The start of a new year may be an arbitrary point in our planet’s orbit of the sun, but it can be a handy reminder to pick up some new good habits or drop some bad ones.
- Make the transition to a paperless life
I did this back in 2011, and there’s an enormous sense of freedom in getting rid of masses of paper – not to mention reclaiming the space it occupied. Check out my how-to-guide.
- Have a digital clear-out
Get rid of old apps you no longer use, movies you’ll never watch again and documents which are now irrelevant. I’ll talk more about this below.
- Commit to Inbox Zero
A bulging email inbox creates a small amount of ever-present background stress – a sense of things you ought to do. Zapping the ones you’re never going to take action on, and organizing the rest, can really create a sense of relief.
- Properly protect your digital life
Last time I mostly talked about a solid backup strategy – something as important as ever – but I’ll talk more below about protecting your online services and identity.
Digital clear-out for video makers
The idea of a digital clear-out is especially valuable for those who create videos. Video takes up a huge amount of storage, and it’s not unusual to shoot ten times as much footage as you use in the final edit, so that’s a lot of clutter in your project folders.
Different approaches will make sense for different people. As an occasional video maker, I had a lot of footage still sitting on my MacBook Pro for no good reason. Between video files and Final Cut Pro X bundles, almost half a terabyte in total. There was nothing on which I was actively working, so I’ve offloaded it all to a series of external drives (one main copy, two backups).
For a regular film-maker, especially someone who has stock footage sitting around that you may want to use on upcoming projects, it may make sense to have some of it on your main Mac. But whatever your situation, the chances are that you can free up space on either your Mac or external drives by zapping things you’ll never use again.
Digital inventory for creators of all kinds
Whether you’re a film-maker, photographer, writer, artist, app developer – or anyone else who creates – it’s a pretty safe bet that you have all kinds of half-completed projects, fragments, jottings, notes, ideas and so on scattered around your devices.
One really useful thing I’ve found is to carry out an inventory of these from time to time. Dig into all those folders and notes files and see what you have in there.
You may have idly jotted down an idea for something years ago that you then forgot all about, and whose time has now come. That might be because the concept inspires you more now than it did then, because you’ve since learned new techniques that can better exploit it, or simply because you’re a different person now and have a new take on it.
Equally, there may be things on which you were half-heartedly working that, honestly, no longer interests you enough to justify the time and effort. You may not want to actually zap any of this, in case it inspires you later in life, but certainly offloading it to an archive can free up some mental space – not to mention time – for new projects.
Read more in the full article: 9to5mac
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