Reset your digital office. Create space for creativity, productivity, and excellence in your day. We will do this by organizing your cloud, desktop, and mobile devices.
Digital clutter weighs us down with things that no longer serve us. This happens because we have an “infinite” amount of cloud space to save everything. But, we rarely refer back to them. We save things for fear of losing something we might need later. This practice leads to mental clutter when overused both in our homes and offices.
Clutter whether digital or physical creates stress, impedes productivity, and slows down our progress forward.
Key for Activities
Completing these activities will not give you the perfect digital office. It will give you habits to implement and tips to help you create space (visually and digitally) to do your best work!!
- ✅ Tasks
- 📌 Tips
- 🔁 Habit
Spend a minimum of 5-10 minutes each day completing the exercises below. If the activity takes you longer, continue or schedule a time to come back to it.
Review Storage and Tools
How many SaaS do you subscribe to? Most of your favorite desktop business apps (Asana, Canva, Trello, Quickbooks, Zoom, etc.) are Software as a Service. When was the last time you reviewed your subscriptions?
✅ ACTION STEPS
- Review your subscriptions. Make a list of all your monthly and annual subscriptions.
- What is the minimum necessary? There are several questions to consider when reviewing your SaaS.
- How often do you use this service? If you only use it a couple of times a year, consider a similar service or purchase only as needed.
- Can your business function without it? What value does this add to your business?
- Do you use all the features of the existing subscription level or can you downgrade?
- Is there a better service available? Is there a Saas that offers more features that would allow you to consolidate 2+ services into 1?
- Unsubscribe, Downgrade, or Keep As Is. Whether they’re paid subscriptions or not, delete your account if you are no longer using it.
Technology provides many options for us to automate and enhance business functions. However, less is more still rings true in technology!
- Reviewing your Saas subscriptions helps you assess return on investment, stay within your annual budget, and reduce unnecessary expenses.
- Removing unused subscriptions helps reduce the exposure of business and client data should there be a data breach with your service provider.
- Reducing applications needed to complete a task makes it easier to complete. Your team and clients can respond faster with a streamlined process.
Use the Google Sheets template to track your subscriptions.
Did you know the top worst passwords from 2020 include “123456,” “password,” “picture1,” and “iloveyou”? (Source) Are your passwords strong and your system updated?
✅ ACTION STEPS
- Update system tools. Make sure your desktop operating system, internet browser, and antivirus software are all current.
- Backup important files to an external drive or cloud. This should be done weekly or monthly.
- Review passwords and update where necessary. Your passwords need to be strong. “Use the longest password or passphrase permissible by each password system.” Use a password tool like 1Password or LastPass.
- Review apps with 3rd party access. Many times we sync apps with each other to share data to make our projects easier, but if we discontinue using them we can forget about them. This creates a vulnerability.
🔁 Update your desktop and mobile devices as soon as you receive a notification for a software update. This helps reduce vulnerability.
Cloud Storage – part 1
It makes sense to initially organize your drive by creating folders for the types of files they contain. File types including images, templates, blog posts, etc. It works for you now. Will it be sustainable in a few years when you have more documents or an assistant looking for a file? Is your drive set up to support your growth?
✅ ACTION STEPS
- Create Primary folders by Department or Team. For example, I have folders for Accounting, Business Development, Marketing, and Sales. It makes it easy to find projects and create files accordingly.
As you add to your team or work with contractors having your back-of-house documents organized is critical. Creating folders by department makes it easy to delegate projects and tasks for two reasons.
- Easier for team members to find what they need because files are grouped by department.
- Easier to share and remove access to folders or files with (team members/contractors/vendors/clients) as needed. Then when the project is completed or the relationship ended then you can easily remove access.
As you build your business consider what you can do now to make growth transitions easier? One of those practices includes putting foundational systems and processes in place now. Then as you continue to grow you can rely on the structure built and focus on new and bigger challenges.
Yes! I have adopted your system and it saves so much time. I have been able to easily share just the needed folders.Stephanie, bariatricfoodcoach.com
Cloud storage – part 2
Once you create your primary folders by department or team then create subfolders. Subfolders are more specific to the type of projects within the department or team.
In the example provided, you can see my primary folder “Marketing” is broken down into subfolders “brand guidelines, copywriting, events”. This process streamlines my business so I know ‘exactly’ where to find resources or save a new file. It will take some time to get used to it, but like anything worth building the repetition will make it easier.
✅ ACTION STEPS
- Create subfolders for the primary folders you created previously. Common subfolders can be by year, month, location, client name, product type, image type, service category, etc.
In my ‘Blog’ subfolder, I have subfolders for archives, drafts, images, published. Again creating this process of folders and subfolders by department then by project makes it easy to delegate projects and tasks in the future.
CLOUD STORAGE – PART 3
Create and develop processes with minimal steps and multiple benefits. How I name files is a process that’s worked for years.
✅ ACTION STEPS
- Create a process for naming your files. For images I use ‘blog name – image type – post name.jpg” and for files “document format – document type – document name.pdf”
🔁 The key to naming files. Start with subject, then type, then detail. Examples: “makeup – lipstick – nars” or “coffee – medium roast – pike place”
In the image below, you can see the names of the images used on my blog. Each image includes the name of the blog (Coffee Bar Blog), the type of image (Featured Image), and the title of the blog post (Why Discovery Calls Are Important).
- Information is attached to the image should the picture be pinned, shared or saved from your site.
- Easier to find files on your drive or cloud. Type in the type of image or file and it pulls quicker.
- Makes delegation of projects easier. If someone doesn’t know which folder to look, but knows the kind of file they need. It makes it easier for them to search by subject (template), type (blog post) or detail (Interview with Melissa).
CLOUD STORAGE – PART 4
There is another reason for naming files correctly the first time. If you’re working on a project and creating multiple images you may download them from the app (Canva) into the “Downloads” folder, if you’re on a PC. Unfortunately, this means your “Downloads” folder can quickly fill up. This is where creating specific files names comes to use.
Search your “Downloads” folder by a specific file name (blog) and it will pull all those images. Then you can cut and paste them from the “Downloads” folder into the correct subfolder in your cloud drive. This saves you time from having to look at each image or document and figure out what it was used for and where to file it.
✅ ACTION STEPS
- Sort your ‘Download’ folder by file type. Depending on how you previously saved your downloaded files this will be the easiest way to organize them. You will now have PNG, PDF, doc, xls, and other file types grouped together.
- Review PDF files and delete what you won’t use. Be honest with yourself. Many times we download files because of FOMO. We might need it later as a resource, but if you haven’t referred to it in the last 6 months, there is a good chance you won’t in the future either. And at the speed business and technology evolves it will become outdated soon.
- Review your image files. Move those you are keeping and delete the rest. A majority of your images will transfer to a ‘Marketing’ subfolder (content, digital, etc.).
- Repeat the process of review, delete or move to a folder.
📌 For files you need to keep, but won’t use again create an “Archive” subfolder under the primary folder where you save them.
Review Automated Campaigns
How many automated email campaigns do you have running? When was the last time you reviewed them? Do the links work, is information up-to-date, do they take your leads down the right path?
Even “evergreen” email automation campaigns need to be reviewed and refined as your business grows, the industry evolves, and your clients grow. This post was part of the original “Reset Your Digital Office” drip email campaign. 17 emails were repurposed and updated to this 3-part blog series. Growth requires us to pay attention and adapt.
✅ ITEMS TO REVIEW
- Type. These can be pop-up windows, static banners, landing pages, CTA buttons, menu, footer, etc.
- Location (URL) This makes it easy for you to track where they are and update quickly when needed.
- Offering What is the goal of the opt-in? For LBDS it could be to lead one of 4 offerings (Academy, Coaching, Masterminds, Shop)
- Name of Opt-in Campaign What is the name of the opt-in campaign?
- List What is the list you are adding subscribers to?
- Group What is the group assigned for this specific segment of subscribers?
- Tags What are the tags associated with this specific segment of subscribers?
- Automation Name What is the name of the email automation sequence associated with this opt-in?
- Download (Y/N) Is there a download associated with this opt-in?
- Download (URL) Link to download
- Thank You Page (Y/N) Is there a download associated with this opt-in?
- Thank You Page (URL) Link to page
You can find this checklist as a template to download. The sheet allows you to see at a glance your opt-in email campaigns. It enables you to sort by type, offering, list, group, downloads, etc. It makes it easier to identify which campaigns need to be updated.
How do you feel after resetting your digital office? Less overwhelmed? Ready to take on new projects? More confident to delegate?
✅ ACTION STEP
- Create a recurring event reminder. By setting an appointment in your calendar quarterly to edit your devices you can stay on top of managing your digital office!
I hope the information and tips shared during Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 help you create a system that works for you and your business. Cheers to more space for creativity, productivity, and excellence!
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