Keep Your Phone, Email, and Computer Under Control

August 5, 2011

in Tech

keep-computer-under-control

As a biz chick, and a biz chick whose business is online (website design and development), I spend a lot of time on my computer and using my email. If I dont stay on top of things, both my computer and my email tend to get full, disorganized, and generally overwhelming. Taking little steps regularly to keep things under control is much easier (in my opinion) than letting things go for months and then trying to go back and organize and clean them up. So, here are some simple ways that I use to keep my email inbox, my computer, and my phone from becoming cluttered and disorganized.

Organize your inbox

I obviously can’t speak for other biz chicks out there, but I know that my email inbox gets used a lot on a daily basis. My guess is that keeping your email inbox tidy and organized is something plenty of us deal (and maybe struggle) with. So, here’s my number one way of keeping things organized and under control: I use folders for everything! Because of my online business, I can’t and don’t delete the majority of the emails I get, since I need to save most of them for future reference, etc.

Each one of my clients has their own folder in my inbox. This makes navigating my inbox and finding past emails from certain clients or for certain projects quite easy really, even for clients that I’ve had and corresponded with for several years. I also have folders set up for any online bills and receipts that I receive and for other personal things – such as my barrel racing club whose newsletters I receive.

Tip #1: So, if you find yourself getting overwhelmed by the clutter in your inbox, try setting up as many folders as you need in order to get things under control and then take the time to move your emails to the appropriate folders. It really doesn’t take as long as you might be thinking it will, and it is definitely worth it!

De-clutter your computer

Another area that tends to get cluttered up and disorganized over time is your computer. Whether it be client documents, personal photo collections, or the software you use to run your business, I bet the majority of biz chicks’ computers tend to get pretty cluttered pretty fast. Here are two ways that I use to keep my computer from becoming disorganized and bogged down with all the documents and software that I can’t delete.

Tip #1: Backing up my computer regularly. Having an uncluttered, well-performing computer is well worth the cost of investing in a good external hard drive. See my previous post on backing up your computer and other general computer maintenance tips for more information.

Tip #2: Again, I use folders! And subfolders! By keeping the documents and photos, etc., that you can’t back up to the external hard drive and then delete, in their own folders and subfolders on your computer, you will find it fairly easy to navigate and find what you need when you need it and your computer will look and be neat and organized.

Get rid of unused phone apps

I don’t think I’m as prone to overuse of apps on my phone as some people are, but even so, I’ve noticed that my phone tends to start “filling up” with various apps over time. Some of them I may have used only once! Or they may be a game that I played for a while but then got tired of. So, one of the things that I try to do every so often is to go through and uninstall any apps that I never use from my phone. I also go through and delete photos, text messages, emails, and anything else that has been there for a long time but I no longer need or want.
Those are my tips for keeping your phone, computer and email under control. I would love to hear your thoughts and your methods of doing so. Leave a comment and let us know. :)

Image: Michal Marcol

TheLibzter August 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

Haha, I know what you mean! I love my smart phone but sometimes it’s probably not a good thing that I have 24hr access to email! Makes it a little harder to “get away” and “take a break” from work sometimes! :)

keepupweb August 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Nice post Libby. I organize my inbox the same way you do. My trick for keeping my phone uncluttered is I still haven’t bought a smart phone. :) I know, I’m in the minority but between my main computer and my laptop, I’m connected enough already! :)

david_frankk August 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

@TheLibzter sure can.. Thanks for the post.

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closetwriter August 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Oh Libby! I was waiting for someone to say that. That is just too easy to work a little bit each day, ha! @TheLibzter

TheLibzter August 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Hi Christina,

I totally agree with how time-consuming it can be to keep things organized! Which is why the best way for me to do it is to keep on top of it by doing a little every day so it never gets SO bad that it would take days to organize. :)

Christina August 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

These are great tips Libby! What I struggle with is etching out the time to organize all of this. I feel like it takes a full day to really clear it out. Ugh!

Tia Peterson August 8, 2011 at 2:14 am

@janesheeba LOL Same here.

janesheeba August 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I am not a tech savvy when it comes to apps. I don’t use much apps and if I find that a particular app is of no use to me I just uninstall it immediately without postponing. With emails I can handle them only if I am as organized as I am (well, I can proudly say that I am good at organizing my inbox). If it is not that way, I can really get mad!

TheLibzter August 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

@KaloyanBanev

I am not really a naturally organized person either, which is why I have to put thought and conscientious effort into keeping my computer and email inbox and phone neat and uncluttered, otherwise they definitely wouldn’t be! Thanks for commenting!

KaloyanBanev August 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I am not very organized person, my desktop is almost full with icons and documents, the same apply for my phone. I think it is good to make clean-up from time to time and put everything on the right place, I must admit sometimes, I am searching for more than a hour to find what I am looking for.

TheLibzter August 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I agree! Even if the majority of your emails arent ones that you need to respond to or even read, it can be overwhelming just having to clean them out of your inbox once there gets to be a significant amount of them. Good luck organizing, hope its a lot easier than it looks like it will be! :)

TheLibzter August 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for commenting! :)

Brankica August 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I use e-mail folders but only when I remember and that isn’t too often. Going to start organizing e-mails and files on my computer, especially including bookmarks, better and see how it goes, thanks :)

Tia Peterson August 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Timely post for me, too, Libby. My email inbox is out of control at this point, so I need to organize it. It’s funny that just seeing 100+ new emails can be overwhelming, even if 85 of them are newsletters or spam or something in between.

TheLibzter August 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I entirely agree that keeping things organized can really boost your productivity. Thanks for commenting!

TheLibzter August 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

Yikes, I thought it was a lot of work managing 3 email accounts, I don’t know how you do it with 6! :)

bodynsoil August 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

This is a very timely post, I just spent the last two days clearing the inbox’s of my 6 email address, yes I said 6! I think clearing my phone of apps is also a good idea as well as it drains battery power and mental resources along with it. I have always had a very well organized folder system for my computer, thankfully that is something I don’t have on my todo list, however there are times that I have to search for some rather obscure filings.. ooops.

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