Do you have tens of thousands of emails in your inbox and the important ones get buried and go unanswered?
Are there dozens of folders on your desktop but you can’t locate the files you need when you need them?
Is your photo stream so junked up with screenshots and info photos that you can’t find the great pic of your kids where they were all smiling at the same time?
You are not alone!
I’m a wiz at organizing physical spaces, but last year I realized my digital world had gotten a little out of hand. I needed to learn some new tricks and tools. Through Laurie Palau’s This Organized Life podcast, I found Kath Younger’s life-changing Digital Clutter course.
Since I’ve been using Kath’s systems, I spend less time handling email, I know right where to put my digital files, and I can easily find my favorite photos.
This month, I sat down with Kath to talk about her digital clutter organizing methods. Watch the video here:
Read on for the 3 Biggest Mistakes Kath sees people make when trying to organize digital content.
MISTAKE #1: AN OVERCOMPLICATED SYSTEM
The first mistake people make is trying to come up with a fabulous, multi-folder, color-coded system. The over-complication makes it both hard to find what you need and too time-consuming to maintain the system.
Kath likens it to organizing your kids’ LEGOs. You spend time sorting the bricks by color, stashing each color in a separate container. Then the kids run in and dump everything out on the floor, leaving you looking at many hours of sorting to get the bricks back into your system. What a waste of time!
Instead, she says, keep the system streamlined with fewer folders and broad categories. Use the search function to find what you need.
MISTAKE #2: AUTOMATION WILL DO IT ALL
Apps and automation are helpful, but they can’t be your brain. For example, relying on an app to save all of your photos to the cloud means your cloud storage will quickly fill up because the app just saves everything. It doesn’t know which photos are keepers, which are all-time favorites, and which are junk like screenshots.
Automation can assist you, but you’ll need to put in a bit of work on a regular basis to make decisions about what files are worth keeping and which ones need to be cleaned out. Kath recommends scheduling a weekly Power Hour with yourself to get this done.
MISTAKE #3: PROCRASTINATION
It may be tempting to ignore the digital clutter as it piles up, but this road leads to system failure: either your hard drive crashes and you lose everything or you bankrupt yourself paying for more and more storage to hold the overflow.
The same thing happens with physical clutter. You can’t make a decision about your stuff, so you stash it in the basement, then the basement floods. Or you rent a storage unit, and then another and another, and watch the monthly fees rise. You’re just postponing the decision-making process and in the meantime you can’t find anything.
To avoid these Big 3 Mistakes, Kath sums up her approach as:
Simplify, Sort, and Store.
If you’re raring to go, jump into the full Digital Clutter Course with my affiliate link. Reach out to me to schedule a Virtual Organizing session or two if you need help implementing your new system and getting it up and running.
If you just want to dip your toe in, check out Kath’s free Digital Clutter Workshop. She gives plenty of tips and tricks to get you started.
Ready to take full control of your Digital Clutter? Sign up for Kath's Digital Clutter Course—the same one I took last year. She guides you step by step and helps you SIMPLIFY, SORT, and STORE email, photos, files, and more.