Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

12 May 2013

Digital Hoarding

We know what physical clutter looks like–stacks of newspapers, dusty knick-knacks, piles of clothes. But computer clutter is also becoming an increasing problem.

What does computer clutter – or digital hoarding at one extreme – look like? It can be tens of thousands of emails, old photos, and music files taking up hard drive space, making it difficult to find needed information quickly. How many of your video or music files have you looked at or listened to more than once? Do you have hundreds of photos from an event you don’t even recall? How about pictures with people you don’t like in them?

Lack of organization is part of the problem, but for some people it goes beyond that. Have you considered getting a new computer since your hard drive is almost full? Do you continue buying portable disk drives because you keep running out of space? Are you overly excited by the unlimited possibilities of cloud storage?

The problem has only gotten worse since digital storage has gotten less costly. These days you can buy a terabyte hard drive for less than $150 dollars. How big is a terabyte? You can store 2,000 hours of music or 300 hours of high quality video on a terabyte drive. That is a lot of stuff!

So how do you simplify your digital life?

  • Make Choices: You aren’t required to be on every social network or subscribed to every newsletter. Figure out the ones that make the most sense for you and eliminate the others. Consider using a RSS reader to keep up with blogs you follow. Do a quick sort on your digital photos to delete those out of focus or just plain bad.
  • Sift through emails: Delete those you won’t need, archive others, and develop a strategy for moving forward.
  • For computer files, use the same category names on your computer as you do on paper. By using the same structure and folder style as your paper files, it may be easier to find a computer document and put things away in both places.
  • Label your files deliberately. Even though each paper in your file cabinet doesn’t need a name, every file in your computer does. A file name should be descriptive and may need to include: document title, creation date, author, version etc. You should be able to find the digital file you need without having to open it. (For those of you in the advanced course, you can also use metadata to tag your files…more on that later!)

Sometimes the amount of stuff in our digital life can seem overwhelming. But take it one piece at a time and before long you will have computer clutter under control!

Big thanks to Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer® and owner of Custom Living Solutions in San Francisco, for writing the original article this newsletter is based off.
**Image by Flickr user psd, used via Creative Commons.

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Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

19 October 2017

Is Your Business Prepared for Disaster?

If you’ve turned on the news this week, you’ve seen the devastation wildfire is bringing to California. You may be familiar with general disaster preparedness  but do you know what to do as a small business owner?
According to the Small Business Administration, 40-60% of businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster. So what can you do to keep your entrepreneurial dream alive? 

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Continue Reading
12 September 2017

Success is slow

If at first you don’t succeed…

As adults, we’ve forgotten what we knew as kids – nobody is an expert the first time. We try a new task and expect to be good right away. When we’re not, we believe its because we can’t learn new things. I recently picked up a new crafting hobby and my first attempt didn’t 100% match the example. Undeterred, I tried again with similar results. Its a struggle because I know I’m getting better, but I want to be awesome today.

boy pouting

Learning new tech works the same way. I met someone recently who opened up MailChimp for the first time, scanned through the pages and options, then decided it wasn’t intuitive enough for her to figure out. Do you have the same reaction? When you are struggling with learning a new program do you seek out video tutorials, blogs, or the FAQ section? Or do you bang your head against the keyboard, hoping the information will work into your brain via osmosis?

These days we have access to more information than we know what to do with. Any problem you have, chances are that somebody else has had the same issue. But where do you go to find the answers?

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Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
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Continue Reading
30 August 2017

Sleep tight with your digital device

Is your phone keeping you awake?

 We’ve heard the reports that using our mobile devices before bedtime is a sure way to disrupt our sleep. Digital devices are emitting greater amounts of blue LED light these days in comparison to other light sources in our house.  Recent studies show that blue light suppresses melatonin (the hormone the brain produces at night to induce sleepiness) more effectively than any other visible wavelength, potentially leaving people more alert when they would otherwise start feeling drowsy.
During the day, a little extra blue light from our computer doesn’t make a difference when we’re already getting so much from the environment. But all that changes at night. How many of us check our email, play a game, or look at Facebook before we turn off the bedside lamp? I know I”m guilty of it almost every night.
So if blue light before bed is bad for us, what are we supposed to do?

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Continue Reading
28 August 2017

CrashPlan – Stay or Go?

CrashPlan is getting out of the online backup business for home owners. Not only is this a bummer for me personally, but CrashPlan has been my primary recommendation for anyone wanting to get started with online backup. So now what?

The great news is, CrashPlan has extended your subscription for 60 days (past when you normally expire) to give you time to make a decision. If you are set to expire Jan 1, 2018, then you will have till March to figure things out.

If you want the easiest route, I would recommend staying with Crashplan and moving to their small business plan for a year. This plan only requires you to log in to migrate your account. You will be able to backup for free until the end of your current CrashPlan subscription, then enjoy a 75% discount for the first 12 months – $2.50/mo. As far as I can tell, this is $2.50 per device for those coming over from the CrashPlan Home plan.

After that year the cost for CrashPlan’s Small Business Plan is $10/computer, and I would recommend re-evaluating the options available. Currently, Backblaze is a great alternative at $50/computer/year or $4.17/mo. That’s only one Starbucks (if you like your caffeine large)!

 Whichever route you choose, remember that online sync – Dropbox/OneDrive/G Drive – is not the same thing as online backup. Do not use Dropbox etc. as a means of backing up your files when there are better options.

 Questions? Let me know! I strongly believe that online backup is worth every penny and would be glad to help you get started!

 

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Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
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Talk to you soon 🙂
27 June 2017

LastPass and Password Protection

Password Protection and Peace of Mind

Hackers are out there to steal your information. Once they’ve got it, they’ll sell it to the highest bidder and destroy your identity. Or at least, that’s what the media tells us. There are large corporate breaches, and everyone knows someone who’s had their information hacked. You can’t prevent these corporate breaches from happening, but you can take steps to keep you and your information safe during daily use. How? Well, all the articles tell us the same things:

“Don’t use the same password more than once. Use strong passwords. Change your passwords frequently. Don’t tell anyone your passwords.”

It’s good advice, but how are you supposed to remember all that information? Some people manage their passwords in a written notebook near their computer or in a digital file on their computer. I’ve kept mine in Evernote and had Google Chrome’s ‘Save Password’ option to help me out. But other people choose very simple passwords or use the same password for everything. Fortunately, password managers – LastPass, KeyPass, Dashlane, 1Password – were created to address those best practices we keep getting told.

So what is a password manager?

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂
Continue Reading
12 May 2017

Inbox Hero with Inbox Zero

Be an Inbox Hero with Inbox Zero!

Check out any article on email management and you’ll see the phrase ‘Inbox Zero’. Although it’s a been a concept for many years, the current definition explains that having zero emails in your inbox is a sign of success. But did you know that wasn’t the original intent? Merlin Mann, the guy behind Inbox Zero, didn’t see the zero as a reference to the number of messages in an inbox, but “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox”.

So how do you go about spending less time in your inbox? Especially when your unread messages are climbing past triple digits. 

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Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
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Talk to you soon 🙂
Continue Reading

Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

19 October 2017

Is Your Business Prepared for Disaster?

If you’ve turned on the news this week, you’ve seen the devastation wildfire is bringing to California. You may be familiar with general disaster preparedness  but do you know what to do as a small business owner?
According to the Small Business Administration, 40-60% of businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster. So what can you do to keep your entrepreneurial dream alive? 

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂
Read More

12 September 2017

Success is slow

If at first you don’t succeed…

As adults, we’ve forgotten what we knew as kids – nobody is an expert the first time. We try a new task and expect to be good right away. When we’re not, we believe its because we can’t learn new things. I recently picked up a new crafting hobby and my first attempt didn’t 100% match the example. Undeterred, I tried again with similar results. Its a struggle because I know I’m getting better, but I want to be awesome today.

boy pouting

Learning new tech works the same way. I met someone recently who opened up MailChimp for the first time, scanned through the pages and options, then decided it wasn’t intuitive enough for her to figure out. Do you have the same reaction? When you are struggling with learning a new program do you seek out video tutorials, blogs, or the FAQ section? Or do you bang your head against the keyboard, hoping the information will work into your brain via osmosis?

These days we have access to more information than we know what to do with. Any problem you have, chances are that somebody else has had the same issue. But where do you go to find the answers?

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂
Read More

30 August 2017

Sleep tight with your digital device

Is your phone keeping you awake?

 We’ve heard the reports that using our mobile devices before bedtime is a sure way to disrupt our sleep. Digital devices are emitting greater amounts of blue LED light these days in comparison to other light sources in our house.  Recent studies show that blue light suppresses melatonin (the hormone the brain produces at night to induce sleepiness) more effectively than any other visible wavelength, potentially leaving people more alert when they would otherwise start feeling drowsy.
During the day, a little extra blue light from our computer doesn’t make a difference when we’re already getting so much from the environment. But all that changes at night. How many of us check our email, play a game, or look at Facebook before we turn off the bedside lamp? I know I”m guilty of it almost every night.
So if blue light before bed is bad for us, what are we supposed to do?

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂
Read More

28 August 2017

CrashPlan – Stay or Go?

CrashPlan is getting out of the online backup business for home owners. Not only is this a bummer for me personally, but CrashPlan has been my primary recommendation for anyone wanting to get started with online backup. So now what?

The great news is, CrashPlan has extended your subscription for 60 days (past when you normally expire) to give you time to make a decision. If you are set to expire Jan 1, 2018, then you will have till March to figure things out.

If you want the easiest route, I would recommend staying with Crashplan and moving to their small business plan for a year. This plan only requires you to log in to migrate your account. You will be able to backup for free until the end of your current CrashPlan subscription, then enjoy a 75% discount for the first 12 months – $2.50/mo. As far as I can tell, this is $2.50 per device for those coming over from the CrashPlan Home plan.

After that year the cost for CrashPlan’s Small Business Plan is $10/computer, and I would recommend re-evaluating the options available. Currently, Backblaze is a great alternative at $50/computer/year or $4.17/mo. That’s only one Starbucks (if you like your caffeine large)!

 Whichever route you choose, remember that online sync – Dropbox/OneDrive/G Drive – is not the same thing as online backup. Do not use Dropbox etc. as a means of backing up your files when there are better options.

 Questions? Let me know! I strongly believe that online backup is worth every penny and would be glad to help you get started!

 

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂

27 June 2017

LastPass and Password Protection

Password Protection and Peace of Mind

Hackers are out there to steal your information. Once they’ve got it, they’ll sell it to the highest bidder and destroy your identity. Or at least, that’s what the media tells us. There are large corporate breaches, and everyone knows someone who’s had their information hacked. You can’t prevent these corporate breaches from happening, but you can take steps to keep you and your information safe during daily use. How? Well, all the articles tell us the same things:

“Don’t use the same password more than once. Use strong passwords. Change your passwords frequently. Don’t tell anyone your passwords.”

It’s good advice, but how are you supposed to remember all that information? Some people manage their passwords in a written notebook near their computer or in a digital file on their computer. I’ve kept mine in Evernote and had Google Chrome’s ‘Save Password’ option to help me out. But other people choose very simple passwords or use the same password for everything. Fortunately, password managers – LastPass, KeyPass, Dashlane, 1Password – were created to address those best practices we keep getting told.

So what is a password manager?

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂
Read More

12 May 2017

Inbox Hero with Inbox Zero

Be an Inbox Hero with Inbox Zero!

Check out any article on email management and you’ll see the phrase ‘Inbox Zero’. Although it’s a been a concept for many years, the current definition explains that having zero emails in your inbox is a sign of success. But did you know that wasn’t the original intent? Merlin Mann, the guy behind Inbox Zero, didn’t see the zero as a reference to the number of messages in an inbox, but “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox”.

So how do you go about spending less time in your inbox? Especially when your unread messages are climbing past triple digits. 

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon 🙂
Read More

Get More Digital Productivity Tips

Are you ready for tips about digital productivity and info about tools that can get you out of the office quicker?
Sign up for our Tips and Tools newsletter to save time!
Email address
Talk to you soon :)