Is digital clutter affecting your productivity?

The recent conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) was awesome as always.  As mentioned in NAPO Conference, here I come, it was in Baltimore this year and is one of the most fun times of the year when I get to attend great educational workshops and mix and mingle with my colleagues from all over the world.

My favorite workshop was on digital clutter, where I learned tips and strategies to help my organizing and coaching clients deal with the overwhelming amount of digital information we now deal with on a daily basis.  Digital clutter can be as challenging to deal with as physical clutter, especially if you can’t ever find anything on your computer.  Yet, many people think that the latest online or mobile app will be the answer to increasing their productivity, but unfortunately these tools sometimes add to the clutter!  The workshop was presented by Judith Kolberg, an expert on ADD and chronic disorganization.  Kolberg, who shared that people with ADD, and those who tend to hoard information, are often the most vulnerable,  is also the author of the popular book, “ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life”.

If you struggle with managing digital clutter, check out Joshua Becker’s excellent blog post at Becoming Minimalist, 25 Areas of Digital Clutter to Miminalize.   It has some very helpful tips on managing email, photos, music, old documents and much more.

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About Jacquie

Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, a Certified Life and Family Coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy person's expert, Jacquie works with professionals, seniors, empty nesters and families to develop strategies to reach their goals, identify any road blocks, and find more meaning in their lives. Learn more about Jacquie’s life coaching and parent/youth/family coaching here at the CastAway the Clutter Blog, and for organizing services, visit CastAway the Clutter! Jacquie can also be found on Facebook
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21 Responses to Is digital clutter affecting your productivity?

  1. I have so much clutter on my computer. I need to do a spring cleaning just on it.
    Danielle @ Royalegacy recently posted..Fun Feature Friday – Funny Little BunniesMy Profile

    • Alfredo says:

      Hi! I just wanted to first thank you for dprpoing by my site and I like to organize using baskets when I can because they are easily stored underneath tables and on shelves. They come in so many variations and look great no matter where you put them.

  2. Heather McD says:

    Great article. Every once in awhile I declutter my computer.

  3. melissa says:

    I have so much clutter. This weekend I am going to declutter!
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    • Jordan says:

      Thanks for stopping over at my blog! I am flowloing you now, as I am interested in seeing the rest of your 31 days (and beyond!). Ikea. Ikea has some great stuff for organizing. I have more of the fabric type bins than I can believe. But they are great for toys, blankets, baby clothes, anything. And I was reading back a bit, what a great morning routine you have!! Hope it is going well.

  4. Debbie says:

    Oh great article, I am a declutter. If my desktop looks messy I rearrange, delete etc. I have a folder for everything. Everything has it’s place LOL
    Debbie recently posted..Entertaining Your FamilyMy Profile

    • London says:

      Thanks for following me! It’s ecoiuragnng to see a few people following and commenting. I like the fabric baskets too. I want more but need to organize more first.With my husband away my morning routine is completely out of order. My husband is away a lot. I do not understand why this time is so different for me and my boys. Tomorrow is Monday though and a new week. I love the start of a new week. Means a fresh start to get going right. Well, thanks for the comment! Glad we can follow each other!

  5. Julie M. says:

    I am sure it is…. ha ha! Sometimes I have so much going on, I forget what is where and what is where!
    Julie M. recently posted..Win Babmboo Fleece Doublers: Baby K’s Celebration ContinuesMy Profile

    • Adriano says:

      Great idea! I’m desperate to de-clutter but I’m a total hodearr. Especially when it comes to clothes/accessories etc… I think soon it’s time for an ebay purge (then I get to keep the credits in my Bpay to ‘invest’ in new things – albeit usually for the boys..)

      • Mohd says:

        Right now we are in full de-junk mode. I have 5 bins full of sentimental bennggiols, it is organized chaos. But we are letting go of a lot of other things. Every person has their own limit of the amount of stuff they can have surrounding them. I like to be clean and organized so if my space is limited so do my bennggiols need to be, but if I have the room, I will definitely grow into it!

      • Jacquie says:

        It’s definitely tougher when you have other members of the household sabotaging your organizing efforts! Good luck!

  6. I need to declutter!! Ick! I hate it. I’ve Bern sharing my boyfriends laptop for about 8 months and I basically have one big folder with a gazillion messy sub folders >.< fortunately, my father found a cheap laptop he is fixing up for me xD I will start fresh!!
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    • Jacquie says:

      A fresh start is always good! 🙂

    • Sai says:

      Maybe you did yourself a fuoavr, Jacki!I used to carry a Portable size Day-Timer, in which I kept not only my calendar and address book, but all kinds of lists: places to go, books I wanted to read, etc. and I freaked when someone asked me what would happen if I lost it. Then one day I did, and was surprised to realize I really didn’t need most of that information after all.

  7. Romina says:

    I am often overwhelmed with physical clutter (having a son with way too many toys) but never realized that digital clutter can be just as bad. I’ll have to check out Becker’s blog post.
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    • Deepak says:

      Some organizational tihgns I love (in spite of being terribly cluttered otherwise) .Paper organizers (the kind with little open shelves something I don’t like in drawers because then you have to put each color of construction paper in a different drawer).Little paper sized plastic drawers to put papers I need to keep into a separate drawer for mail I need to keep, kids art and work I want to keep, and other.Dish shelves (for stacking plates)Small two story lazy susans to keep your spices in your cubbard in. The short squatty powered spices can go up in the top and the tall ones in the bottom. I have a second spice single tier lazy suzan for the really tall ones. If you have a baby, they have something like that for babyfood I used to have and loved don’t need it now so gave it away. One of those trays for organizing drawers was a life-saver.I like tihgns in easy reach, but out of site. Lots of little drawers I would have tons of them. Except for paper, as noted.

      • Joynil says:

        There is definitely a limit when tghnis have to be cleaned. If something’s lost its memory, it’s time to let it go. A lot of time getting rid of objects can get rid of memories you don’t want any more too.

  8. Noriyuki says:

    For smaller toys that get lost ealisy, you can use very small lingerie bags to store the pieces (ie. Little People, Playmobil, ect) so the parts don’t get lost. They also don’t rip like plastic ziplock bags do.

  9. Joanne J says:

    I’ve so much stuff and really need to find a time to declutter!

  10. Jack Winston says:

    Based on my own personal experience, digital clutter has really affect my productivity because I can’t find the file I needed right away. That experience serves as a lesson to keep my files as organize as possible.
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