The midway point of 2015 is fast approaching, and we’re sure all of those well-intended organisation resolutions from January have started slipping behind. Check out this month’s 5+ tips to get your online life back under control!
One of the key ways to prevent clutter building in your inbox is to stop it coming in altogether. Set aside some time to go through and unsubscribe from any lists you no longer want to receive, and if the task seems to daunting enlist the help of a service such as Unroll.Me to make the process easier for you.
If you aren’t quite ready to unsubscribe completely, consider setting up a rule to send emails from specified mailing lists into a “Read Later” folder. If a few months down the track you haven’t even looked in here, you’re probably safe to unsubscribe altogether!
Tame your Inbox
Once an email has been actioned, consider what your next steps are:
- If you definitely won’t need it in the future – delete.
- If you know you’ll be referring back to it regularly, pop it into a separate folder to your inbox where you can find it by searching if required, or assign it to a category of your choosing for easy recall.
- If you aren’t going to be using a message again regularly, but need to hold on to it for record keeping or other reasons, consider using your email client’s Archive feature. Outlook’s Auto-Archive rules will automatically archive messages in a chosen folder that are older than a specified age.
Control your tabs
Let’s face it, we all have a bad case of tab explosion every now and then and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but when your computer starts grinding to a halt consider getting help.
Depending on your web browser, there are different solutions to this problem. Tab Killer allows you to save the page URLs you want to open in a new tab, but condenses these to a popup list where you can click to open later. OneTab is a similar extension that when clicked will convert your current open tabs into a list, which you can then restore from one at a time or all at once.
Organise your bookmarks
Like tabs, bookmarks are easy to lose control of and their usefulness slowly decreases the more haphazardly they are arranged. How often do you waste time searching the web for a page you remember using before, because you didn’t know if it was buried in your clutter of bookmarks?
Bookmark folders can come in very handy here. Consider having your top 5-10 visited sites displayed along the top of your browser, then organising the rest of your bookmarked links in a folder system. This could include folders for news sites, work related links, tutorials, or anything else relevant for you.
Name your files properly
Now this isn’t an online-only tip, and applies to cloud storage systems like OneDrive or Dropbox as well as our regular desktop storage. Creating and maintaining a meticulous folder tree might be possible for some people, but many of us have given that a go and two weeks later been back to a full desktop and mish-mash of files in our documents folder.
Rather than focusing on where things go, try making sure files are named with a consistent structure and keywords to ensure they are easy to find using your search feature. Structured folders aim to make items easier to find – so why not just search? To keep your desktop tidy consider using a few basic folders such as Work and Photos so items can be kept out of sight, but with proper file names a searching can be just as effective as a 100 branch folder tree.