De-clutter your digital life | HT Tech

De-clutter your digital life

Author Douglas C Merrill on how to get organised in the age of internet.

| Updated on: May 18 2010, 00:44 IST

We've got multiple e-mail ids, social networks, blogs, e-calendars, phone contacts and online bills coming out of our ears and screen after screen after screen of computer stuff to back up, share and sync. "We're drowning in information," says Douglas C Merrill, former chief information officer for Google, a Ph.D in cognitive science and someone who helps people manage digital clutter.

You may be interested in

MobilesTablets Laptops
3% OFF
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
  • Icy Blue
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
Vivo X100 Pro 5G
  • Asteroid Black
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Storage
8% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
17% OFF
OPPO F25 Pro
  • Lava Red
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage

Merrill, struggled with dyslexia as a kid, so de-cluttering — digital and otherwise — is a huge priority for him, so much that he has written a book on the subject with James Martin, Getting Organized in the Google Era. Merrill offers tips to declutter digital life.

Search, don't file
Abandon the notion of "filing" and "folders" as a way to alleviate anxiety over a messy computer desktop, Merrill says. Folders, the paper and digital kind, must be maintained, and your brain must remember what you have put in them. "The problem is we never find the information we've stored, so we wind up with folders and folders we don't know what to do with.

Also read
Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

Search can set us free from the clutter of our imperfect minds by allowing us to get a little messy." No time is lost on meticulously filing and hunting for folders when well-defined searches are used. Simple tools such as Google Desktop or Spotlight allow you to search with the same ease you enjoy for the Web. Quicksilver is popular with geeks.

Some paper is ok
You would think Mr Google would have no use for paper. Not true. "Paper's great for certain things," Merrill says. He plasters huge sheets on his walls when he's brainstorming a big idea. They're easy to move around as his thoughts firm up. "The idea of a paperless office has been bounced around for three decades. But paper is still very important," he concludes with a smile.

9 ways to declutter
Ban cables and clutter from your desktop

Automate your folder and file organisation

Clean up your contacts

Compact and manage social network alerts

Clean up your hard drive

Free up space in Gmail

Pack a more efficient laptop

Use dropbox — for almost everything

Build yourself Gmail filters

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 17 May, 16:34 IST