25 August 2020

Computer Cleanup Challenge – Bookmarks




Week 4: Digital Bookmarks

I’m as guilty as anyone else of bookmarking more than I need to. But it’s just so easy to click the little save button when you find something interesting. Browser bookmarks are a convenient way to keep track of those things you don’t have time to review now but don’t want to leave as an open tab.

(Hint, open tabs are too easily lost if you accidentally shut down your browser or your computer. )

But how many of us have a ginormous list of bookmarks, many of which we don’t even remember saving?

There’s an easy way to remedy that. Take 5 – 10 minute a day to go through your bookmark list. First, check to make sure the link is still valid. Then, determine if you are still interested in the information. As David Allen says, if you can read it through/review the site in two minutes or less, do it! Don’t forget to remove the bookmark once you’re done with the site. 

Need to save the bookmark for future reference? Find a way to store those ‘permanent’ bookmarks separate from the ‘still need to review this info’ bookmarks. Most browsers will allow you to organize your bookmarks into folders as a way of keeping things sorted out.  You could also use Evernote or OneNote as a bookmark reference tool.

You made it to the end of the challenge! Great job on sticking with it! If you joined us for the entire challenge this month I hope your computer is a bit more organized and things are easier to find. Has the increased organization led to greater productivity for you? More free time that you were spending looking for things?

If you want to take a more in-depth look at organizing your computer, you can let me know by signing up for a Discovery Conversation today! I’d love to chat about your organizing goals.

And as always, if you’d rather receive your udpates via email, then don’t forget to Sign up for the Ilios Digital Tips and Tricks newsletter!

18 August 2020

Computer Cleanup Challenge – Desktop/Downloads




Is your computer bogged down with too many icons and too many bookmarks? Are there files and documents everywhere but where you need them? Is all that junk getting in your way and slowing down your productivity? Maybe it’s time for a computer cleanup!

Join me this month as we clear away the clutter and streamline our computers!

Week 3: Desktop files and downloads folder

Congrats! You’ve made it halfway through the challenge! How has it been so far? Have you found it challenging to get your contacts organized or your email straightened out? How’s your productivity going with the increased organization?

Did you know that a cluttered desktop can lead to a slower performing computer? In addition, files that live on the desktop may not be syncing with iCloud or Dropbox or your backup software. Finally, without an organization plan, your desktop can get so cluttered that it is hard to find what you need.

This week, take 10 minutes a day to go through the files littering your computer desktop. Then, move the files to their more appropriate home. Once you’ve cleaned it off, make sure that you save new documents to a documents folder instead of on the desktop.

The downloads folder is an easy place to put things you may only need temporarily. But don’t forget to go through the folder once a week or so and clean out those documents you no longer need, or move the ones you want to keep to their permanent home.

Join us next week to talk about digital bookmarks!

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11 August 2020

Computer Cleanup Challenge – Email




Is your computer bogged down with too many icons and too many bookmarks? Are there files and documents everywhere but where you need them? Is all that junk getting in your way and slowing down your productivity? Maybe it’s time for a computer cleanup!

Join me this month as we clear away the clutter and streamline our computers!

Week 2: Email

If you have over 100 emails unread – you’re not alone!

To start the cleanup process, go through your inbox and mark all the emails as read. Then scan each email starting with the most recent.

Read the email once and decide right away – action item, reference item, trash item. Need details on how that all works? Check out the series I posted here about email management –

When cleaning up, tackle your email in 5 or 10 minute chunks – don’t allow email cleanup to monopolize your whole day. Remember, if an email is more than a month old, there’s probably no urgency with it.

Once you’ve got your email cleaned up, remember to tackle incoming email with the same question – action, reference, or trash. Asking the question, and acting on it, will help you stay on top of email clutter. 

Join us next week when we talk about maintaining a clean desktop. 

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4 August 2020

Computer Cleanup Challenge – Contacts




Is your computer bogged down with too many icons and too many bookmarks? Are there files and documents everywhere but where you need them? Is all that stuff getting in your way and slowing down your productivity?

Maybe it’s time for a computer cleanup!

Join me this month as we clear away the clutter and streamline our computers!

Week 1: Contacts

When working with contacts the first step is to remove any duplicates or combine them to create a more complete entry. This includes finding those entries listed as ‘Lisa’ or ‘Joann’ and completing the entry with her entire name.

Are your contacts in multiple areas like your computer, your phone, your paper calendar? Take some time to go through and consolidate those multiple lists into one location – ideally an online account like a gmail account or iCloud account. Consolidation will help with the duplicates and make it easier to find someone when you need them.

Don’t forget to make sure your phone contacts are set to sync with your online account. This prevents contacts from being saved only on your phone. 

Join us next week when we talk about everyone’s favorite subject – organizing your email!

Would you rather receive your updates via email? Sign up for the Ilios Digital Tips and Tricks newsletter!

9 July 2020

My Favorite Organizing Books




Not everyone is born knowing how to organize. Just like so many things, it’s a skill you develop. So where do you start when you’re ready to declutter and get organized? Here are three of my favorite books on organizing:

Julie MorgensternOrganizing from the Inside Out

It’s a classic for a reason, and many consider it to be fundamental to the organizing world. Julie takes you from step one to finished project.

Barbara HemphillOrganizing Paper @ Home

Even as we move to a more digital world, we will probably never be paperless. In this book, Barbara tackles the goal of paper – less and how to organize both papers and memorabilia like photos and family records. 

David AllenGetting Things Done

David explains the GTD method, which is a great way to organizing your information. However, I do recommend people Google GTD and look at some of the basic diagrams and graphics to get an idea before you tackle the book because it is a dense read if you are coming at it cold.

How about you? Do you have a favorite book on organizing that you’ve bookmarked or underlined? Let me know!

Not into the DIY? There’s an organizer for that! Schedule a call with me to learn more. Or check out napo.net

4 July 2020

App Review – RescueTime




Purpose: RescueTime software automatically tracks your digital activity to provide a clear picture of how you are spending your time. RescueTime works in the background to track what you do and where you go – websites, software, apps, etc. – with the goal of taking you from overwhelmed to focused and productive. 

Benefits: One of the greatest benefits of RescueTime is that it can track online activity as well as desktop activity – time spent on apps such as Word or Photoshop. This means you get a detailed report on where your time goes. In RescueTime you can adjust the settings to indicate certain sites/software as productive while other sites are non-productive. This means that I can mark LinkedIn as productive rather than it being categorized as just another social media site.  

Cost: $0, $9/mo

Opinion: RescueTime is good for keeping me aware of how much time I am spending on non-work activities. Which is usually more than I need to. But it is also helpful to see what I actually accomplished during the week. Sometimes it can feel like I got nothing done, and RescueTime shows me that it isn’t exactly true. I love that it tracks desktop as well as mobile activity. We spend so much time on our mobile devices – both doing work and goofing off – that it’s vital we track the activity to get a clear picture of our day. Another cool RescueTime feature is the ability to block a site or activity for a certain amount of ‘focus time’ to make sure you don’t get distracted.

Need help getting organized?

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