It’s that time of year again. Time to review and analyze the objects that surround us and determine whether or not they still serve a useful function — the ritual also known as spring cleaning. This annual tradition doesn’t need to be limited to physical clutter. In fact, we recommend that you engage in annual technology spring cleaning.
Borrowing from Marie Kondo’s, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
This same philosophy can be applied to the technology you use for your business. The question of what technology you use is actually the question of how efficiently you want to work in your digital space.
Here Are Our Top 3 Technology Spring Cleaning Tips
First, manage e-mails and company documents belonging to staff members that, for whatever reason, are no longer an active participant in the organization. Ensure their accounts have been reassigned and their files archived. Next, review and revise your digital folder systems. This includes clearing your bulk e-mail inbox and putting content in their appropriate archives. Finally, check in with your team on the tools they are using. Are there parallel or redundant tools? Is there a common culprit driving them nuts?
Automate & Integrate
While you’re taking a closer look at the tools serving you, reserve some time to evaluate whether they work well with each other. Systems like Zapier and Workato support technology integration, improving the likelihood that your tools are compatible. While you’re uncluttering your tool shed, your process for tasks could probably use a once-over as well. Not only does a tool like IFTTT (If This, Then That) connect your apps, it also lets you automate things you do on a regular basis – and it’s free.
Delete & Archive
This might be the only trash-duty all year that doesn’t stink and, like most decluttering, once you get going the process is somewhat cathartic. Get ready to clean out your e-mail inbox, archive old e-mails and start the season with a clean digital slate. Put useless desktop debris in the trash, and then empty your trash. Lastly, refresh your to-do list.
Marie Kondo argues that the physical things in your space should not only serve a purpose, they should give you joy. Expecting to respond with joy to your e-mail inbox or to-do list might be a bit overzealous, but with a decent spring cleaning at least you can prevent approaching them with frustration.