Expert tips to declutter the tech in your life
In this new digital world, online connections over shared interests are common. In fact, it might be easier to meet someone these days digitally than in-person, which is exactly how I connected with Jayne. We connected over an article I wrote about Women in Tech. The article touched a cord as she is a woman in tech by circumstance rather than design. “Women add phenomenal value when they create tech products and services for other women,” says Jayne, an expert on ways to declutter the tech in our busy lives. “I began my business because there wasn’t anybody helping people organize their tech. My friends came to me, the mums at pre-school came to me and ultimately a friend said “you can be the Marie Kondo of technology” and my business was born. My clients are predominantly women and parents who are overwhelmed with their iPhones and Mac’s, 1000’s of photo’s and no idea what Time Machine or the Cloud are. I translate the ‘tech speak’ into a language they understand (frequently using the analogy of closet organization!), de-mystify what their devices can do and how they can use it to make their lives easier. By using our unique voices, we can and will make a difference.”
Jayne was kind enough to share some of her expert tips and tricks to declutter the tech and refocus our wired lives – here were her top tips. For more tips on how to declutter the tech, visit Tech Tonic at techtoniclife.com.
- Decluttering your Mobile Phone and Tablets:
Delete all the apps you don’t use. The average person uses 6-10 a week and has 50+ on their phone. They take up space, create visual clutter and, if you really need one in future, you can just download it again. The great thing about a lot of technological advancements is that we don’t need to save everything tp our hardware anymore.
If you really need to carve out more time in your life delete your social media apps. I can hear the gasps of horror. Try it for a week and see what happens. I love to hear from people who do this as they are always surprised – so keep me posted!! And to re-iterate, its ok, you can always download it again.
- Decluttering your Laptop:
Clean your desktop
- Did you last see your desktop image when your computer was shiny and new?
- When you open your laptop and see a screen littered with documents, its stressful and highly distracting. To remedy this, create a file structure in your documents folder. This should be how you would file and find things if you had a filing cabinet. I suggest 5-10 high level files e.g. Financial, Family, Household, Medical, Travel, Official Doc’s, etc. Just drag and drop files into your shiny new folders.
- Anything you don’t need, delete, delete, delete! Choose a beautiful image for your desktop, one that makes you smile, so you start work on a positive note.
- And just in case you need a little more motivation, know that ANYTHING stored on your desktop slows it down!
- Decluttering (and Detangling) your Cords:
So many cords, what are we to do?! At home or the office, I tend to keep my laptop plugged in and have a charger cord attached, yes, literally stuck to my desk.
- On my desk, I have a bowl with headphones, dongle, iPhone and iPad charger (these are coiled up and bulldog clipped to prevent tangles). That way they remain accessible and aren’t knotted up in my desk drawer.
- If I need to take any of them with me, I put them in a pencil case. I suggest a colorful one, which is easily identifiable in your bag.
- Decluttering for Travel:
- Take the minimum that you can.
- If it’s work, chances are you’ll need your laptop but there’s no need to bring the iPad too.
- If it’s vacation time, then the converse usually applies. It also reduces the temptation to work, as it’s a little less efficient to work off an iPad, particularly if you’re not used to working that way!
- As a just incase, ensure your documents are saved in the cloud, so if you do need access, you can retrieve it that way, rather than needing a hard copy.
- Decluttering your Email:
- Don’t look at it first in a morning. Plan your work on paper, tackle what you can, then deal with email. Ideally set aside time throughout the day to deal with it. If you can’t action an email instantly, leave it ‘Unread’ so it is easy to come back to. Set up a Smart Folder for ‘Unread’ mail, so it’s all automatically gathered in one place when you can focus on it.
- Also, turn off email alerts, as they interrupt the thought process and are a constant distraction.
- Set up ‘Auto Archive’, so emails are moved to the archive after, for example, 100 days. Its ok, they don’t disappear and are still searchable, just like your inbox.
- Unsubscribe from all your junk with unroll.me.
- Decluttering your Alarms:
- Do not use your phone as your alarm to wake up – studies show that you turn to the most important thing in your life when you wake up. Make it a human 😉
- The first time I use my phone alarm in the day is as a reminder to leave the house. With 2 children who need to be at school by 8.15, it would be an understatement to say mornings can be a little busy. So, the alarm goes off 10 minutes before we need to leave and is now referred to as the ‘shoe alarm’.
- Do use the phone alarm as a prompt to GO to bed – there is a lovely feature in Clock called Bedtime. The alarm sounds are happy and a nice reminder to stop surfing/binge watching etc and get some sleep!
- Decluttering with Backups:
- Just back it up!! Its not sexy but absolutely essential for your sanity.
- The general rule of thumb is that data should be stored in 3 places for true piece of mind. On the device, the cloud and backed up to an external hard drive.
- Can you imagine losing your photo’s?? Back up your phone to the cloud. Now. And please do not tell me you don’t want to pay $2.99 a month for iCloud storage. Think about how many coffee’s you buy a day, week…
- Today, it’s easy to buy a small, good, 2 TB external hard drive for under $100. They are no longer the size of a coffee table book and are now similar to a phone! Set up Time Machine and you can have automatic back ups.
- Do not use your devices as your personal blankie or pacifier. Only babies have these and you are not a baby but this is how adults are currently using them.
- Put your phone down as much as possible and put your device in a drawer. Out of sight is out of mind and this is even more important if you have impressionable children. The world does not stop turning and if people really want you, they will call.
Get in touch with Tech Tonic if you have any questions! Initial consultations are always complimentary. https://www.techtoniclife.com/contact-tech-tonic/
Check out our blog too for more tips and tricks! https://www.techtoniclife.com/tech-tonic- lifestyle-blog/