I've been really narrowing in on getting my digital life completely organized. I used to feel really overwhelmed about getting my digital life together. Between multiple computers and phones over the years, files have kind of been floating around everywhere. I was just going with the flow and hoping that I'd never need to actually trace down a specific file.
However, I realized it had gotten to a point where there was so much digital clutter, I wasn't being the best, most productive self I could be. As someone who likes to file away paperwork and hang onto every last scrap of paper, movie ticket, to-do list, etc. it was about time I came up with a system for my digital files.
The process really started earlier this year when my laptop was on the fritz. It's at a point now where I feel generally pretty good about the state of my life in terms of digital organization... Here's what helps me:
Google Calendar | This doesn't pertain to files so much as it just pertains to keeping my life organized online. I like to joke, if it's not on my Google Calendar, it's not happening. I've looked into different systems, but the Google Calendar is my tried and true calendar system. While I do love a good agenda (the Lilly and Kate Spade ones are so cute), when it comes to staying on top of my appointments, meetings, and events, it has to be digital. I need to be able to get an invite in my inbox and immediately upload the date (even if its tentative) with location plus notes/details in my calendar and have access to it on my phone at all times.
Dropbox | Hi, my name is Carly and I'm a Dropbox addict. It started off innocently enough. I'd upload files as necessary and then delete them when I reached the capacity of free storage. I ultimately upgraded my account to the Pro account and it's arguably some of the best money I've spent in my adult life. Having two computers and often being away from a computer can cause me so much anxiety when I don't have access to a file and need it. Dropbox 100% solves this problem as I always have my phone and whatever I upload is synced wherever I am.
Here's why Dropbox works for me:
– I upload all the files (photos, documents, etc.) that I'm working on or will need.
– I keep an updated resume, headshot, and reel in there so I can email it off to someone in a jiff
– All my photos!!! I hate not having a photo because it's on my computer and not my laptop. I have all my photos and videos organized and ready to go.
– Group folders are amazing for collaborating. Whether it's a spot where everyone can drop/share vacation photos or a place my manager and I can upload documents, it's nice to be able to both have access
– I can send links to certain files and folders. I can't tell you how much time, energy, and email storage this saves me when I need to send photos to someone for approval!
Carousel | Carousel is a product of Dropbox and brilliant. Never. Lose. An. iPhone. Photo. Again. I repeat, never lose a photo again. If your phone gets stolen or you drop it in water, you're good. Rest assured knowing your library is completely backed up. The best part is that once you have your camera roll backed up, you can even free up the space on your phone since you have an essentially duplicate camera roll in the cloud, but accessible on your phone through the app. No more storage issues!
Your photos are also available in your Dropbox.... so you can easily download a favorite to your computer!
Hard drive | I have long had an external hard drive, but it was primarily just for backups of my laptop, not for files. When my laptop started to burn out, I went on a frenzy transferring files and backing things up manually with a hard drive. Then we got a new camera and the files are huge. Instead of clogging up my computer, I transfer everything to a hard drive immediately and the files never touch the hard drive of my computer. I edit photos from the hard drive, upload to my Dropbox/cloud from the hard drive, etc. My little hard drive wasn't quite big enough, so I upgraded to this one. I use my smaller hard drive for computer backups (with Time Machine) and the big hard drive for all my files where everything is organized neatly and labeled.
1Password | I can't get enough of this app. I use it daily, if not hourly. I have so many passwords for so many different applications, websites, and logins. It's out of control. It was so out of control, in fact, that I was having to reset my password all the time. Very frustrating! I also change my password for sensitive things (payroll, banking, email, Instagram– my most attempted hacked thing, ugh) frequently... but I was forgetting what the new passwords were. 1Password has been a game changer in terms of keeping track of my passwords in a completely secure way.
With the help of these things, my life online is way more organized. It's such a great feeling (truly is!!!) to be organized and to be able to access a file at the drop of a hat!
Any other tips out there?!