6 Tips for Avoiding Digital Clutter

6 Tips for Avoiding Digital Clutter

What is “Digital Clutter” and why do we need to avoid it? Although there isn’t a true definition for the phrase, we can define the term “clutter” and apply it to the digital world. “Clutter” is defined as a collection of things lying about in an untidy mess. Although digital clutter is something we cannot see, it exists and collects dust while taking up “space”. We all have digital clutter and must organize it to be productive and efficient. We now live in a world of increasing advancements in technology. With these new tools to help us stay “organized” we often collect more than we need… useless apps, digital photos, and old school reports, just to name a few.

Here is a list of six tips to help you organize and clean up your digital clutter.

1. Save files in the right place the first time. When saving a document, how often do you save it directly to your desktop because it’s easier? Not only is this a bad practice, but it results in documents being piled on your desktop, only to make it increasingly more difficult to find what you need. Once your desktop becomes too full, you then must take the time to move each document into its appropriate location. This can be time-consuming. By making just a few extra clicks and saving documents in their appropriate location, the first time, you will be more efficient in the long-run.

2. Create a method for naming documents. It’s good practice keep file names short. Long file names can be hard to read, especially when you are short on time. Name your file something specific but short enough that it gives you a quick idea about the file. Be consistent when naming documents of similar type but put enough information that sets it apart. For example, with a billing invoice you could name it, “Billing Invoice 2012-02-15”, and then change the date for each invoice.

3. Create a method for organizing folders. Folders are meant to help organize your documents. With this in mind, try to avoid creating a maze of folders. Creating too many folders and burying them within each other, will make it harder and more time consuming when it comes time to search for a particular file. Properly name your folders with names that aren’t too long but are easily recognizable.

4. Train others on your organizational process. Whether you are digitally organizing your home computer or office computer, it’s important that others users are following the same guidelines for saving and naming files. This will save everyone time.

5. De-junk every six months. Every six months, set a time aside to go through your digital files and organize them. Remove anything that you no longer need and organize any files that are out of place. This is also a good time to clear out old emails, un-install any programs that you don’t use, clear your browser’s cache, and empty the Recycle Bin and temporary internet files folder.

6. Backup your documents. There are many different sources to choose from when it comes to backing up files. The most popular option is cloud storage space. Cloud storage backs up your files online. This is beneficial because you always have access to your documents, even in the event of a disaster. Another benefit of cloud storage is that with the increase use of tablets, smartphones and other devices, you can often access files on these mediums. Other methods for backing up documents include external hard drives, USB flash drives, and CD/DVDs. Make sure you backup often. It might be helpful to set a date each week or month to run a backup.


We hope you found this article about “6 Tips for Avoiding Digital Clutter” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at www.GROCO.com.  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of GROCO.com.  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.


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GROCO.com is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

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MyPaths.com (Also sponsored by GROCO) provides free access to content and world-class entrepreneurs, influencers and thought leaders’ personal success stories. To help you find your path in life to true, sustainable success & happiness.  It’s mission statement:

In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

Our mission at MyPaths.com is to provide resources and firsthand accounts of how others found their paths in life, so you can do the same.

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