Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tidy Tuesday: Technology

Did you know that the iPhone allows 35 browser windows to be open?  That's the max.  It used to be eight.  I found this out by trying to press the "+" button to open another browser, and I couldn't.  Because I already had 35 windows in use.  Whoops.

Often times, I will open a window to something I want to read later (like an article about organization), but I don't know if I want to pin it.  Or something I want to remember to look up later (like song lyrics), but I don't have time to read them now.  I might be driving, so I ask Siri to Google something for me.  Then life goes on and I forget about my windows and then BAM.  I have 35 windows open at once.

I do this with bookmarks on my computer at work.  And free Amazon books.  And free apps.  I also save PDF documents in a file to read later.  Except for that I forget and then I have fifty documents to read, and I feel overwhelmed and don't make time to read them.  I don't hoard much in life, but information is certainly something I do hoard.

Today we are going to tidy up this technology clutter.  Here is the process I am using:

The first thing I do is quickly scan each article/document/link and close or delete anything that I know I no longer need or want.

Next, I pin everything I can.  Even if I'm not sure it is something I will use, I pin it.  I can always delete the pin later.  Plus, I have almost six thousand pins.  One more isn't going to hurt anything.

Then I sort.  Similar to pinning, but related to bookmarks.  Some links on my computer at work are things I reference often (like the county assessor's website).  I create folders (Work/Personal/School) and then drag and drop anything I need to reference back to into these folders.  I have a maximum of 10 links in each of these folders.

After this, you should have a manageable amount of items remaining.  Now go to each site.  Delete links that are dead ends.  If the content is long and you are unable to read it at the time, put into a folder marked "Read Later".  If you can't read it now, but will read it soon, put it into a folder marked "Read Now".  Otherwise, read it now and then get rid of it.  To make sure I do get through these items, I set aside one night during the week to read the "Read Now" folder.  Once I read something, I delete it.  Once the folder is empty, I choose three from the "Read Later" folder and then repeat.  Or I commit to reading one e-book per week (or month, depending on how much time I have).  I write these time commitments down, because if I don't, I will forget, or I will make excuses to avoid them.  And if I'm not going to read them, I might as well just delete them anyway, right?

For apps, I decide if the app brings something new to me that none of my other apps can do.  If the answer is no, I delete it.  If the answer is yes, then I keep it.  I give it a few months, and if I'm just not using the app, then I delete it.

By taking these steps, I am helping myself get through the information I want to read.  I get rid of the unnecessary, and then make small goals to get through the rest.  I hope this system helps you eliminate some virtual clutter in your life!

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