Last week I took a fabulous online course with Victoria Hudgins on the AltSummit Channel about organizing your digital world. Victoria is a very busy mother of twin toddlers and she gives us a glimpse into her charmed life on her blog A Subtle Revelry.
Now I am admittedly a late person (always running 10-15 minutes late for everything), but the contradiction is that I am also very organized. I might not always keep up with the laundry, but if my bedside drawer is not picked up, I don’t rest easy. New territory for me is my personal laptop and keeping my digital world organized.
In the past (when I still had a 9-5 job), I only used my personal laptop for play, so if I didn’t exactly keep things picked up digitally, I didn’t worry too much. At that time, my business computer was immaculate – a million folders in my inbox, calendar notifications…you get the idea. Since I’ve started using my personal computer for my business, I’ve had to start rethinking how I use my PC, and my Gmail account, and my Google Calendar, and the list goes on and on!
Victoria gave us a 10 Day Challenge, and I would love to extend this to you. I challenge you to take 10 days in the next month to tackle each item on this list.
10 Day Digital Organizational Challenge
- News Feed (Web-based Aggregator)
- Social Media
- List Making
- Inspiration Private
- Inspiration Public
- A Plan for Reviews
- Buy yourself something pretty!
Email – Label everything in your inbox, reduce your inbox by using Filters & Stars in your Gmail account. I star emails that I need to come back to at a later time. The general rule of thumb is if you can respond in 5 minutes or less, you should respond immediately. If it takes longer, then you need a system that allows you to come back to it.
News Reader - Google Reader is my aggregate of choice, and Lifehacker has a nice article on how to trick it out. Victoria recommends setting up your reader so that you have a weekly reading list (possibly 10 blogs), a monthly reading list (where you can spend ~4 hours catching up on your secondary blogs), and an “I’m bored and want some inspiration” list. I have also heard from other bloggers that they find a number that they feel comfortable with keeping up with (say 25 blogs) and if there is a new, fabulous blog that they MUST follow, they remove one from their list.
Calendar - I have been using Google Calendars for about 4 years now and I adore it! I have a calendar for everything, and it all syncs to my phone. I can share my calendar with friends (or my husband), I can create a calendar for anything I want to see separately, and I can turn off each of the calendars and search individually by calendar. My favorite is to only show my Appointments calendar (this is only for Dr. type appointments) and to search for Dentist or Eye Doctor, etc. to see when we last had our check-ups. It makes figuring out when we need to schedule the next one a snap. See my craziness below.
I will finish up my explanations of each organizational item in tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned!
A place for everything and everything in its place.