When we think about minimalism, we often think about going through our belongings, relationships, or commitments. However, we sometimes forget to declutter our digital life. If this the case for you, you should look it some digital minimalism tips and apply them as soon as possible!
Most people own at least several devices, whether these are computers, phones, tablets, and other pieces of technology.
So, going through and decluttering our digital life can be very beneficial!
Alongside other benefits we can reap from living a minimalist lifestyle, it can help us be more efficient. We are more organized and it saves space on our devices.
Here are 9 digital minimalism tips to help you declutter and simplify your digital life!
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1 – Regularly declutter and go through your devices
We often tend to accumulate numerous files and pictures when using a computer or a phone.
If you don’t go through them regularly, it can quickly get chaotic and hard to navigate on your device.
You can struggle to find a given file or picture because you have way too many things on there.
I find that one of the most useful digital minimalism tips is to declutter your device every week or every month, whatever suits you best.
This way, you are regularly getting rid of your digital clutter and you keep your device more organized and tidy.
Delete irrelevant downloads, useless files, blurry or duplicate pictures, unused documents…
Try to do it on every digital device you own so that you simplify and declutter your entire digital life.
I recently went through the pictures of previous trips I went on and managed to delete more than a thousand photos.
It felt liberating to go through this process and I couldn’t believe how much I was a digital hoarder!
2 – Delete the apps you don’t use and reorganize the ones you do use
If you have a smartphone or a tablet, chances are you have many apps that you don’t use.
And these can add up if we don’t take action to delete them from time to time.
Do you use all the social media apps on your phone? Did you download any games that you didn’t end up playing with? Do you have any app that was already installed when you got your phone and never use it?
Delete all these unused apps and get storage space back on your device.
Having fewer apps makes it easier to navigate through your phone and your screen doesn’t look as cluttered and unorganized as before.
Once you delete your unused apps, I suggest that you reorganized the apps that you have left.
What you could do is move your most used apps to the front page of your phone. And the ones that you rarely use can go to the last page.
This will help you be more efficient while checking your phone and you won’t waste time looking for what you want.
3 – Organize your files in folders
Using our devices every day and wanting to quickly access things, we may be tempted to store files directly on our desktop.
However, they can easily accumulate and get out of control!
So, try to get into the habit of putting your files into folders when you are downloading and saving them to your computer. The same tip applies to your phone or tablet.
Using folders can seem counterproductive because you need to make more clicks to access a file.
However, having folders is an important tip to keep your device organized and to know what is in there.
To organize pictures, you can for instance sort them by type (portraits/trips/random) or by date.
Also, having a clear desktop with only your most used folders and apps is a great way to be more efficient. It will help you focus on your top priorities for the day.
You won’t waste time looking through the numerous files and won’t struggle to find what you want.
I like having no more than 5 or 6 files or apps on my desktop, it helps me feel more clear-headed and less stressed while on my computer.
4 – Backup your important files
If you have important documents, don’t forget to back them up on an external hard drive or in the cloud.
It can be super useful to store certificates, bank statements, sentimental pictures, or any other important file.
To simplify your digital life, I think that you need to make sure that all the documents that are important to you are safe.
Doing so, you won’t end up losing them in case your device stops working.
I personally use an external hard drive to back up my important documents and pictures.
When you have a huge number of files to back up, it can get expensive to pay for extra cloud storage.
But, the cloud is a helpful option as well and you may prefer using it instead of a hard drive.
And it is useful since we can have access to the cloud everywhere we go as long as we have an Internet connection.
Backing up our files can reduce the stress that occurs when a device stops working properly.
I recommend that you do it to make sure your files are safe.
5 – Declutter your social media accounts
Are you getting true value from every social media account you are signed up to? Are you using them all?
Could you delete your account from a platform you only use once every few months?
I recently deleted my personal Twitter account because I didn’t use it, and I did the same for Skype.
I find that Facebook is a way more multipurpose platform, and I am using it every day.
I’m very happy that I have deleted unused social media accounts, it feels as good as decluttering physical belongings and I haven’t missed them at all!
Also, try to go through your Facebook friends. Unfollow people you don’t like on Instagram and unsubscribe from Youtube channels that you don’t enjoy watching.
Social media can also be a source of negativity, so I recommend you unfollow negative people on these platforms as well.
Social media should be a useful tool to connect with your friends and like-minded people, it shouldn’t bring you down.
Leave Facebook groups and group chats that don’t bring you joy nor insightful information. They can add clutter to our social media accounts.
6 – Turn off your notifications
I think that this is one of the most important digital minimalism tips!
Having your notifications turned on is a super easy way to get distracted on numerous occasions during the day.
Every time you get a new text message. Each time someone likes your photo or comments on one of your posts. When you get emails sent to your inbox.
The thing is, getting distracted with all these notifications prevents us from being productive.
And it is harder to focus on what we are doing at a given moment.
I understand that maybe you don’t want to miss any important message or email.
But, are you aware of how much time you are wasting when checking your phone every time you get a new notification?
Most of these notifications aren’t that important.
And checking your phone every time a notification pops up can quickly make you check other social media accounts as well.
Without realizing, you can easily spend hours on your phone because of the notifications you get each day.
I don’t have any social media notification turned on, because I have an old phone and I’m so grateful for it!
Turning off your notifications is a great time-management tip to help you be more productive and efficient!
If you don’t want to miss anything important, set yourself timeframes during which you can check social media or your email inbox during the day.
7 – Declutter your inbox everyday
Another hack that I love to embrace digital minimalism is to try to keep your inbox clean and organized.
I like to delete unused or irrelevant emails once a day or once every few days.
If you have accumulated too many emails for a long period, try to go through them one step at a time.
I’ve seen people having thousands of emails in their inbox, so it can get overwhelming to declutter them.
If you recognize yourself here, you can try to dedicate time each day to go through, for instance, 50 emails.
And repeat the process every day until you have completely decluttered your inbox.
It can be daunting to do, but you will thank yourself in the future for doing it. Reaching zero email in your inbox is a very refreshing feeling, I advise you to try it!
Don’t forget to unsubscribe from unwanted email subscriptions at the same time.
This way, you are preventing these companies from sending you additional emails in the future.
I also like to organize the emails I want to keep in dedicated folders.
Doing it helps you be more organized and know where a given email may be. You can easily find things and save time in the process.
8 – Keep track of your passwords
This one is maybe one of the most underrated digital minimalism tips!
Using the Internet, I’m sure that you have signed up for many websites, social media accounts, email accounts…
And chances are that you probably needed to have a password for each of these accounts.
I don’t know what your preferences are, but for safety reasons, I prefer having different passwords for each account I own.
So at the moment, I must have dozens of passwords I need to keep track of. And I’m sure you are in a similar situation.
Having too many passwords can be challenging to remember them all. So, it helps to have a system to keep track of them.
There are online services that help us keep our passwords all in one place. This is a great option you might want to consider to organize your passwords.
I personally prefer writing all my passwords on a paper that I keep in a safe place at home.
This way, as soon as I need to enter a password, I only need to take this piece of paper and it’s done.
I don’t spend minutes trying to remember which password goes to which account anymore.
It used to bother me a lot when I didn’t have any system for memorizing my passwords.
I find that having an efficient way of keeping track of your passwords truly simplifies your digital life!
9 – Limit your screen time and do a digital detox once in a while
Technology has been playing a major role in our lives for years now.
I’m sure that, if you’re like me, you can’t even imagine yourself living without your phone or computer anymore.
I love using my phone and computer so much that sometimes, I find it hard to put them down and do something else.
But, for our own sanity, we should do digital detoxes once in a while.
It’s a bit ironic to say this, being someone who works for hours on my blog every single day.
However, using too much technology and being too often on social media can make us feel disconnected from the real world.
I don’t think that this is a healthy approach to life.
If you work on a computer all day, avoid spending too much time on your phone and computer at night or during the weekend.
Discover new activities or hobbies that you’ve forgotten about, that don’t require you to be on your computer or your phone.
Also, trying not to check your phone immediately as soon as you wake up is a great morning habit for healthy living.
And why not completely turn your devices off for a few days when you’re on vacation?
Doing a one-week digital detox once every few months is an excellent way to be more present.
It helps you focus on other things that truly contribute to your happiness.
There you have it! Those were 9 digital minimalism tips to help simplify and declutter your digital life!
I hope that you found them useful and that you could apply these digital minimalism tips to your own digital space.
Our digital lives can easily accumulate clutter since we spend so much time on our computers and phones each day.
So, it’s important not to forget to go through this part of our lives.
This way, we are more clear-headed and efficient while using these devices.
Decluttering files and other things from your phone or computer can also free up precious storage space, which speeds up your device.
What are your favorite digital minimalism tips that you like to apply to simplify and declutter your digital life?
Let us know in the comments!