8 Tips to Spring Clean Your Digital Work Life

Not everyone is a digital packrat, but we could all benefit from at least a little spring cleaning.

Whether we’re talking about our drives at work, our folders in the cloud, the apps on our mobile devices or the social media accounts that include our professional personas -- if you’re like most of us, there’s too much content and too much data out there.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about email ….

Sure, storage is cheap -- it’s pretty much free at this point -- but that doesn’t make gluttony smart. It can weigh you down, raise your blood pressure and maybe even keep you up at night.

So with the weather finally warming up, it’s time to shed a layer or two and get back into shape. And this applies to your digital work life too.


Don’t know where to start? We’ve gathered some tips from the experts. 

1. Dump Your Inbox, But Don’t Throw Things Away

“One of the best bang for the buck (simple to do and rewarding) actions you can take is going into your inbox, selecting everything prior to Jan 1, and moving it to an archive folder. Everything will still be available via search, but it will remove a great deal of mental clutter." -- Alan Lepofsky, VP and principal analyst, Constellation Research

2. Do an App Check on Your Phone and Desktop

“If you haven’t used the app in a year -- consider putting it in the trash or storing it away from the desktop.” -- Natalie Lambert, senior director, workspace services at Citrix

3. Clean Up Community Content

“Get rid of old or irrelevant stuff. Start with the basics by removing or archiving unused and outdated content and groups. If there is a more up-to-date version available, mark the old piece as outdated and point to the updated document so your peers are redirected to the latest and greatest. This will slash the amount of time wasted trying to find the information you and others need to do your jobs.” -- Kosheno Moore, senior enterprise community manager, Jive

4. Ask, Do My Twitter Relationships Serve Me?

“I am not a robot. So I unfollowed one thousand-plus people to see if it made my day-to-day online better,” so wrote Gina Trapani, co-founder of ThinkUp and founder of Lifehacker. 

In a blog post last month she explained that to her, Twitter had become destructive distraction. “Scrolling through my home timeline stressed me out. Notifications of new replies or retweets or favorites pulled me out of the moment. Even though I was tired of the curiosity gaps, the FOMO, the long threads of in-jokey back-and-forth about stuff that doesn't really matter, I just kept clicking, favoriting and pulling-to-refresh, like a robot.”

Needless to say, Twitter wasn’t serving her.

Domo founder Josh James, on the other hand, spent good, hard cash to gain Twitter followers via a promoted account.  Doing it organically, at the time when Domo was first founded, didn’t make sense for him.

“Knowing social media is the shortest distance between two points, I was really interested in exploring how it could impact Domo’s operations, recruiting, marketing and sales. I wanted a plan to change things, fast," he wrote in blog post.  

And James reaped some big rewards via Twitter. He engaged with individuals who would later become  employees and customers.  “It’s the responsibility of all CEOs to be social CEOs,” wrote James.

To tweet or not to tweet, isn’t the question. Using Twitter according to your intentions is.

5. Manage Your Enterprise Content

"First decide what you want to keep, and keep it in a secure area. Next, decide what you want to dispose of and dispose of it in a defensible manner. Take what is left and make it a bit less accessible to force your users to decide what to keep and what to dispose of." -- Peter Smerald, director of enablement, EMC Enterprise Content Division

6. Prune Your Social Media Lists

“Do it by priority. Think of it this way: Keep the business equivalent of who you would invite to a wedding. Next, who you would invite to a party. Who you would invite to a conference …" -- R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst, founder, Constellation Research

7. Find a Place for All Your Doohickies

“If you have papers, files, pens, cords and other items spread everywhere, put like items together in their own distinct areas. By organizing and labeling filing cabinets, mail, desk drawers and other storage spaces, and using wall space for shelving, you know exactly where all pieces of your office equipment are and have more room and ease in accessing them.” -- Wesley Hyatt, writer/editor, marketing department SaaS Division, Citrix

8. Make It a 'We' Thing

“Leverage organized co-workers to maintain order. Tap co-workers who have strong organization skills to work with community managers and space-owners moving forward. Once you’ve got a cleaned up virtual space, these people will be your strongest allies for keeping it that way!” -- Kosheno Moore, senior enterprise community manager, Jive

Just Do It

The choice is yours: leaner, cleaner and more agile OR weighed down, slow and cluttered. It seems obvious to me. And all you have to get from Point A to Point B is to act with intention. Not a single task on this list is insurmountable.

Start cleaning!

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicenseTitle image by  Magic Madzik