The term “Spring Cleaning” brings to most minds a vision of scrubbing floors and washing windows while the sun is shining and the birds are singing. But with the rise of technology, the clutter we surround ourselves with is more than just dust and old junk that needs to be thrown out. It takes the form of thousands of useless emails, phone apps you never open much less use, or word documents that are jumbled together on your hard drive.
To have a productive office, you need to take the time to not only clean your desk space, but also your computer’s desktop. Here are some ideas to get your electronic spring cleaning going.
1. Start with Email
This is the biggest and most time consuming technology cleanse you will most likely undertake. Knowing how to handle email cleaning most efficiently will vary based on the type of email service you use. For instance, Outlook 2013 is going to be different than cleaning out your Gmail Account. But no matter what email account you use, the principles are the same:
- Embrace the Delete Button. Don’t be afraid to delete emails, especially if they’re old and useless. They are just taking up space and energy.
- Turn Off Notifications. There is no point in having Facebook or Twitter send you notifications constantly, unless you absolutely use them.
- Unsubscribe. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, but as you get those emails you never read, and just delete. Start unsubscribing from them as they role in. This will help clean out your inbox for the future as well as the present.
- Create Folders. Divide your emails based upon sender, project or date range. Find a system that works for your email needs and stick with it. Once you get through the initial organization, you need to stick with your system it to maintain the clearest inbox possible.
2. Update Your Electronics
We all do it. We have that pending update on our phone, or we haven’t let our anti-virus scan run because we’re just too busy and can’t be bothered to allow that stuff to slow us down. It’s time to buckle down and update your computer, your phone, your laptop, your tablet, and anything else that might need it.
These updates are important for maintaining highly productive and secure devices, and really shouldn’t be ignored. Also, be sure to make a point of completely turning off devices and computers when they’re not in use. This ultimately contributes to longer life for your electronics.
3. Clean Out Your (Electronic) Files
This can usually be close, if not worse, than the horror that email has for you. Begin by choosing a folder to start in and create folders that fit the types of files/photos you’re storing on your computer. Divide folders by projects or specific types of images to help break down where everything should go. Don’t be afraid of subfolders within a folder.
And don’t forget the download folder! A lot of random files end up in this folder, some important, some not. Delete anything you don’t need, and file away anything that is important in the proper place.
4. Clean the Outside to Match the Inside
Clean out the junk in your keyboard, wipe down your monitors, sanitize your touch screens, and just give your overall desk an actual cleaning. Once you’ve gotten a grip on all the virtual junk, it’s time to make sure your electronic’s outsides match their insides. Just be sure to clean your electronics with the proper items so as not to damage them.
Take the time to get the cleaning bug out of your system and straighten up your electronic devices and files just in time for Spring. For most small businesses, that store files and information virtually, this is the hardest part to tackle when it comes to Spring Cleaning. Getting this out of the way can make the vacuuming and window washing not seem so bad.