Optimize Your Digital Life

Simple ways to organize your digital life.

Simple ways to organize your digital life.

Your digital life consists of all the pictures, documents, information, and whatever else is stored on your phone, your computer, or in the “cloud”. Most people’s are a mess; they didn’t realize they needed an organizational system until it was too late. They now have 12,000 pictures across two different computers and even more on phones and tablets.  They have a few hundred documents from work or school on their computers and a very primitive backup system, if any.  This is most people. If you aren’t this bad and you managed to get some control over your digital life, good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back, but keep reading because this could still help you.
If you run a business, are in school, or are very digitally active, cloud storage would be very beneficial for you. Whether or not you know it or agree, we are transitioning into the age of “The Cloud”.  The cloud is a buzzword that basically means you upload your information to the internet and the service you are using stores that information for you.  To sum it up further, whatever information you put in “the cloud” is stored on the internet.  However you want to say it, it gives you a bit more freedom and frees up your hard drive space.  For example, depending on what service you use, those hundreds of documents you have could be available on your smartphone, your tablet, or your other various computers.
Don’t freak out! It used to be hard, but it’s becoming so simple that I recommend it to anyone.  If your a PC lover then Microsoft has a new program suite called Microsoft 365 that is a great option.  It’s 99.99 a year, but you get access to their programs as well as a terabyte of storage in the cloud. That’s a great deal! If your an Apple person, don’t worry.  Apple is rolling out a similar service this fall and until then, you can store your iSuite files as well as many pictures and other things in their iCloud.
I am telling you all this because I truly think it is the best option for digital management. As long as you keep your devices with access locked, then it is a great tool and it’s super easy to use.  All your data available at any time makes waiting in the doctors office an opportunity to get some work done. Or a phone call more productive because you can address the issue at that moment instead of waiting to “get back to the office”.  But the cloud isn’t for everyone.
If you typically use one computer and store all your information there, without needing to access it often, then cloud storage may not be for you, but look into it. It’s your decision that is based on your individual needs.
Ok, so on to actual organization!  Most people’s digital lives are separated into two categories, maybe three. Personal, work, and one other maybe school, blog, etc.  I look at digital storage as a pyramid. At the top are folders for broad categories that break down until every file has a place and folder to go.  This digital organization will be different for everyone. I have top files for home, each of my businesses, and one for sharing.  In home it is broken down by pictures, videos, and documents.  Pictures and videos are broken down by dates and documents are broken into past tax information, current tax information, important documents, house, cars, etc. you see where I am going.  It’s like a storage cabinet but digital.  Once you have the folders in place you can start to move your files.
Try to simplify and get rid of things. You don’t need tax information from 1970, so pitch it. If your are concerned because your stuff isn’t digital, don’t be. Just make it digital. Spend a day converting your life to the digital world. I did this two years ago and am thrilled with the results. It’s easier to find information and files and I am more productive having the information available to me at all times.
What are some ways you stay organized digitally?