30 Ways To Digitally Declutter Your Business & Start 2022 Fresh



2021 has seen the unprecedented rise of the entrepreneur and the freelancer! Remote working, nomadic lifestyles, and working for yourself is the new normal and I, for one, am thrilled at the shift as I am entering motherhood in the new year. As we manage our own schedules things can get… well a bit cluttered, and I am not referring to piles of books, bills, and clothing returns collecting in the entryway table.


I mean DIGITALLY.


I mean the mobile apps we have only used once, cluttered desktops, more junk emails than actual important ones...You would be amazed at how massively we are all becoming digitally fatigued by the constant stream of aggravating notifications we receive on a daily, even minute-to-minute basis. I know I could use a cleanse.


And so, I thought I would document what I’ve done to reclaim my sanity and control in the hopes of sharing the peace, joy, and feeling of calm with all of you. So let’s dive, head first, into a calmer and empowered start to 2022.


LET’S START WITH GOOGLE


If you don’t use Google. We can’t be friends. Ha, just kidding. Google has infiltrated our lives in so many ways, and we have become so reliant on it in so many ways. So let’s break the Google decluttering into three sections I use the most!


G-MAIL

  • Unsubscribe from email marketing that no longer interests you, or facilitates bad habits like shopping. Take the opportunity to go through and unsubscribe from the emails that no longer serve you or are aligned with your goals. Then, when you get an email or newsletter from the ones you do want, the anxiety and frustration is replaced with a little spark of interest.

  • Clear out the inbox. Be as thorough as you want, but I take this step very casually because it’s a newly formed habit for me. Flip through your emails and make note of any clients or new contacts made that might need nurturing. If you have a Contact Management System, add those to your system.

  • Sending a personal message. Reconnect with any clients or contacts that you find whilst going through your email, even if it’s just to wish them a good start to 2022. You never know where a simple “hello” will take you.

  • When’s the last time you looked at your email signature? Make sure your info is up-to-date and give it a refresh for the new year!

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

  • When’s the last time you looked at your listing like a potential client? Now is a great time to update any new information. Make sure that you have responded to all your reviews. Lastly, take a moment to send out review requests to any client from last year that could potentially leave you a 5-star rating.

GOOGLE DRIVE

  • Is your filing sharing & storage system helping or hindering you? When I started to take on more clients and scale my business, I decided to look for a method that suited my style and borrowed someone else’s thinking! Google Drive has allowed me to not only store all of my files (leaving my desktop squeaky clean) but made sharing files way easier.

  • But make sure to periodically, CLEAR IT OUT! At the end of every year, I remove files from my Google Drive that are over 1 year old. This includes documents, photos, videos, and PDFS. Get rid of anything that’s no longer necessary, because as your storage fills up, so does your monthly bill with Google.

YOUR MOBILE DEVICES:

If you are an Apple user, your iPhone and iPad are connected by the cloud, so you will only have to perform these tasks on one device.

  • Remove applications. If you haven’t used an app in 90 days, or you only used it once, delete it. You don’t need it. Any apps you have left, try organizing them into folders, so you can clear up your home screen.

  • A digital trip down memory lane. Clean out your photos! I have so many JUNK PHOTOS that have become part of my texting language that needs to be removed. I also have some amazing images that I have totally forgotten about! Create an album dedicated to 2021, add favorites during your clean-out, and share a fun yearly recap on social media!

  • Clear up that memory! Delete old text messages. I like to delete text messages as a batch (a new feature on Apple IOS). Any messages older than 30 days, get the boot. This is truly a hidden gem, as it allows your phone to maintain a seriously lower storage percentage.

  • Visit your Apple Subscriptions! (Silent spenders) Take a look in your Apple ID at your Subscriptions, and remove any subscriptions you no longer use or anything that you don’t think is worth paying for. I like to call these your silent spenders because half the time, you don’t even know you are being charged.


DESKTOP

  • Start 2022 off with a clean desktop. Delete or file everything from your desktop to Google Drive!

  • What you look at, daily, matters. Update your newly cleared desktop background to something that makes you smile or gets your creative juices flowing for the day.

  • Clear your Downloads & Documents folder. And then empty your trash bin.

  • From local to the cloud. Consider updating your Mac to iCloud storage as opposed to local. This helps with your computer's processing speed and keeps you covered should anything happen to your machine!

FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

  • Delete Photos from your IG GRID & Facebook Posts Look over your IG Grid from the past year. Is it educational? Engaging? Valid? If not, get rid of anything that doesn’t align with your business, anymore. Do the same for Facebook posts & albums!

  • Recycle! Look at your insights and see what posts did the best in 2021. It’s totally acceptable to recycle these posts with new captions and updated information. Chances are only 10% of your followers saw it the first time.

  • It was a highlight then, is it now? Go through your IG highlights and delete any old content. Maybe even update your highlight icons.

  • Go through all your messages. Review all your Social Media messages from the past year. You may even stumble across a forgotten contact or two that you can add to your contact list

  • When was the last time you looked at your business pages like a customer? Visit your Facebook Business Page, view it as a customer, and make sure everything in your ABOUT tab is still relevant.

  • Reviews are great - even when they’re not! Respond to any reviews in your Facebook Business Page, and send out any new review requests to recent clients. Remember, even when a review is bad, it’s a GREAT opportunity to respond. Most customers will judge a business by how they respond to bad reviews, so make sure you do so with grace and clarity (and try not to use words like ‘fuck’, no matter how deserving it may be!)

CRM (Customer Relation Management Software)

  • Organize the chaos. Go through and make sure your contacts are all organized, with full information and are tagged accordingly.

  • Add your new contacts in. Do you know all those wonderful contacts you’ve been finding in your emails, folders, and social media messages? Add them here, assign them to lists, and make sure no one gets overlooked in 2022.

  • There’s gold in your list! Write an end-of-year email, thank you email, happy holiday email - whatever message you feel represents you and your business. Extra bonus points for adding value, making it authentically personal, and not even a teensy bit salesy. You’d be surprised at how warmly people respond when they receive something they can use with no strings attached.

YOUR WEBSITE

  • When was the last time you looked at your website as a customer? Take a look at your website with fresh eyes and consider whether you could do an update. Remember, hiring someone to give your website a facelift is a tax write-off, so if it warrants it - go for it!

  • Home is where the art is. Your homepage is where most people land first, so make sure yours is up-to-date, clean, easy to read, and has some fresh imagery to delight those who come to visit.

  • What has changed for you this year? Read your bio, mission, and services, again. Make sure that your website copy is relevant and still in-lined with who you are and what you want to offer in 2022.

  • Do your links work? Make sure that ALL your links on your website are active and guiding customers to where they need to be.

A few other sprinkles on how to digitally cleanse your life:

  • Make sure your LinkTree is updated. Make sure your LinkTree includes all your latest content. New blog articles, websites, other social accounts, etc.

  • Reset your passwords! Do you know that password you’ve been using since 2016? Well, it’s time to wave buh-bye. Create a Google spreadsheet with your new passwords, or get a password keeper such as LastPass.

  • Are you one of the millions of Canva users? Consider removing old files and designs, so you can start your year fresh and know exactly where your most-used assets are.

Through the many twists and turns of this year, I have let certain things slide and complicated my life a little more than necessary. It’s been a period of growth, learning, and quite a few successes (like expecting my first baby!) As I prepare for my son’s arrival, I’m relieved to know that my 2022 will be rooted in the organization, a very empty to-do list, and lastly, how I will target myself for new clients that will hire me for services that make me happy, and what I truly want to offer.


Feel free to contact me anytime, visualmanor@gmail.com!