Get Organized: 7 Digital Files You Must Delete Right Now

Digital clutter can be a huge headache, create stress, and stop your productivity in its tracks. That’s why I teamed up with Bynder for Get Organized and Be Productive Month (GO Month) to share actionable tips and tricks (here and here) you can use to declutter and organize your digital files.

And, though GO Month is officially over, there are several things you can do to tame your unruly digital files. One of those things is to hit the delete button. Start by getting rid of unnecessary files like the seven files mentioned in today’s post.

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7 Digital Files You Must Delete Right Now

1. Photos and other graphics

Are you saving multiple copies of the same photographs? Photos can have an emotional charge especially when they bring back amazing memories. But, do you really need duplicates and triplicates of the same picture?

No, you don’t and that’s good news because this is a great place to start your digital decluttering efforts. Deleting unneeded multiples is a really good first step.

And, for you bloggers and creative types out there, you should do the same if you have several copies of the same graphic that you’ve created.

2. Mobile apps

197 billion. That’s the number of mobile downloads that the folks at Statista estimated for 2017. That’s a pretty large number.

You probably have some of those digital downloads on your smartphone and tablet. Do you use them all? Are you keeping them because you purchased them or heard that they’re “really great?” If you fall into either of those buckets, now’s a great time to let them go.

Get in the habit of kicking out those old, outdated, or unused apps. Take a moment right now to schedule a weekly or monthly “Toss It Tuesday,” “Throw It Out Thursday,” or “So Long Sunday” decluttering session.

No matter what you call it, come up with an easy to follow digital decluttering routine.

7 Digital Files You Must Delete Right Now | DAllisonLee.com

How many apps have you downloaded? Is it time for a digital decluttering day?

3. Desktop files

How many files are on your desktop? If your files are wallpapering your desktop, you’re probably getting distracted by the clutter. You’re also likely to be wasting precious time searching for the files you want.

As you sift through the digital files living on your desktop, look for duplicates to delete and start grouping similar files in categories.

One more thing — instead of filling up your desktop, think about using cloud storage (and a tagging system) to keep and easily find your important files.

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4. Facebook links

Facebook “saves” has probably become more popular now that Facebook has started allowing users to save content they want to get back to later.

The problem is that you might not remember what you saved and will forget to go back to read them. So, unless you have a regular habit of reading and removing your saved links in Facebook, you’ll want to jump in clear them out.

Start by unsaving the oldest ones first and work your way to more current content.

5. Music files

Music can be a great productivity tool. Listen to the right jams and you can find yourself on the winning end of getting things done! Unfortunately, like photos, your music files can also multiply quickly and take up much needed room on your hard drive.

Okay, it’s broken record time. As you start organizing your music files, look for duplicates you can delete. Found a song that’s not to your liking anymore? Out it goes.

Also think about as other ways you can listen to your favorite tunes by using services like Pandora, Google Play Music, and Amazon Prime Music. Why? Becuase live streaming doesn’t take up space on your laptop and you can listen on any device.

6. Videos

Videos are an engaging complement to your blog posts. People love watching them! But, what they don’t love is having piles and piles of them in no recognizable order.

Check out the video below from Justin over at Primal Video for some specific ways you can start organizing your video files. Remember, you can also use tags or labels to help you identify your content.

And, one more time for good measure — delete duplicates and old versions that you no longer need.

7. Blog posts and notes

So, this is one I’ve had some painful experiences with in the past. Having various versions of blog posts and notes makes it super difficult to find what you need when you need it. Again, this all adds up to long searches and wasted time.

Keep your final copies and delete old drafts. And, if you’ve closed down one blog and moved to a different niche, let go of the old stuff to make room for the new.

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Hey there, I’m Deb. I’m a Digital Business Coach, Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker, and productivity consultant. I’m also addicted to apps and love helping Small Office and Home Office entrepreneurs use technology to be more productive.

Comments ( 11 )
  • Seana Turner says:

    All of this is so important. Video files take up so much space, so that really feels good to shed. But I have to agree that every now and then you just need to go delete some apps. They are sort of like clothing, we end up using only about 20% of the ones we buy…

    • Deb Lee says:

      The clothing analogy is on point, Seana. Buying an app can make us keep it even if we don’t use it. Same with clothing, right? On the other hand, free apps hang around untouched because, well, they’re free. What’s the harm in keeping them, right? Scheduling a digital decluttering day can really help us shove out those old and unused apps.

  • Sabrina Quairoli says:

    Very important list to combat the digital clutter. I found that deleting apps make my life so much easier and reduce the distractions while on the go. However, on my iPad, the apps I deleted or added automatically get downloaded again onto that device, even if I deleted it on my iPhone. Ugh. It’s so annoying.

  • Hazel Thornton says:

    In addition to great digital decluttering tips, that’s a brilliant blog post title, Deb. Wondering what files needed to be deleted RIGHT NOW made me move this to the top of my reading list. LOL!

    • Deb Lee says:

      Hazel, you made my day! =) My favorite part of the title is the number. 7 apps doesn’t sound so daunting, does it? I’m also trying a new CTA in some of my more recent posts: “Pin this to your _________ board” to see anyone actually does pin it.

      As always, thanks for stopping by. =)

    • Janet Barclay says:

      Same here!

      As I was reading, I was thinking, “I’ve got this” until I read #7. Here’s my story: I originally started Blog A, then later started Blog B. When I decided to shut down Blog A, I didn’t want to lose all that content, so I imported it as drafts in Blog B so I could republish it at some point. I recently found a good draft, did a LOT of work on it, and scheduled it, then realized, I’d already published a new version of it on Blog B. I got it all sorted out, but I was not impressed with myself or the time I wasted.

      • Deb Lee says:

        Ah, Janet, you and I, we’re twins! 😉 I, too, moved old posts over to a previous (now only) blog. While I have used many of them here, I really should have deleted the content I knew I wouldn’t use or that I had already expanded on with a new post. This means going back in to clean up! We live and learn, yeah?

  • Julie Bestry says:

    Great advice, as always, Deb. Do you have a particular tool you recommend for us (or our clients) who have thousands, or tens of thousands, of photos and need to identify duplicate content? For some people, identifying duplicates of the same file name will suffice, but many people have edited versions of photos under different names. I know Photo Sweeper for Mac can detect dupes by comparing bitmaps and histograms, but I haven’t used it, and wouldn’t even know what to recommend for Windows users.

    And I pinned the post!

    • Janet Barclay says:

      ACDSee lets you find duplicates and decide which copy to keep.

    • Deb Lee says:

      Hey Julie – Nice to see your smiling face. =) Janet gave you a recommendation for Macs and here’s one for PCs: Duplicate Cleaner. I love that the name says exactly what it does. Here’s the link for more info: https://www.duplicatecleaner.com/. Note: I haven’t used Duplicate Cleaner myself but have seen good reviews.

      And, you pinned the post! Totally put a bright spot in my day! That’s like having a piece of chocolate while sipping on my favorite latte. Thank you! =)

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