Lately I’ve had a burning desire to reduce everything down to its simplest form so I have space to make and create, but things have been getting in my way.
For a while now it’s felt as though my digital spaces are filled up and overflowing. All across tools like Evernote and Google Docs I have lists of project ideas, movies to watch, thoughts to expand, and so much more.
If you’re like me, things are everywhere.
While I’m always trying to get a hold on my digital life, I never truly feel in control.
I’ve got backlogs of ideas, thoughts, writings, projects, lists, and all sorts of information I’ve been saving over the years.
It’s so easy to create a new document, put it somewhere, and forget about it that somehow — despite my rather obsessive organizational skills and minimalist desires — I still feel as though my digital effects are out of order, out of date, and out of control.
As such, I’ve decided to clean up my digital cobwebs as best I can in preparation for 2019. Inspired by my friend Sam, I’m going to tidy up and start fresh.
My goal is to complete whatever I can before 12/31/18, archive anything I want to hold on to long-term, and delete all the rest — for good.
Here’s what I want to get out of this exercise:
- Give myself a fresh start
- Not feel the weight and burden of all the ideas, writings, and projects I thought of but never took action on
- Make space for new and better ideas to come along
- Give myself that sense of control that I (and we as humans) are always craving
- Get rid of all the digital debt I’ve accumulated over the years while freeing myself to become the next version of me, without holding to the past
The main apps I use are:
- Bear — my whiteboard and thinking canvas. I use it for initial idea capture as well as part of my personal productivity system
- Things — my task and project management app which helps me capture and process every thought I have about something I should do. Then, I sort.
- Ulysses — what I used as a typewriter, if you will. It’s my writing tool of choice for expanding on ideas, organizing essays and thoughts, and moving things through the production process.
- Evernote — my digital filing cabinet for storing things that are more long-term and less “in the moment important” like recipes, conversation notes, webpages I like, things to buy, and stuff like that.
- Pocket — an awesome piece of software that has become the bane of my existence. It allows you to save any website, video, article, blog, whatever, and then have a library of “content” you can work through at anytime. In reality, it’s a graveyard because way more goes in than actually gets read. Cannot wait to nuke this one!
- Apple Reminders — a really good way to set recurring reminders or things that come to mind that need quick action, but at a later time. “Remind me to do laundry when I get home” or “Remind me to schedule my doctor in the morning.”