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What’s a Digital Inventory and Why Does it Matter?

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Laptop with a digital file inventory open.

As we embark upon the season of Spring cleaning and renewal, many of us have forgotten about the growing problem of digital clutter in our lives. The sea of unopened emails and swaths of duplicate files that are clogging up our devices may be out of sight, out of mind, but these messes rear their ugly heads when it comes time for us to send that email or locate that missing file. Even worse, all the extra data you’re storing unnecessarily is slowing down your devices, and could be contributing to the acceleration of climate change, as server farms carry the load of all that surplus data.

When it comes to digital organizing, taking inventory is the best place to start. How many files do you actually have spread across your digital life? Once you can take an honest look at everything you've accumulated (it's probably more than you think), you'll be able to better understand the areas that need a little TLC. We have compiled a list of the best places to start, those common areas where your digital clutter may be lurking, and some ideas for tackling it.

Your Inbox: Did you know that in the year 2020, there were more than 300 BILLION emails were sent worldwide? How many unread emails are sitting in your inbox? Have you succumbed to an unmanageable amount of unwanted subscriptions and an onslaught of promotional content? If you feel frustrated searching for important emails amongst the crowd, you know it’s time to overhaul your inbox. One step is to unsubscribe from unwanted emails (although this can be time-consuming, by design.) Another important step is to learn about, and make use of, all the functions of your email service such as flags, filters, and folders.

Your Filebox: I think we have all felt the frustration of saving a file, only to find that upon searching for it later, it is nowhere to be found. Additionally, your computer is probably full of duplicate files, needlessly occupying storage space on your device or in the cloud. Have you ever checked your downloads folder, or for some, even your desktop? It’s likely to be crammed with all types of unneeded data and files, making it harder for you to find what it is you’re really looking for.

Your Photos: Most of us rely on our smartphones for cataloging our lives, taking screenshots (we meant to delete later), and since the pandemic, reading restaurant menus. All these photos end up filling our phone, and fast. Have you found yourself having to delete pictures to make room for new ones? More likely than not, it’s time to give your photo library a major overhaul, but this can be time consuming, and confusing when you don’t know where to start, or which tools to utilize.You’re going to want to eliminate duplicates, make use of time and date stamps, and create folders by date or location, depending on your preferred search methods.

All of these tasks can be daunting and difficult, as well as eat up significant amounts of your time. But let's face it, the continuous accumulation of files is literally stressing you out. If you want to declutter your digital life, but you don’t have the time, or the know-how to get the job done, consider enlisting the support of digital organizing professionals. Here at SurroundUs, we have many customizable packages, as well as monthly service plans to help you meet your digital goals. Contact Us to get started on your journey to digital freedom.

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