking passions were re-ignited. I began sharing my journey with these and quickly saw a need for the stickers I was already making for myself. I gave myself six months to open up a shop, and half way through my time frame we lived through a pandemic. During my time at home I now had NO MORE excuses, so I opened up my shop!


Why the name Love Becomes Her?

I started the blog on Halloween night and one of my favorite movies (Death Becomes Her) was on. I was a major cynic back in the day but I felt that the name suited the blog because at the time so many of my blog posts were around my long-distance relationship with my now-husband. I always assumed I'd change the name later, but I think I just love it too much. It reminds me of how far I have come with learning love

 

find me:

P.O. Box 621 Kaneohe, HI 96744