Category: Digital corner

Digital Declutter – March and April!

I know I’m a bit late to the party, posting my March sum-up being we’re in May and all… but here it is anyways 😉

As my shoulder wouldn’t allow me much time on the computer since the last March update, there isn’t really all that much to tell. So this one will be short and sweet 😉

E-mails:
Even though March decluttering was mostly about cleaning up my hard-drives. I couldn’t quite leave the e-mails alone 🙂

05.03.18 – 26.03.18 – Outlook file no 13 – From 10228 to 0 = 10228.

10 228 deleted e-mails – minus the emails that have ended up “permanently” in File no 1 (yeah, you have to read February’s update for this) which are 1527 added e-mails.  That makes March/April = 8 701 decluttered e-mails 

Hard-drive declutter:
Since my mid March update, I haven’t done much on the hard-drives either. You might remember I started out with about 1,001,766 files and 2,20 TB of data!

Today this is what my hard’drive is at:  

That’ s 620 GB and 339 140 files deleted so far 🙂 Still way’s to go – but it’s gonna have to wait for a while.

Adding it up with this years total and we get:

Bookmarks – 1625
E-mails – 44 496
Files – 339 140 (620 GB)

That should make the total so far this year = 385 261 digital “items out-the-door”. 

Yup, that’s it for this time.. told you it would be short 😉

Data Devices galore!

As you all know – or at least some of you know – I’m working my way through my digital life.

After having deleted 35 360 e-mails in February, I decided to put the e-mail decluttering on hold for the month of March.

At the beginning of the year I wrote a little piece about ALL the data I have 😦 Stored on 8 external hard drive’s, 11 memory sticks, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, computers etc.

Since a lot of the data are backups and backups of backups… I know a lot of the information is the same.

I needed a game plan: So I decided to put most of the data onto one hard drive. I’m thinking that this might make it easier to consolidate and find duplicates.

And this is what I did earlier this month. I consolidated data from all my memory sticks, 6 of my external hard drives + my Dropbox and iCloud photo storage.

This is what I ended up with – one drive with:

Oh boy! That’s 1,001,766 files and 2,20 TB of data – and that isn’t even everything!!!! I think I need to lie down :-/

You might notice I only consolidated 6 out of 8 hard drives.. the reason?

  • One of the extra hard drive which has about 201 774 files and 95 Gb of data – will in it’s entirely be deleted – so no reason to add it to everything else 😉
  • The other one has my 2 computers Factory Resets + Image backup from when I installed windows 10. So these files will stay… this is non generational as I will need them if anything (God forbid) should happen to my computers.

Over the last couple of weeks.. Iv’e been chugging along, deleting a little here and there… and I’m currently at:

That’ s 600 GB and 330 748 files deleted so far 🙂 But as you can see.. I have a long way yet to go, before I’m done (sad face).

At this pace it might be months before I’m done.. but hey! This is my ONE big project this year, to get my digital life somewhat in check 😉

How are you dealing with your digital life?

Digital Corner – Bookmarks/Favorites!

Last week I talked about cleaning up the Desktop. This week, we will be dealing with Bookmarks/Favorites.

I don’t know about you, but I seem to amass bookmarks left right and center. Between two PC’s, several different internet browsers, iPhone and iPad, I can’t keep track of them all.

You know the drill… You bookmarked a site – it had a really cool video, and you want to show it to your friends! But when you pull out your phone to show it, you just can’t seem to find it, regardless of how hard you try, it’s just not there… and your friends are getting sick of waiting for you to search your phone for it… and then it hit’s you – the darn link is on your computer at home!

I have run into this scenario once or twice 😉 And this year I’m all about getting my digital life sorted. So cleaning up my bookmarks, is definitely on the agenda.

The last couple of days I have consolidated all my bookmarks, into one big list.

I use Chrome as my main browser on my computer, but most of my old bookmarks are from the time I used Internet Explorer (IE) as my browser. So for this particular cleanup job, I’ll be running everything through Internet Explorer.

Since my old bookmarks backups are from different “sources”, I have had to use a couple of different ways to consolidate them.

  1. Through Windows File Explorer:
    Most of my old IE bookmark backups were copies of old Favourites folders – and all I needed to do was use copy/paste or move, from old backup media to current Favourites folder (which is located here:  Local disk C:\user\{username}\Favorites )

    Be aware that on Windows 10, it’s only IE bookmarks that are located in the Favourites folder. Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge store their bookmarks in a database format, which means you can’t do much directly through File Explorer.
    .
  2. Using the Import and export function in Internet Explorer:
    Some of my bookmark backups are in a “.html” file format, and the best way to add these, is to use the import function in Internet Explorer.  How to import: Go to Internet Explorer – Favorites – Add to Favorites (down-arrow) – Import and Export – Import from a fileNext – Check Favorites check box, Next – Browse, select your file, Next – Select folder where you want to put the imported bookmarks, click Import – Finish.  You will find similar functions i other browsers.

After an initial quick cleanup (removing around 1100 or so), it was time to add some of my newer bookmarks.

The last few years, I have moved over to using iPad (and iPhone) for most of my internet surfing. And as will happen, I’ve racked up quite an impressive amount of bookmarks on these devices as well.

Since I’m doing a proper bookmarks declutter, I wanted to add the iPhone/iPad ones, and the best way to consolidate them all, was for me to install iCloud for Windows on my machine. With iCloud for Windows, it’s easy to synchronize photos, videos, mail, calendar and files between your iPad/iPhone and Windows PC. Installation is really easy.

So now I have all my bookmarks under the same umbrella, all located in my Favourites folder on my computer. It’s time to clean up for real 🙂

And this is after I have removed around 1100 !!!!

 

One of the biggest issues with old bookmark links, is that some of them don’t work anymore. Since there is no way, I’m going to individually click on 2982 bookmarks to find out if they work!!! I needed to find a software that would test this for me!

I looked online, and most of the recommendations seemed to gravitate towards a program called:  AM-DeadLink – this software will find your duplicates, check your links and mark all broken ones with the color of red and error code.

Unfortunately on it’s latest version it is no longer possible to delete broken links directly from within the program. Even so, I’ve found this software really useful as it will do most of what I want. It lets me sort my links by folder, by error code, by name and so on.

Even though it no longer will let you delete directly inside the software, it gives a clear idea about where I need to go in Windows File Explorer\Favourites or on Internet Explorer/Favourites to find the broken link.

The way I have done it so far (for the first 1100), is to have one open window, with the bookmark checker program, on one side of the screen, and one open window, with Internet Explorer or File Explorer, on the other side of the screen. It’s made the hunt for broken links easier.

 

I’m sure there are other programs out there that will help you, and I might (depending on how tedious this is) try another software.. but for now, I’ll give this one a try. If you should have any such program to recommend, please let me know. I need all the help I can get 🙂

Since I’m linking to 3 party software I’m just going to go ahead and add a disclaimer: I am no way affiliated with, nor am I receiving any benefits from links in this posting. I can not guarantee the software’s will do what you want/expect. Nor can I guarantee that they are 100% safe to use. All I can say, is that I have had no trouble with the software’s so far. All information are my own, I am not a professional, any action you take upon this information is at your own risk. 

Now that that’s out of the way 😉 It’s time for me to get on with it, after all, I have 2982 bookmarks to go through 😉

THIS WEEK’s task:

  • consolidate all bookmarks
  • clean them up
  • sort the keepers into a sensible folder structure for easy lookup later

Digital Corner – Desktop clutter!

I mentioned yesterday that this year my main focus will be to get control over my digital clutter. Rather than just forge ahead and only give you guys updates on what I’m reducing, I thought that maybe I should write a piece here and there about what areas that might be an idea to declutter. Just in case someone else wants to join along.

Today I want to talk about PC/MAC Desktop clutter. 

A lot of people store files directly on their Windows/Mac desktop, instead of saving them to some sort of document folder, (e.g. My Documents etc) as it makes things easy to reach.

Unfortunately what often happens, is that the desktop becomes cluttered, difficult to navigate and sometimes even distracting. Distracting, because all the icons can remind you of other things you need or want to do, and before you know it.. you’ve wasted time… not working on what you turned on the computer to do in the first place!

You should not underestimate the power of a clean desktop. Just like a messy room can make you anxious and stressed, so can a messy desktop.

A clean desktop is kinda like having a clean room. It can make your mind calm, clear and focused.

Yes, this is mine, and no, I did not clean it, it’s always like this. If you want to see cluttered ones – these gives me anxiety

There are also a couple of technical reasons for why you should not use your desktop as storage: 

In the text that follows, I’m talking about Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), since this is what I have. I do not know if it is the same on MAC OS. Regardless of OS, I think this is a valid consideration to take.

On Microsoft Windows versions older than Windows 8, your Desktop is not protected.

There are no file protection – mentioned on PC World, some directories, like example “My Documents” are not affected by System Restore. Files  stored on the desktop on the other hand, are affected by System Restore, which can result in files disappearing.

and no file backup as default –  A lot of file backup programs ignore desktop by default. Most backup programs will however allow you to change the settings to include it, but you have to actually do this.

On Microsoft Windows versions 8 and 10, backups are handled a little different than before, and I’m not sure, but I think maybe these newer OS backs up the desktop file as a default (that is, when you actually do a backup). But again, I’m not sure! To eer on the side of caution, I’m following the old time rule of not storing documents/programs/videos etc directly to the desktop.

What I do, if I want quick access, is to use links instead. I create an icon which links to where the document is stored on the PC.

Also a very cluttered desktop will slow down a computers startup time. Which means, cleaning it up, can help speed up your computer boot up time!

TODAY’s task: 

  • Delete and clear away items/icons on your Desktop that are no longer relevant or important.
  • Save items you want to keep, to folders like “My Documents”, “My Pictures” and so on – To save: Open the document, press File, Save as – give it a name and put it in the relevant place.
  • Only keep icons that starts up software programs, or that links to documents/videos/photos etc that is stored on your computer hard drive.

 

Hello 2018!

It’s amazing how fast time goes… 2017 went by in a whirl… and here we are, 2018!

I know a lot of people make elaborate new years resolutions, and they make a long list of plans for what they will be filling the new year with. Me, I have only a few things on my list;

Outside of my health, my goals are to travel and get my digital “life” under control!

My health I seem to have absolutely no control over! Even so.. I’m forever trying to figure it all out, and off course, that won’t stop, regardless of what year we are in!

Since I got sick, I’ve had to put a lot of my travel wish list, on hold. This year (health permitted) I am planning on checking off a couple of boxes on that list. More on this later 😉

The one task I probably have the most control over, is sorting out my digital life/clutter.

In today’s society there is so much that is going on in a digital form. There are social medias, emails, internet banking, different memberships, blogs, you name it.. it’s there!

A lot of us store files in some sorts of Cloud storage and some of us have a lot of data stored at home on physical media.

Over the next weeks and months, I will talk about the different digital areas, that some of us might want to minimize.

Today however I want to talk about the data I have stored at home… I have a mountain of it!

Between two (or really three, old one I don’t use anymore) PCs, eight external hard drive’s, 11 memory sticks, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud and three different email accounts, I have tons, and tons of files.

Not only are there thousands of files, but I have backups and backups of backups, I’m sure there are even backups of backups of backups… you get the drift.

I have several hundred thousand different files like; software programs, videos, photos, documents, emails and more. I did a count… you won’t believe me.. but there are around 1.155.825 files, and that’s only my external hard drives.  I’m not even taking into account what’s on my computers, in my cloud storage’s and individual emails… I think I’m gonna cry 😢

I have singles, duplicates, triplicates and I’m sure, even some quadruplicate versions of files, documents, photos, videos, you name it, floating around.

I think it’s time to get it all under control 😉

On those before mentioned hard drives, the ones that totaled up 1.155.825 individual files…. there are 2217 GB (gigabyte) of data.  Now add my PC’s, memory sticks and cloud storage’s – we are talking something  around the border of 2350 GB, and I’m sure something else I forgot is gonna pop up somewhere.

I have a large goal for this clean up.. and I’m almost hesitant to tell you all about it, because I’m not even sure it’s achievable, considering I have a lot of music, videos and photos I want to keep… but I’m gonna throw it out there anyways.

OK.. here goes…

Hang on a minute…

“Taking a deep breath..”

OK…

No wait!

OK.. I’m ready…

My goal is to get down to 500 GB or less.

I know for some this doesn’t sound like it should be hard at all.. but for me.. this is huge.. I have decluttered my data before and removed a lot of stuff, so this is not my first time around.

And I can’t be heavy handed either, when deleting stuff, as I have to be careful about not throwing out important documents that I need to keep, like files related to my health, insurances, work ++

The thing, I think will be the most tedious part, is when I start consolidating files, to make sure I only have one copy instead of a gazillion copies.. it’s going to take forever! But this I’m sure you will hear more about when I get to it.

So there we have it.. reduce my digital stuff down to 1/5 of what I have today!

Oh boy.. this is gonna be hard.. good thing I have a full year 😉

And guess when I’ll be starting this? Yep.. there is no time like tomorrow!

See you then… 🙂

 

Adding to the numbers!

Christmas is over, and the new year is only a few hours away (at least here in Norway).

B and I spend Christmas in UK this year. Hanging out with my brother, his wife, his wife’s uncle and my mum 🙂 This year we tried the best we could to keep our “gifts” to usable/edible items, things like chocolate, marzipan, candy’s and kakemenn (for my brother.. he loves them), stuff that you can pretty much only get in Norway (as most of them are made here). I think we left them happily munching on stuff when we left to go home 😉

We have been back a couple of days, and as we are nearing the new year, I decided I needed one more run towards a declutter goal I had this year, that I haven’t told you about before!

When I finally finished this year’s 21 day challenge in August, I was thinking;

“Hey I’m almost at a 1000 items, I should be able to shed a few more during this year. I have another 4 months to go… ”

And I thought out this elaborate plan that maybe I should shoot for decluttering as many items during 2017 as I have written about on this blog since I started my declutter journey in 2014.

So how many items would that be then missus Anne?

Well, lets see now – that would be 634 items in 2014, 561 items in 2015 and 437 items in 2016… (mumbling and calculating under my breath… ) – that’s 1632 items!
I should be able to do that!! I still have 4 months to go.. no problem!!! (remember.. this is what I was thinking in August.)

Well here we are, at the last day of December and my total for the year is at 1508 – that’s 124 items away from my imaginary 1632!

I’ve been thinking about this, and it probably didn’t matter if I did it or not… but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.. I really want to get to the 1632!

I have a lot of digital decluttering that needs doing, something that will be my main focus in 2018.  I decided to cheat and start early, and what better place to start than my iPad mini, which I use every day.

So that’s what I did!

I knew I had way, and I mean way to many apps hanging around on my iPad, and that I could really do with a cleanup. I checked (Settings/General/About) and found that I had 468 third party apps residing on my iPad. I know.. crazy, right! Who need that many apps? Well I certainly don’t… even so.. I found it harder than I thought to whittle down the apps. For the purpose of a count of items, I’ve decided 5 apps = 1 item

 

From 468, to 318 = 150 apps less
= 30 items

 

Getting some of the apps out of the way, I decided to move on to my iPad emails! One of my challenges with e-mails is that, with my e-mail provider, they sync to the iPad, iPhone, PC and remains on the server. Problem is, when I delete something, I need to do it on all 4 places 😦 (haven’t figured a way around this yet). So safe to say, it’s a pain keeping up on it all, and it shows…

To find out how many e-mails I had on my iPad, I marked all emails with a flag, so the total would show in the Flagged section of my email program (now.. this is probably not a good idea, if you already have a lot of flagged emails for later reference – I had some, but I checked them first to see if any was important to remember anymore, and they weren’t). For the items count, I’ve decided that 10 emails = 1 item

From 2007, to 1296 = 711 emails gone
= 71 items

 

Just to throw in some actual physical stuff – I figured that shredding a pile of papers that was waiting to go, probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

I have a portable shredder that I use with a specific trash bin. I can typically shred around 200-250 pieces of paper before the bin is full. Food store receipts? Well then we are talking probably 700-800. Since I’m counting items, I have decided that one full bin equals 10 items out-the-door. This time around, it was a mix of regular paper and store receipts, which equals a lot of single pieces of paper. 

I shredded 3 bins full
= 30 items

That’s a total of 131 items for today! 

And my new grand total for 2017 = 1639!

I guess I passed my silent goal of 1632, yayyy 😉

That’s it for 2017 – no more decluttering!

Until next year 😉 

 

 

21.13 – PC cables overflow!

day-13We’re at day 13 of my 21 day declutter challenge.

I’m one of those, that have had a house filled with various IT related products over the years. I am slowly reducing my PC/IT stash, and hopefully I will end up with only a few items eventually. For the time being I still have way to much, BUT as I said, I’m slowly reducing.

So, today’s declutter catch was found in my small cables “department”…

 

And here we are… 13 PC related items leaving the house! 

21-day-13-c

2 cell phone chargers
1 mouse
1 video camera sound cable
5 usb cables
1 nettwork cable
2 power cable
1 printer CD/DVD caddybs
=
13 items

 

I’m being joined in this challenge by:
– Barb, at Decluttering The Stuff, joined for 14 days, and this is her last day, before leaving on a trip. Her total count? 146 🙂
– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, check out her declutterathon, day twothree and four
– Grace, at The CFO MOM Blog, getting her groove on, decluttering a few more bags.
– Jen, at The Hidden Hoarder, have caught up and are now on day 13 like me 🙂 She is moving so fast I completely missed her day 12

Cooked to perfection!

I don’t know what happened to my old trusty thermometer!

All I know, is that it’s showing the wrong temperatures, and it’s made for some interesting cooking lately 😉

So I had to get a new one, and having the choice, I chose to go digital.

I have to admit. It makes for a much easier read of the temperature, no longer having to stick my head into the oven for the readout!

And much safer to 😉

2014-03-23 12.09.14

PC nicknack’s

I have this “box” full of chargers, hard drives, computer cables, network cables, converters and a whole lot of other computer related nicknack’s. You name it, I’ve got it 😉

I just installed a couple of drawers in a Ikea unit – the drawers are going out of production so they put them up on 50% sale! I’ve been thinking about installing some drawers in the unit for the last couple of years, and I realized, that if I was ever going to do this, it was now or never!

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the drawers can not hold as much stuff as the boxes I used before… So a clean up was unavoidable (and desperately needed if you ask me) 😉

I pulled all the data related “junk” out of one of the boxes, and went about decluttering… All the stuff in the pile of mess picture came out of that red box, I can not believe how much it held.

I’m sad to say I did not manage to get rid of, as much as I’d like. I always keep all the belonging part to a item, that I own (if I ever give the item away, I like giving it as a complete set), even if I might not strictly need all the parts belonging to the item.

There is still a lot of computer stuff left in the house. But for now at least, there is a small pile of stuff, that is going out-the-door 🙂

20140404-164642.jpg

March tally!

Month three! My gosh I thought I had spent February focusing on my digital clutter, but February don’t even hold a candle to the month of March.

Unfortunately, getting that focused on digital clutter, have taken away some of the focus on tangible decluttering, and it’s time I step it back up in the month of April!

Looking at my monthly tally this month, you’d think I’ve done nothing. I might not have been decluttering to much, but I have still been up to a couple of things 🙂

MARCH TALLY of things “out-the-door” =  12 items and 7535 emails

  • 1 ice cream spoon
  • 1 leather vest
  • 10 bottles of hotel “candy
  • 7535 emails at my work mailbox

So what else have I’ve been up to? Well let’s see, there is:

 

2014-04-02 15.36.19  2014-04-02 15.57.30