Can we have a quick chat about digital clutter?
There are loads of posts, articles and even TV programmes on de-cluttering at the moment and I think it’s terrific. There’s something about the beginning of a new year that energises us and makes us (well, some of us) look at our stuff in a different light.
But I’m a bit taken aback with all the advice about digitising, as though it’s a magic solution to clutter. Filing documentation on the cloud to remove it from your desk …. de-cluttering books to get Kindle copies instead … scanning photos instead of having bulky photo albums.
These are all good and useful things and fantastic resources at our disposal. But it’s becoming too easy to digitise clutter, rather than digitising useful things. Go ahead and scan those photos and download those electronic books – just make sure they’re all adding value.
I find digital clutter to be almost worse than physical clutter because it is invisible. If you no longer have an interest in a book, de-clutter it for good – don’t just download it on a Kindle! I heard someone say proudly that they have now put their entire book collection on a Kindle. Great – but are all of those books read and loved?
Having documentation clutter up your drawers is annoying but hiding it on the cloud or a memory stick or the dark recesses of your hard drive doesn’t mystically make it disappear.
At work, I see people looking forward to getting a new IT system that will deal with all the ‘waste’ and ‘duplication’ and ‘time-wasting queries’. Well – automated waste is still waste. Do you want waste, regardless of what format it’s in?
If it’s annoying you in physical format, then should it be digitised?
Now, I’m not saying not to scan or just throw out important documents. Your birth cert is quite a handy thing to have! No, just look at it first. Don’t be fooled by the invisibility of digital clutter – unlike physical clutter, which makes its presence felt – you’re tripping over it every five minutes!
De-clutter then digitise! That’s my motto!
Have a great week 😊