With more of our lives moving to the digital world, how can you keep it all organized?
I’ll let you have a little peek into how I organize. I organize only because otherwise I can’t find anything and I waste a lot of time. But, once set up it doesn’t take much time to maintain.
The thing to remember is the context of where you are using things and your goals. Say you are trying to spend less time on social media, have them off the first page of your phone or tablet is helpful. If you are having trouble focusing only have work related apps on a page and perhaps a focus app that shuts off certain sites.
I keep my apps on separate pages based on how I use them and want to use them. Some of my items are shortcuts to web pages or documents. Here is how to create shortcuts on your pages in Android. I will be linking to what I use, but you can do Google searches for your technology.
- My first page is Morning. Notice no social media or news, which I stay off of until later in the day.
- Shortcut to a journaling page document
- Kindle app for my morning reading
- Shortcut to a spiritual membership I am in
- Notion.so which has my morning routine
- Bible and prayer apps
- Google Chrome
- A weather app
- What’s App for my international clients
- Zoom and Skype
- Calendar, clock, calculator
- Gmail and google apps folder, Microsoft apps folder
- Xodo PDF reader and editor and Adobe Acrobat reader
- A breathing and a water app for breaks
- A meeting Bixby routine which turns off all notifications when I press it
- Evernote for notes
- Lastpass password keeper
- Linked in
- Calendar widget
- Some online class portals like Udemy and Sounds True
- Music apps Perfect Ear and Simply Piano
- A folder with news apps
- Feedly for blog posts
- Sky Map for astronomy
- Word for the day, DuoLingo to help me learn, World Geography and Daily Art
- My church’s app
4. Fun/Social Media
- My game launcher which has mainly word games, design games and some kid’s games for my Grandson
- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
- Amazon apps
- Spotify for music
- Reading apps Scribd, Libby and Hoopla (the last two I get library ebooks from)
- Insight timer for meditation
- Daily art widget with an art picture
- Shortcut to daily review questions
6. Misc apps – mostly apps I rarely use or that came with my tablet and I can’t remove
- Play store and Galaxy store
- App Manager to move apps to my sd card
- Trackr to find things I’ve attached a tracker to
- Samsung apps
- Voice recorder
- Body Groove
- Foam roller
- 7 min workout
- Stretching exercises
- Upright posture
- Migraine Buddy
- The app that connects me to my doctor’s portal
8. For new apps
I keep them on this page until I see if I like them, then I can move them to their appropriate page or uninstall.
I also organize my documents folder into folders: Finance/Business, Community, Frequently Attached (documents I regularly send to people), Home, Journaling, Meditation, MySimplerLife, Nature, Personal Development, Planning/Projects, Spirituality, Wellness, and Writing.
As I mainly stream media, I don’t have movies, mp3s or podcasts to organize.
Monthly maintenance: move any apps to my SD card that can go, update any apps telling me to update, change my background, make sure all apps are off page 8, move any documents from my download folder to my SD card in the correct folder, do a quick scan to see if there are any apps I no longer use.
When I am out, I don’t want to be distracted by my phone. I want to be with the people I am with and see the nature I am in. So I have only one page for my apps:
- For waiting time, Feedly for blog posts and my Kindle app with one book downloaded
- Tools: Voicemail, calendar, calculator, voice recorder, note app
- Facebook in case my daughter messages me and Instagram to upload pictures from my phone
- Weather widget
- Google chrome
- And the Google Play Store
Monthly maintenance: I delete texts and voicemails I no longer need, do any updates required and transfer pictures from my phone to my computer.
When I open my browser page it opens Google Chrome tabs for various email accounts, Asana, my calendar and Facebook so I can check in at MySimplerLife Nest. (Here’s how you can do that in Google Chrome.)
I try to limit what is on my desktop and clean it off regularly. On my desktop:
- Frequently attached folder (documents I regularly send to people)
- Calendar 2022 folder (my declutter calendar, graphics, links to each month, original files)
- MySimplerLife Graphics folder (for courses, my bio pix)
- My book folder (files, notes and graphics for my book)
- Current folder for PDFs I am reading, audio I am listening to, and programs I am doing
- A few text docs from various calls, projects, etc. that I will organize at the end of the month
I also organize My Documents folder. I have top folders with characters at the front so they are at the top of My Documents:
- ^Personal Growth
Within each of those folders are subfolders like I have a menus subfolder in the Home folder. MySimplerLife has folders for each course and subfolders for each class. Each year’s calendar is a different folder. I also have a Business Binder folder, coaching agreements, guest posts, website, and backup folders. And I have a !PIP folder in most top level folders for Projects in Progress.
Most of the other folders under My documents were automatically created or older archived folders.
My Pictures are organized by season so 2017-Fall and 2022-Spring. And within those folders may be subfolders with event or where they were taken, ie Wedding, Butterfly exhibit, Hemlock Crossing Walk, etc. Or random pictures will be in there. See more in Organizing Digital Photos.
iTunes takes care of my audio and most of my videos are in my pictures folder unless it was for my business. Then they are in my business folder.
Monthly Maintenance: Clear off computer desktop, clean out download folder and empty the recycle bin.
I try to only go into email at certain times. This is still a work in progress for me.
But, when I have email time I process, not just read. All my emails have an icon (Gmail calls them stars). A checkmark for things I need to do (then I put the task on my to do list), star for things to read, and purple question mark icon for things I am waiting for from other people. Things I may need for future reference I will put in a folder or just archive.
I don’t put too many emails in folders now, since it’s easier to use the search then look through the folders. I do have a few folders I use:
- Accounting for any receipts, etc. I might need for taxes
- Folders for certain clients and family
- Registrations folder for things I buy or sign up for that I may need the login for
- Smiley – for kind emails from people to read if I’m feeling down
You may be surprised to know that I am not an inbox zero proponent. Email is not important enough to me to make sure there is nothing in my inbox. You can spend a lot of time on email maintenance that I find isn’t worth it.
Weekly maintenance – go through to see everything has an icon or is archived. Archive items that were done. Follow up with items I am waiting for.
On all my digital items I have a blue light filter. I also have limits for certain programs.
What did I miss that would be helpful for you? Do you have any tips that could help others organize digitally?