Digital Spring Cleaning Tip #1: Label it!
Do you have a bunch of SD cards, hard drives, CDs or DVDs, dare we even say USB sticks or floppy disks… and you don’t even remember what’s on them? Grab some masking tape or labels or even just the sharpie and label them! If there’s too much stuff on the storage device to write it out on a label, consider making a file or Google Doc with a list of all your storage devices and everything on them. This can also be easily updated when your storage needs change. Then label the device with a corresponding letter or a number instead. Awesome, now that’s done!
And for any of those old electronics that aren’t working anymore, check out the Cowichan Recyclopedia on the cvrd.bc.ca website or recyclemyelectronics.ca to find out where to bring old hard drives, keyboards, mice, and computers in your area.
Digital Spring Cleaning Tip #2: Treat Digital Paperwork Like Any Old Paperwork
Anybody else have 2,000+ emails in your inbox? Emails can quickly multiply to an overwhelming amount faster than it takes to get to the post office. And let’s be honest, if you’re not reading it immediately, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be going back in time to look at that Gap marketing email again.
Here’s a suggestion that definitely seems easier said than done: treat digital files, including documents, downloads, emails and pictures like you would any physical paperwork or mail. As soon as possible after you receive the email or download, put it in an appropriate folder in your inbox, cloud, or on your computer.
For everyday downloads that get used to check daily tasks off your list, decide whether to save an additional copy offline on your hard drive, or delete it once the task is complete. Dealing with these daily files as they come in is the most efficient way to keep your computer running smoothly in the long run. Our tip is to tackle this clutter at the end of your work day. Deal with all of the files in your downloads folder while the purpose of them is still fresh in your mind.
Digital Spring Cleaning Tip #3: Tidy Up Your Website/Portfolio
It’s always a good time to optimize your website content to improve readability, so why not take the opportunity to do so this spring. The best part is that Google will notice that your content is being refreshed, and that will result in higher search engine rankings.
Check through posts and pages, and make sure these are aligned with your current brand and values. You may want to revisit or delete posts that perhaps you created in a rush and aren’t a good indication of your best work. Have a look for redundant posts on the same topic; you’ll probably want to keep the newer ones, or maybe make a new post that combines and simplifies the information. And while we’re talking about keeping things fresh, make sure there aren’t any outdated posts or pages that are no longer relevant.
Doing this cleanup is also a helpful way to notice where there may be gaps. Were you looking for something that you couldn’t find at all? Maybe it’s time to write something new, or create a new page that helps users get to the information they need as quickly as possible.
At the same time, if you go back into your posts and find something that really worked (or it got a lot of likes or clicks), consider bringing it out again, and reposting. New followers would be happy to find that content, and old followers might enjoy a trip down memory lane.
Does this sound too complicated, or are you not sure where to start? Reach out to us and learn how we can help.
Digital Spring Cleaning Tip #4: Spruce up your Social Media Pages
The most obvious thing with this is your profile and cover images – make sure those are current and relevant to the season. In other words, if there are fall leaves or snow in your profile pic, it’s time to refresh that!
Next step is to make or revisit your content strategy. This should always be evolving as you and your business evolves too. We like to take a look at ours at the end of every month for the next month, and at the end of each season looking into the next season. Remind yourself who you are, who your audience is, and how you stand out.
Digital Spring Cleaning Tip #5: Keep it Organized from the Start
From our film editors, Milla and Josh, here are some tips for working on digital projects.
1) Start organizing/categorizing/creating the folders before you start working. Linking the files after you are done can be a headache.
2) Don’t use a system that won’t fit your needs. Make an inventory with all that you have, then create/adapt a system that will work well with it and with your routine.
3) Be realistic, being super organized is not always doable and instead of making it better, the mess grows while it waits for a time that will never come. Choose a system that fits your needs but does not over-complicate your process. It is supposed to save time in the long run.
4) From a bookshelf to a hard drive, always make sure that other coworkers could use it and not feel super lost/confused. It needs to make sense. Labels help.
5) Don’t make the same mistake twice. It’s better to keep these organization tools in mind everyday while the raw materials you’re working with are fresh in your mind. So we are always doing micro “Spring Cleaning” tasks, rather than making a big day of it. As an example, an ambitious feature film we were tasked to edit was one where it wasn’t super organized from the start and spiralled into this monster of a project across like 5+ hard drives. So now we’ve learned to keep things organized from the very start in order to try to avoid that from happening again!