With the increasing use of technology and the internet, our digital lives have become cluttered with information and files that may now be irrelevant. Just like decluttering your home, cleaning up your digital space can have a positive impact on your overall well-being and productivity, plus it can also help keep your data secure. That’s why, on 18 March 2023, we are supporting Digital Cleanup Day.
Whether you’re a business or an individual, here are some tips to help you get started with your digital decluttering journey in celebration of Digital Cleanup Day:
1. Organise your files
Go through your computer, external hard drives, and cloud storage, and sort your files into folders. This will make it easier to locate important documents, images, and videos in the future.
Or if you run a business, why not go one step better? Adopt a hosted desktop where all your business data lives. It enables your workforce to take the office with them wherever they are and pick up where they left off. This means that not only are files and data accessible from anywhere, but hosted desktops are typically hosted in energy-efficient data centres that use advanced cooling and power management technologies to minimise energy consumption. By consolidating computing resources in these data centres, hosted desktops can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions compared to traditional desktop computing solutions.
Organisations are also taking advantage of other cloud-based solutions, such as Office 365, to make collaboration easier and reduce the number of emails flying round with different versions of documents. A great example is multiple people updating the same document while in a Teams meeting to massively reduce the time to finalise that document.
2. Unsubscribe from emails and newsletters
Declutter your inbox by unsubscribing from emails and newsletters that you no longer need or find useful (hopefully not our newsletter).
This is an excellent one for a lot of people. Do you have hundreds or thousands of unread marketing emails sitting in your inbox? Each year the internet and its supporting systems produce 900 million tons of CO2 (that’s more than the annual output of the whole of Germany!) – much of which is from internet providers and email services continually storing all the data from the emails sitting in our inboxes. If we make the effort to declutter our inboxes of unwanted emails (and unsubscribe from them), we can save a huge amount of CO2, and feel more in control of our digital lives. You could decide to delete any emails over 2 years’ old, for example, as chances are they are no longer relevant.
3. If you’re a business, automate your procedures
You can use automation to replace lots of repetitive tasks that involve a lot of back and forth emailing and downloading of files (which would contribute to the CO2 production from the number of emails sent, and the storage of unnecessarily downloaded documents used to create reports manually).
For example, you can automate the creation and distribution of reports that would otherwise take many hours and people to manually collate.
Did you know that the average carbon footprint of an email is 0.3g CO2e? If it’s a long email that takes ten minutes to write and three seconds to read, the carbon footprint is around 17g CO2e, or if the email has one image or an attachment, it’s 50g CO2e.
Check out our Business Process Automation page to learn more about how your business could benefit from automation.
4. Clear your browsing history
Delete your browser history, cache, and cookies. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, it will improve your browsing speed by removing all the data that has been accumulated over time.
Clearing your browsing history, cache, and cookies also protects your privacy and removes unwanted data – your browser can collect sensitive information such as login credentials, search history, and personal information, as well as data from websites you’ve visited, so clearing this data can protect your privacy and free up space on your computer.
5. Back up important data
Make sure to back up your important files and documents to an external hard drive or cloud storage.
As mentioned in point one, a hosted desktop is a great way for businesses to keep files in the cloud, and it means employees don’t have to store files and documents on their computer drive, freeing up lots of space!
Having decluttered your files and documents, your backups will be smaller and therefore consume less carbon and reduce any hosting storage costs.
Backing up data is also important to protect against data loss in case of unexpected events such as hardware failure, cyberattacks, or accidental deletion. You wouldn’t want to lose important documents forever, would you?
6. Get rid of duplicated work
A business with multiple systems that aren’t connected is running inefficiently, creating extra manual workload. For example, re-entering information into each system one at a time.
Take the first step of integrating those systems together for a more joined-up way of working. Integration projects don’t have to cost the earth (metaphorically and literally); an experienced Technology Partner will have a library of tools to keep the costs down – they’ve either got a plug and play app or have the necessary frameworks in place.
For larger businesses, a middleware application may be better suited. An Avrion Middleware solution is an application with its own interface that sits in the middle of your systems and talks to your other software systems, creating a unified and integrated solution across your business. With many benefits, its purpose is to drive business processes in a fast and automated way, helping businesses to operate in a consistent and predictable manner.
If you just want your data consolidated, then a Data Warehouse is what you need, A data warehouse is basically a storage area in a central location for all your business information and data. This data mainly comes from business software systems throughout your organisation. It enables various systems to integrate, sharing data between all business applications and facilitates communication between staff, customers, suppliers, and more.
Whichever option you choose, keeping your business data tidy and connected in one place (and less prone to human-error) will make your business much more efficient.
7. Dispose of old electronics
Properly dispose of old electronics, such as old phones, laptops, and computers, to avoid harm to the environment and protect your data security.
Many electronics, such as computers, phones, and tablets, contain personal and sensitive information. Proper disposal of electronics ensures that this information is securely erased and not accessible to unauthorised individuals.
There are plenty of companies who will help you recycle old tech sustainably – electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals that can cause environmental damage if not disposed of properly. By disposing of electronics properly, these toxic materials can be kept out of landfills and the environment.
8. Make digital cleanup a habit
Now that you have worked through all the tips above to celebrate Digital Cleanup Day, don’t slip into bad habits. Instead, try to have a weekly or monthly detox so that you, your finances, and the environment keep reaping the benefits throughout the months and years to come.
By following these simple tips, you can make Digital Cleanup Day a productive and enjoyable experience. Give yourself the gift of a clean and organised digital life!
If you want to explore ways to streamline and digitally transform your business, feel free to contact us.