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OPLIN 4Cast #629: The life-changing magic of tidying our digital selves

Posted in 4cast, and Organization

I am lucky in that I have a wonderful, loving mother-in-law. While she has many wonderful qualities, organization, especially digital, is not one of them. I spent many hours this weekend managing her email. I must have unsubscribed her from the lists of hundreds of retailers, including ones I didn’t even recognize. Political campaigns, local businesses, wellness newsletters, magazines and more…and the emails were nearly all unread. All in all, I cleared her inbox of more than 27,000 emails that were all commercially-related. There are still thousands more that are from actual people she knows, and I’m not sure I’m ready to go there, yet.

The idea of purging one’s life of unnecessary detritus has always been around, but has taken on new life with the success of Netflix’s show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Although Kondo’s book made bestseller lists in 2014, the Netflix program has caused much more of a stir, and people have started applying Kondo’s method in droves. This new urge for Americans to purge, organize and tidy up their lives has even caused an upswing for thrift stores. But what about digital stuff? Can we do better with that, and focus only those things that “spark joy?” Of course.

  • How to KonMari Your Way to a Better Digital Life [Mashable] “The corollary here is to go through your computer and phone and get rid of things you’ve been meaning to read sometime for way too long: bookmarks, endless tabs, ebooks, and things you saved to Pocket. As Kondo says, “I’m afraid that from personal experience I can tell you right now, ‘sometime’ never comes.'”
  • Marie Kondo, Please Tidy Up Our Digital Lives [Esquire] ” Some of the same questions you explore when you’re physically tidying your home apply to the digital space. Is the information you have at hand truly making you happy? I think that’s a very important question to ask. “
  • The KonMari Method Applied to Your Digital Life [MakeUseOf.com] ”
    I think the Downloads folder is a perfect place to start. It’s much like a clothing closet: there’s a ton of stuff in there, and some of it is great, but a lot of it is easy to discard. There are probably tons of things you don’t use or need: installation files, multiple copies of the same documents, GIFs that you used once, ZIP files, and so on. “
  • 4 Easy Tips to Clear Inbox Clutter from a World-Famous Tidying Guru [Inc] ” The elusive inbox zero seems ever-more-impossible to reach. Old unanswered emails, new ones always coming in…it’s seriously stressful and often an enemy to productivity. Reply All, a podcast about the internet, even created a fake holiday called Email Debt Forgiveness Day to help combat the anxiety our emails cause. “

From the Ohio Web Library:

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