December 21, 2011

End of Year Decluttering

Another year is about to end, and leaving with it should be the detritus that tends to gather over the months. The end of the year is a great time to clean up your email, clean up that cluttered computer desktop and maybe even dump a few friends on Facebook. Even though this cleaning session is only for electronic clutter, the mass of information can weigh heavily on your psyche.

Here are the three things that I will be doing to welcome 2012 with a fresh outlook:

1. Clean up email inboxes

Why does it seem like at the end of each year I get the dreaded "Your inbox is nearly full" message? Oh yes, I've been just keeping everything (and their attachments) in my inbox. I will be dumping both received and sent messages that are over 8 months old and I will be saving some messages and their attachments in a Dropbox account or in a file that is related to the project. I also remove emails that are rated as "Enormous".

I will be doing this with both my work and personal email accounts. Remember to also clean out any email accounts that you use primarily for forwarding purposes and to dump the Trash for each account.

2. Organize projects

Do a full backup of all your 2011 projects. Then do a backup of your backup. I have three systems of backups: an off-site server, an external hard drive and on DVD. The server and external drive are for more current projects, while the DVD is usually for projects that are three or more months old. Getting old projects out of your sight will enable you to concentrate more on the current projects.

3. Clean up Facebook

Facebook is used for everything now including logging onto other sites, posting comments and creating accounts. The end of the year is a good time to remove yourself from groups you are no longer interested in, to dump old (and potentially embarrassing) photos, remove apps that have access to your account, and remove old messages.

Take a good look at your "friends". Can some of them quietly disappear? If you are not interested in being friends with random people, then click on the Friends area of your account, click their checked Friends box and scroll down to Unfriend. It's painless.

Now, to remedy removing a few of your friends, take some time to catch up with your true friends on Facebook. Send a note to someone you have been meaning to say hello to for a while and maybe plan an off-Facebook meet-up.

Photo courtesy of Muffet/Flickr


Bill Swan said...

Well, number 2 is a biggie for me. God I hate backing up files, but I've known too many people who call me and cry when they lost it all.

And number 3 should be a requirement for all teens. Why do you need over 500 friends?

Christina Nellemann said...

I'm in agreement on number 3 as well. However, I think Facebook is also becoming a substitute for many people's websites, so they feel the more – the better.