Deep Clean Week 9: Your Digital Life

Today we’re going to take a dive into your digital life to see what needs cleaning up.

First, though, take a look at your home workstation. Does that need a quick clean-up? Take the coffee mugs to the dishwasher and the soda cans to the trash. Get rid of the out-of-date notes and go ahead and file those I’m-going-to-get-to-it-papers.

Feel better? I bet it does.

All of the below applies to both your phone and computer.

Now, start with making a backup if you don’t have an external solid-state drive. It’s time to get one. This is the one I use. I actually got mine from Office Depot and picked it up curbside. If you haven’t made a backup of your computer before, just search for your operating system (Windows or macOS )and how to back up with an external hard drive. There are lots of tutorials (step-by-step instructions). When backing up your phone, it should back up right to the cloud.

There’s a reason I’m telling you to do this first, it’s just in case you get a little overzealous during your clean up and get rid of something important.

Next up, security. Do you use a password service like FastPass or Dashlane? (I have been using the latter one for years and love it. It creates absurdly strong passwords that I never have to remember and changing them is a breeze. I also use my fingerprint to unlock it on my phone. It does make me enter the password on occasion so I don’t forget it, but for everyday use, my fingerprint works.) Password keepers can make life significantly easier, especially if any of your services experience a breach and you need to update your passwords.

Go through your services and make sure that none of your passwords are the same for multiple sites and are not the word password or something obvious.

While we are talking about security, remember that those fun little quizzes your friends pass around are almost always answers to security questions. Pro-Tip: When you create answers to security questions, create a set of answers you will remember that aren’t necessarily true.

Apps and Programs

Don’t use them? Uninstall

Use them? Make sure they are up to date.

Photos, screenshots, and old memes:

Okay, this is one that I dread and need to do more often, take a deep breath and start the purge. Just keep the best. If you actually want to make prints, if you are already an Amazon Prime member, you get free shipping and can order them right from your phone. So that makes it easy.

Subscription Services:

With the vaccination rollout, some of the world is starting to open back up. It’s time to take a look at all of the services you subscribed to over the past year and determine what you will still need in the coming year.

Those that you don’t, figure out how to cancel. Some will unfortunately require a phone call. Remember those companies and never subscribe to them again. There’s a gym in my area that required a certified letter to cancel, I will never use them in the future.

Look through your email for receipts for annual plans and don’t let their renewals catch you buy surprise.

And with the mention of email. . .

Clean up your inbox

If you aren’t reading emails from companies go ahead and hit that unsubscribe button. Please use that and don’t hit spam unless something truly is spam.

If your inbox is pretty out of control (ahem, Heather) you can often search and clear out a lot of emails at once. For example, if I search in:all from: old navy

That’s pretty excessive. . . I’m going to unsubscribe and then delete all, that was not worth 10% off. You can do this for any sender and it quickly knocks out a lot of junk.

And finally, the hardest of all. . .

Your friends list and follows

This one is for your social applications and your mental/emotional health. There are two ways to handle relationships. If the person is someone with whom you must maintain a social connection, say a family member. Hide them from your timeline or quietly unfollow them. Generally, it’s silent and they will never notice. If it’s an old high school friend that you are just keeping around because that’s what you do and they post mean-spirited or worse racist things. Block them. You are past the popularity contest of high school. Let them go. This will get easier each time you go through your list. The first cut is the deepest.

You are a product of the people you surround yourself with, online and off. Keep that bar high and you’ll rise with them. Surround yourself with people who do nothing but participate in petty drama and you’ll find your life full of the same.

Now that you’ve finished. Go ahead and redo your backup. You don’t want to bring any of that old stuff back into your life.

Have a great week!

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2 thoughts on “Deep Clean Week 9: Your Digital Life”

  1. This was quite appropriate for me. I have a lot of office and digital clutter. I keep meaning to get around to it, but somehow that doesn’t happen.
    Hopefully this will give me the swift kick in the behind that I need to get moving!


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