OK, so we’ve all been online for a few years now and in that time we have managed to accumulate quite the digital footprint. Your inbox is full of newsletter updates, your twitter feed moves so fast you can barely keep up with it. And you can’t remember who that random dude on facebook is. Just like your physical environment, the clutter in your digital life can actually cause more of a headache than it’s worth. So it’s time to get your digital feng shui on. Here are 6 tips for decluttering your online life.
6 Tips for Decluttering Your Online Life
1. Hit the unsubscribe button
Do this immediately. I am certain you are receiving a bunch of daily newsletters and emails that are no longer relevant to you. Instead of deleting them every day go through each one and unsubscribe. Might seem laborious but do this while watching your favourite trash tv tonight and you’ll be irrelevant-newsletter free by the end of the evening.
2. Delete delete delete
Hopefully you do this already but you could do with shrinking that email inbox down. I do this in gmail by searching by sender name, highlighting all and hitting delete. I mean, do I really need 300 emails for STA Travel dating back to 2006? No, I really don’t. Nope.
3. Audit your twitter
At one point I was following back every single follow I got on twitter. Whilst this is generally good manners I found that there was quite a number of twitter folk who follow then unfollow just to boost their own stats. I also noticed that people I had chosen to follow in 2009 were no longer of interest or relevant to me.
There are a number of useful tools you can use to help you to bulk unfollow. Webistes such as who.unfollowed.me show who is following you, who hasn’t followed back, and who unfollowed you. It is a quick way to see your twitter follower status. Another good tool is SocialBro, it’s a much more powerful program that offers a more in-depth analysis on the status of your twitter relationships.
I recommend doing a twitter audit over a period of a few days because twitter might become suspicious and suspend your account if you do too much following/unfollowing in one go.
Also, I don’t recommend unfollowing everyone who doesn’t follow you back. Use your discretion. I follow many folk who genuinely interest me but I know are unlikely to follow me back.
4. The Facebook Cull
I’ve been on Facebook since 2006. In that time I have met many a folk from all over the world and we’ve become facebook buddies. But even though that one evening at party felt like you might be best mates forever you’ve realised that you will never speak again. Or maybe that ex-colleague of yours who now harps on about rather questionable political ideas? Or maybe that old-classmate who insists on post passive-aggressive updates on an hourly basis? It’s time to start hitting the unfriend button. I had a good cull about 3 years ago and it felt so refreshing to not have my newsfeed filled with nonsense (well, not as much nonsense than before).
5. Goodbye needy plugins
After 2 years on wordpress I had accumulated a rather large amount of plugins on my blog. When my site was starting to run pretty slow I took a look at the long list of plugins and decided to get strict. I asked myself, is this plugin really enhancing my blog? If I could not answer a big strong yes then I hit the delete button. My blog is now running much faster, is more streamlined and user-friendly.
6. Hit the favourites
When I changed laptops and started to import my internet browser favourites I realised just how many websites I had bookmarked over the years. There were websites, blog posts and images that I had bookmarked in 2009/10 that I had never looked at again. My bookmarks had become so cluttered and messy and pointless that I had to give them a good audit. All the irrelevant links were deleted. It’s worth testing your bookmarked pages because I found several that had errors or just disappeared. Maybe think about renaming or creating new bookmark folders that are relevant to your work and interests now. Drag your favourite bookmarks over and delete the rest.
Have you had a good declutter of your online life recently? What did you do?