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#ProdChat – 08/07/13 – Digital Clutter

#ProdChat – 08/07/13 – Digital Clutter

This #ProdChat we had a lively discussion about digital information, defining digital clutter and strategies to deal with it when you realize you have digital clutter.

  1. Too many emails, photos or files? Tonight’s productivity chat is on the topic of digital clutter – Join us! 8 pm ET, follow #prodchat
  2. So, let’s start with introductions! In a tweet, tell us about you. #prodchat
  3. Joining #prodchat from WI without power. Major storm last night. I’ll hang on as long as I can.
  4. @xianfox Great to have you here for as long as we have you, Xian! #prodchat
  5. hey #prodchat — Natalie here — productivity coach & academic. I help people move forward on what’s important to them.
  6. @nmhouston Welcome to the #productivity conversation, Natalie! Great to have you here, as always! :) #prodchat
  7. Q1: WHAT DIGITAL INFORMATION DO YOU CURRENTLY MANAGE PURPOSEFULLY? WHAT DIGITAL INFO SHOULD BE MANAGED? #prodchat
  8. (expect increased volume of tweets from me for the next hour during #prodchat, then back to the usual intermittency…)
  9. Jason here.… engineer and productivity geek. #prodchat
  10. missing tonight chat… I am out of country this week– I’m in Haiti, working/ vacationing… see you guys next week. #wjchat #Prodchat
  11. @LoisMarketing I think they went where they always go! LOL. ;) So good to have you here, Lois, my baking compadre! #prodchat
  12. A1: personal: pics, finances, vacations (past & hoped), interests misc. … #prodchat
  13. A1: bus: retain most including contractual, financial, old collateral (prez, proposals) etc. #prodchat
  14. @MCTheWriter Myrlande, you enjoy your travel! We look forward to seeing you again soon when you’re back! :) I hope share pics! #prodchat
  15. @MCTheWriter Myrlande, you enjoy your travel! We look forward to seeing you again soon when you’re back! :) I hope share pics! #prodchat
  16. @MCTheWriter Myrlande, you enjoy your travel! We look forward to seeing you again soon when you’re back! :) I hope share pics! #prodchat
  17. A1: what digital info should be managed – rephrase as what info should be digitally managed? #prodchat
  18. A1: I’m a digital hoarder currently. I admit it! I am still trying to determine what to keep/purge. #prodchat
  19. A1 Most important purposeful thing I do for managing digital info is to have comprehensive cloud backup and sync with @SpiderOak #prodchat
  20. A1 Most important purposeful thing I do for managing digital info is to have comprehensive cloud backup and sync with @SpiderOak #prodchat
  21. RT @nmhouston: (expect increased volume of tweets from me for the next hour during #prodchat, then back to the usual intermittency…)
  22. Q2: HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE DIGITAL CLUTTER? DO YOU BELIEVE IT’S A PROBLEM FOR YOU, OR SOCIETY? #prodchat
  23. I’m speaking for me personally with A1: photos and scanned documents/records ..and I have printed copies of most too!! #prodchat
  24. A1 Everything I used to save in paper and then some… (meaning I keep electronic copies of the stuff you wouldn’t throw away) #prodchat
  25. A1: I manage all my digital information purposefully be it personal or business. #prodchat
  26. Q1: @evernote is the best thing I do for my digital clutter. #prodchat
  27. I see the most clutter with photos — so easy to snap so many then not take time to go back, edit and save best #prodchat A2
  28. A2: good un! Clutter = not purposefully to use your word or poorly organized #prodchat
  29. A1: I do well with emails and photos but keep way too many Word and PowerPoint files that I “might need someday.” #prodchat
  30. @GTDbloke It’s a “clean and organized mind” process I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s possible archiving is the answer. #prodchat
  31. A2 Digital clutter to me is keeping everything I read on the web in evernote or instapaper or pocket. Also my RSS feed #prodchat
  32. A2: I believe most folk don’t know how to manage data and info properly and maybe this is space for really intelligent robo apps #prodchat
  33. @GTDbloke But wouldn’t archiving “clutter” be like renting a storage unit for your junk??? :)) #prodchat
  34. A2: I think things are so easy to capture and save now that digital clutter is quite likely. #prodchat
  35. Good point! MT @LoisMarketing I see the most clutter with photos — so easy to snap …then not…go back, edit and save best #prodchat A2
  36. Good point! MT @LoisMarketing I see the most clutter with photos — so easy to snap …then not…go back, edit and save best #prodchat A2
  37. Q2: Expired transient information keep in a (semi) permanent state. #prodchat
  38. MT @GTDbloke A2: I believe most folk don’t know how to manage data…properly and maybe … for really intelligent robo apps #prodchat
  39. @rsidneysmith @LoisMarketing A2: yup – I don’t take with phone and filter through Lightroom discarding many #prodchat
  40. @rsidneysmith so would we allow this “super app” to take the keys to our data and info? #prodchat
  41. A2 for me, digital clutter is sthng you can’t find when you want, or it’s in your way when you don’t want it. #prodchat
  42. Yes! RT @nmhouston: A2 for me, digital clutter is sthng you can’t find when you want, or it’s in your way when you don’t want it. #prodchat
  43. Who in #prodchat has done a recent test restore of their data? If you’re using offsite backup you should!
  44. @GTDbloke Within reason, I believe you would give the “keys” to the intelligently-designed apps as long as failsafes exist. #prodchat
  45. RT @LoisMarketing Who in #prodchat has done a recent test restore of their data? If you’re using offsite backup you should!
  46. @LoisMarketing Good suggestion! I haven’t in over a year, but it’s something I’m going to add to my semi-annual checklist. Thanks! #prodchat
  47. so true MT @LoisMarketing: I see the most clutter with photos — so easy to snap so many don’t go back, edit and save best #prodchat A2
  48. If you haven’t tried it yet, I’m using  http://twubs.com/prodchat  tweetchatting tonight and it’s awesome! :) #prodprodchat
  49. @LoisMarketing yes if it’s clutter in the first place but a fine line #prodchat
  50. facing up to the fact that you’re not actually ever going to read some things (RSS, email newsletter) is so important #prodchat
  51. It seems digital clutter is anything you save that you could retrieve via google. #prodchat
  52. Q3: WHAT ARE WAYS WE ARE ABLE TO MANAGE OUR DIGITAL INFORMATION WITHOUT REJECTING THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY? #prodchat
  53. @michgunn In essence, w/o saying “I’ll cancel my cellphone plan and go without a phone” what would you do? #prodchat
  54. @GTDbloke Yeah, they could make the signup process easier! LOL. It’s two-step…sign-up then authenticate Twitter. #prodchat
  55. A3 to manage your digital information, you have to first know (& manage) yourself. What are your habits, really? #prodchat
  56. @rsidneysmith Hmmm… I still don’t grok it. Are you asking what tech I’m willing to go without? #prodchat
  57. Q3: All comes down to discipline for me. #prodchat Discipline to take the time to properly tag/sort information.
  58. @michgunn Is there a process/method/technique you use to organize your digital information? #prodchat
  59. Something else we need to control and manage is our TIME on devices. Are we too attached? checking too often? etc #prodchat A3
  60. RT @nmhouston A3 to manage your digital information, you have to first know (& manage) yourself. What are your habits, really? #prodchat
  61. ProductivityBookGroup: AUG 17, NOON! Join us! MAKING IT ALL WORK (Chs.5-10) by @gtdguy!  http://goo.gl/X85gzm odgtdtprodchat
  62. A3: I have the same categories across my entire world so that my digital information makes sense no matter where it is. #prodchat
  63. @LoisMarketing @rsidneysmith excluding email I’m not sure it’s necessary if organized well in 1st #prodchat
  64. A3: I also create the same digital folder structure so that I’m looking at the same framework wherever I store files. #prodchat
  65. @GTDbloke Going back to photos, also Evernote, etc. Just clearing what’s not to be saved each day #prodchat @rsidneysmith
  66. Twitter itself a good example for managing digital clutter. You can’t “keep up”, or keep them all. Just dip in when you choose. #prodchat
  67. Twitter itself a good example for managing digital clutter. You can’t “keep up”, or keep them all. Just dip in when you choose. #prodchat
  68. @LoisMarketing That’s very true…sometimes, less is more when it comes to our time with mobile tech especially…like at dinner! #prodchat
  69. ditto MT @rsidneysmith: A3: I use the same digital folder structure… same framework wherever I store files #prodchat
  70. @profkrg Yes! I rely on my bookmarking tools, filing system, Endnote etc.As soon as I access I must categorise. Otherwise clutter. #prodchat
  71. me too MT @rsidneysmith: I use the same categories across my world so my digital information makes sense no matter where it is. #prodchat
  72. @LoisMarketing @rsidneysmith yes – but I only take photos on a shoot and then filter the keepers #prodchat
  73. @nmhouston I think that’s key, Natalie. It becomes digital clutter when it begins to control you or cause you stress. #prodchat
  74. A3: I treat all items as either Permanent or Transient. Perm goes to Evernote. Transient to Dropbox or the like. #prodchat
  75. A3: Something I notice is that when my device is filled, it’s time to look at what I’ve been hoarding. #prodchat
  76. @rsidneysmith Recent study shows average smartphone user checks their phone every 6 minutes. That is ridiculous!!! #prodchat
  77. RT @xianfox A3: I treat all items as either Permanent or Transient. Perm goes to Evernote. Transient to Dropbox or the like. #prodchat
  78. @nmhouston I decided long ago that Twitter & Facebook weren’t “inboxes”. #prodchat
  79. Items that change from transient to permanent move to Evernote in standard formats like PDF. #prodchat
  80. I use same file structure, categories, & color coding on all devices, tools ..helps quickly assess & sort #prodchat
  81. I use same file structure, categories, & color coding on all devices, tools ..helps quickly assess & sort #prodchat
  82. RT @michgunn: @nmhouston I decided long ago that Twitter & Facebook weren’t “inboxes”. #prodchat
  83. @nmhouston Oh, that sounds zen! I am trying to incorporate more and more color coding into my system! Must compare notes! #prodchat
  84. ditto except for personal msgs RT @michgunn: @nmhouston I decided long ago that Twitter & Facebook weren’t “inboxes”. #prodchat
  85. Q4: HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY MANAGE YOUR DIGITAL STORAGE/DEVICES (EG, EXT HARD DRIVES, THUMBDRIVES, PERIPHERALS, ETC.)? #prodchat
  86. @rsidneysmith Interesting… I try to be discerning when capturing. The touch it once rule… #prodchat
  87. @xianfox Standardizing the formats in which you archive is a great procedure, Xian! #prodchat
  88. interesting! [email protected]: A3: I treat all items as either Permanent or Transient. Perm goes to Evernote. Transient to Dropbox… #prodchat
  89. @rsidneysmith one reason I like @todoist is the color coding for projects, actions — I use the same colors on Gcal #prodchat
  90. One of my close friends checks her email and voicemail messages 2x each day, 10 am and 4 pm. And she is ROCKING her biz! #prodchat
  91. A4: I only use thumbdrives for listening to music or books in my car #prodchat
  92. Along with offsite backup, I have thumbdrives that I securely store, also print and store documents as needed. #prodchat A4
  93. A4: My life works in semesters. Current and last semester are on @Dropbox. Back up on @LaCieTech at semester’s end. #prodchat
  94. A4: My life works in semesters. Current and last semester are on @Dropbox. Back up on @LaCieTech at semester’s end. #prodchat
  95. Q4: I’m mostly cloud now. I use multiple services but each active project is confined to one service. Keeps me using free levels. #prodchat
  96. A4: Things to read go on @instapaper. Items for class/blog/research reference go in @evernote. #prodchat
  97. A4: I incremental back up to an external HD, sync active stuff to Cubby (excellent), and cloud backup with Carbonite #prodchat
  98. A4: My thumbdrives are all named after the computer/laptop they are connected to; live in the same case. #prodchat
  99. As an example I keep print copies of all tax returns and documents, organized and securely filed away. #prodchat A4
  100. A4: All of my external hard drives are also named and numbered; I have an inventory of them (same as my thumbdrives)…w/capacity. #prodchat
  101. A4 I keep thumbdrives in all travel bags. otherwise such things are just in a drawer, use far less often these days #prodchat
  102. A4 I put them in a drawer. ;) I’m mostly cloud now, so the physical backups are just extra precaution. #prodchat
  103. A4: I also note any devices that have storage on them. Eg, my Eye-Fi card in my digital SLR pushes to Google Picasa Web Albums. #prodchat
  104. @profkrg you’re reminding me I want to restart/reorganize my instapaper. To-reads are my nemesis. #prodchat
  105. Q4: Still sorting thru one old hard drive. Last things not on cloud are music & movies. Movies are backed up to DVD. #prodchat
  106. A4: yes photos to Smugmug and occasionally Flickr #prodchat
  107. Don’t forget good old fashioned safe deposit boxes at banks. For backup drives of things you don’t even trust the cloud to keep! #prodchat
  108. A4 External hard drives fail. Plus there are weather events and disasters. Why I love secure cloud backup. #prodchat
  109. A4: Music & Photos backup to Amazon Glacier. I’m considering Flickr for photos. #prodchat
  110. Good point. Always run a virus sweep of them RT @GTDbloke: A4: thumbdrives can be virus suceptible #prodchat
  111. @profkrg I frequently am on-site on computers that are not mine…so I have bootable thumbdrives with my workfing files. #prodchat
  112. if you want to be serious about paper clutter & digital clutter, a good scanner makes a huge difference. I love mine. #prodchat
  113. @xianfox Are you considering Flickr because they bumped up to the 1TB storage limit? That’s a good amount of data space. #prodchat
  114. Q5: WHAT ARE WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN PURGE DIGITAL CLUTTER? #prodchat
  115. Q5: WHAT ARE WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN PURGE DIGITAL CLUTTER? #prodchat
  116. Q5: WHAT ARE WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN PURGE DIGITAL CLUTTER? #prodchat
  117. @rsidneysmith I see. Makes sense. I have one that I use for transferring documents. That’s all. #prodchat
  118. So easy to tweet, yet so difficult to do! LOL RT @profkrg A5: Press delete #prodchat
  119. A5 Sometimes I declare bankruptcy and just wipe my RSS reader clean without reading the articles #prodchat
  120. A5: Process instead of just saving things you may reference or read “one of these days.” #prodchat
  121. @rsidneysmith Yes. 1Tb should hold me for a while. Just concerned about Eula changes and retreivability. #prodchat
  122. yes, me too. RT @michgunn: A5 Sometimes I declare bankruptcy and just wipe my RSS reader clean without reading the articles #prodchat
  123. A5 I almost wiped out my instapaper and pocket accounts yesterday… might still do it. #prodchat
  124. Yep. @michgunn: A5 Sometimes I declare bankruptcy and just wipe my RSS reader clean without reading the articles #prodchat
  125. RT @rsidneysmith: So easy to tweet, yet so difficult to do! LOL RT @profkrg A5: Press delete #prodchat
  126. @michgunn don’t feel bad about it – do you read the whole newspaper? #prodchat
  127. Woah! RT @michgunn A5 I almost wiped out my instapaper and pocket accounts yesterday… might still do it. #prodchat
  128. Make an appointment with yourself to read the e-newsletters and other things you’ve put to the side in your inbox then clear them! #prodchat
  129. A5 I recently unsubscribed from a bunch of email catalogs & newsletters — very satisfying purge of digital clutter #prodchat
  130. @michgunn I get aggressive with deleting things on Instapaper when it starts stressing me. #prodchat
  131. A5 I also don’t scroll back more than a couple of screens in Facebook or Twitter. It’ll pop back up if it’s important enough. #prodchat
  132. “Tidy ups” are the moments you find all those things that you wanted to look at -they instantly become important #prodchat
  133. @xianfox Yes, I agree. I’m consistently watching changes in ToS/EULAs bc I want my data to stay MY data. #prodchat
  134. RT @profkrg @michgunn I get aggressive with deleting things on Instapaper when it starts stressing me. #prodchat
  135. I love how #prodchat went crazy about deleting :) love you guys
  136. Aw! Have you noticed the Apple is no longer there? So sad. ;( RT @profkrg: @rsidneysmith watch me! Apple+A. Delete. Happy me! :) #prodchat
  137. Adjust the spam filters for your email and keep them up to date. Opt out and unsubscribe if you’re prone to just delete something #prodchat
  138. Adjust the spam filters for your email and keep them up to date. Opt out and unsubscribe if you’re prone to just delete something #prodchat
  139. +1 RT @nmhouston I love how #prodchat went crazy about deleting :) love you guys
  140. I created 1 email that i use for the “spam” type subscriptions – means i can bulk delete if i want too #prodchat
  141. @nmhouston I just can’t imagine that there is anything I couldn’t find if I needed it again. A purge is good now and then. #prodchat
  142. If you’re not reading your RSS, maybe it’s not just about clutter. Are you making time for reading, if that’s important to you? #prodchat
  143. If you’re not reading your RSS, maybe it’s not just about clutter. Are you making time for reading, if that’s important to you? #prodchat
  144. If you’re not reading your RSS, maybe it’s not just about clutter. Are you making time for reading, if that’s important to you? #prodchat
  145. I haven’t touched a paper since Social Studies! ;D “@GTDbloke @michgunn don’t feel bad about it – do you read the whole newspaper? #prodchat
  146. @rsidneysmith when my desktop starts looking like an episode from hoarders #prodchat
  147. @LoisMarketing careful what you opt-out/unsubscribe some of those just is to confirm your valid email address = more spam #prodchat
  148. @nmhouston That’s a very important question to ask of yourself! “Is this important to me?” #prodchat
  149. Nice! MT @nmhouston: recently unsubscribed from a bunch of email catalogs & newsletters – very satisfying purge of digital clutter #prodchat
  150. LOL! RT @BrandIdeas @rsidneysmith when my desktop starts looking like an episode from hoarders #prodchat
  151. RT @profkrg: I just can’t imagine that there is anything I couldn’t find if I needed it again. A purge is good now and then. #prodchat
  152. RT @profkrg I just can’t imagine that there is anything I couldn’t find if I needed it again. A purge is good now and then. #prodchat
  153. A5: for docs especially scans I know I don’t need to retain I append “EXPIRES YYMM” to the fn and then each month delete ’em #prodchat
  154. A5: for docs especially scans I know I don’t need to retain I append “EXPIRES YYMM” to the fn and then each month delete ’em #prodchat
  155. @LoisMarketing Many marketers have been complaining about Gmail’s new tab system. Yay or nay? #prodchat
  156. Aw… sorry! I keep up on the big stuff, just not through newspapers. RT @profkrg: @michgunn @GTDbloke I just died inside. #prodchat
  157. digital formats die about every 10 years but i bet we still have a box of floppy disks some where #prodchat
  158. Q6: WHAT ARE WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN USE OUR DIGITAL INFORMATION BETTER WHEN/ONCE WE ARE MANAGING IT WELL? #prodchat
  159. @rsidneysmith Not using it and do not have clients who are. So not familiar! Not active with Google apps or G+ either #prodchat
  160. Love! MT @GTDbloke: A5: for docs I know I don’t need to retain I append “EXPIRES YYMM” to the fn and then each month delete ’em #prodchat
  161. @rsidneysmith I have been so irritated by marketing letters trying to boss my tabs around. I like the tabs, know how to use them. #prodchat
  162. A6: information is a powerful thing. Compiling, analyzing and sharing with others is important to me. #prodchat
  163. Digital is there for our convenience and use, not we for it. Each of us could likely benefit from more time away from it!! #prodchat A6
  164. RT @nmhouston I have been so irritated by marketing letters trying to boss my tabs around. I like the tabs, know how to use them. #prodchat
  165. @nmhouston Agreed! I say write better quality content that makes me want to read your newsletter…don’t gripe! LOL #prodchat
  166. @BrandIdeas well, I got rid of my actual “floppies” a while back. Still have some 3.5″ though. :) #prodchat
  167. Agreed! RT @profkrg A6: information is a powerful thing. Compiling, analyzing and sharing with others is important to me. #prodchat
  168. @LoisMarketing @rsidneysmith seems like most of my G+ mates are mainly into photography and tech stuff #prodchat
  169. A6 Making immediate reference to it in your task mgmt system if there is a next action… #prodchat
  170. @GTDbloke @LoisMarketing Martin, then it’s time to expand your sphere into more communities and following varied interest folks!:) #prodchat
  171. @rsidneysmith Thanks. Perhaps in future but everything is working well now for me and for clients, settled into good systems. #prodchat
  172. #GTD RT @michgunn A6 Making immediate reference to it in your task mgmt system if there is a next action… #prodchat
  173. A6 Maybe immediate tagging and filing, instead of having to think about it again later. Touch it once rule… ;) #prodchat
  174. @nmhouston I’m glad I’m not the only one with a few Microfloppies (3.5-ers) hanging around! ;-) #prodchat
  175. @rsidneysmith @LoisMarketing I dislike it intensely and don’t/can’t use it do to the Labs feature Multiple Inboxes which is fine #prodchat
  176. I think David Allen talks about having a reading material stack — w/ mobile can take it with you, use odd bits of time #prodchat
  177. A6: Services like @hojoki feeds back information about what you’re using and interacting with. That can be very helpful! #prodchat
  178. MT @nmhouston I think David Allen talks about having a reading material stack — w/ mobile can take it with you, use bits of time #prodchat
  179. RT @michgunn A6 Maybe immediate tagging and filing, instead of having to think about it again later. Touch it once rule… ;) #prodchat
  180. @rsidneysmith @nmhouston Geez… what are you going to do with them? Just cut your losses and cut them up. Psychic clutter be gone #prodchat
  181. @rsidneysmith you are making me feel more curious about G+ — I have been staying away from it mostly #prodchat
  182. @michgunn I was actually planning on using them in an art project! LOL. @nmhouston #prodchat
  183. The data on the floppys is no good to you now anyway… I’m sure you don’t have a copy of Clarisworks for OS X. ;) #Prodchat
  184. @GTDbloke I believe there is software that can on Win/Mac. Also, you can right-click on most files and put tags in the metadata. #prodchat

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