Spring cleaning your computer

Spring cleaning your computer

Spring may still be a long way off, but resolving to clean up the content on your computer requires far less effort than actually going round a house and doing a proper spring clean.

Think of it as a good way to start easing your way into the New Year by doing something productive.

Deal with emails

Whole books have been written on how to tackle emails and if you have a serious email problem then you may want to invest in one of them. For the rest here are some key tips:

  • Go through your inbox and delete any email you see unless you still have a reason to keep it.
  • Unsubscribe from any newsletters you never actually read (be honest). Services like Unroll.me can do this in bulk but bear in mind that you are sharing your information with another company in the process.
  • Set up filters or folders to put non-urgent emails (such as newsletters you do want to read) into dedicated places where they are easy to find and access.
  • Use email settings to highlight emails from “VIPs”, i.e. the people who matter in your life.
  • Take content out of emails and put it in an appropriate place.

To clarify the last point, if you’re storing an email because it has details of an event, put the event in your calendar and delete the email. If the details are still tentative, that’s fine, one of the great benefits of going digital is that you can always change the entry later.

Update and uninstall software

Some items of software will update automatically and others will prompt you to do so, although in some cases only if you open it. For others you will need to check.

Take some time to check your software settings and, in the process, think about whether you still need the software at all. If you do, consider whether you need it to be installed on your PC or laptop or whether you can use a cloud-based version of the software.

Clean up your content

Let’s be honest, we all start the year with great intentions, but as time goes by the digital clutter creeps in. Now is as good a time as any to sort it out!

Bookmarks – you see something interesting and you hit the favourite option and, by the time one year rolls into the next, your carefully-curated list has grown like weeds.

Even if you’re not normally into browsing Pinterest, it can be a great place for all these “I’ll read them later, maybe” links. Evernote, Keep or OneNote can be other great ways to store links more mindfully.

Using services like this will clear up the list so that the ones in your browser are those you actually use regularly.

Organise your documents and folders

If you have any documents, photos, videos, music files or basically any other random content scattered around your computer, now is the perfect time to delete them and or categorise them properly into folders and/or back-up/archive them.

You need to set up a system, such as saving files by date or using a naming system so that you can quickly search for and find whichever picture, folder or video file you need to access.