Digital decluttering is the next frontier. It’s often the declutter that people didn’t realize that they needed to address to less stress and enjoy a more peaceful life. The flooding like we are witnessing in the Midwest right now once again underscores the need to protect your digital data. Everything is fine…until it isn’t. In 2019, there’s just no reason to lose important information to a natural disaster, because data loss makes a catastrophic loss even more damaging.
Don’t let those perfect closets fool you. Your neighbor, coworker or spouse might be a mess where it counts today…in their digital life.
We help client cross the digital/IRL (In Real Life) boundaries all the time. People either see their physical and digital world as two separate problems or as the same problem along one continuum.
Photos are often the first thing that people reach out for help on. Maybe their parents pass away, and suddenly the ancestral archive of physical photos stored in shoeboxes moves to the adult children’s homes. But what is the value of a photo today if you can’t share it online? Will you lose sleep about the risk of fire, flood, or extreme storm damaging the one and only copy? Here are five steps we take to get photos organized:
- Start with a written plan. Bullets points are ideal. Don’t get stumped on process or tech details. Just decide to decide to move forward on photo organizing.
- Organize your photos into groups. Figure out what you have. Physical photos. Ancient love letters. Physical memorabilia like medals, kids’ artwork, genealogy documents. Old media, like Super8MM film, VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, and USB drives, even floppy disks!
- Once you see what you have, you can reduce by getting rid of duplicates; release low-quality photos, empty photo albums and frames to save space, and take care of trash that was stashed in with your photos. Then decide whether you want to reset those physical assets in photo-safe storage boxes or digitize those precious photos.
- Tweaking is a 4th step of the process. Photos are for sharing. Create gifts for other family members from your organized archives. Scan photos and upload them to your cloud service. Create a backup using the 3-2-1 method (at least 3 copies in 2 different places, with at least 1 copy available in the cloud). Upload photos to genealogy sites like Ancestry.com if you are intrigued by the connections you might make. Invest in higher-quality photo-safe storage boxes for whatever physical photos you decide to keep; the originals are your best backup copy, after all.
- Reward yourself for getting this part of your digital life organized. Celebrate by sharing memories with family and friends. Frame the best and hang them in your home. Make photo books and flip through them with the younger generation. Photos are digital files today, but we take photos to build and share relationships. It’s really your story (not the tech) that matters.
After photos, the digital services that we get the most calls for include:
- Email – read more about organizing email
- Calendars – read more about using an electronic calendar
- Financial/Money – read more about what organized money looks like
- General document management for work or home – read more about how to organize your computer files
- Organizing a lifetime of vital records – read more about what vital records you should keep safe in case of emergencies
Managing your digital like if a rather new-ish, modern problem for the average person. If we can help you learn how to cope and thrive, please just contact us.