While you may be sitting in a very organized office with a clean desk surface and perfect file cabinets (or maybe not…), there are still piles of clutter right in front of your nose! However, this culprit is hard to see or even conceptualize - it’s digital clutter. But what is digital clutter?
How do you know if you have digital clutter? Here a few signs…
- Your computer desktop is barely visible due to numerous shortcuts, documents, and file folders
- You spend more than 30 seconds trying to find electronic files
- You only use a handful of the 40+ apps currently on your phone
To get an idea of how much digital clutter you are hoarding on your computer or laptop, let’s imagine those electronic files were “physical files.” Follow the steps below to calculate how tall your pile of digital clutter would be if 1 sheet of paper represented each individual file on your computer.
Step #1: Determine how many files are currently stored on your computer.
If you have a Mac:
- Open Finder
- On the left-hand side, click on Applications
- Open the Utilities folder
- Click on the Disk Utility icon
- On the left-hand side, click on Macintosh HD
- On the top header, click the blue Info icon
- A new window will pop up. Locate “Number of files” to find your grand total (see screenshot below)
If you have a PC:
- Click Start
- Under search, type “cmd”
- Open up CMD to run a command prompt
- Type “cd/” then enter and type “dir/s”
- Click enter and let the system count for 5-10 minutes
- Once it has finished, scroll to the bottom and find “Total Files Listed” for your grand total (see screenshot below)
Step #2: Calculate the height (in feet) of your digital clutter
Now that you know exactly how many electronic files you have, it’s time to imagine them as physical files. Let’s say each of your electronic files represents just one single piece of paper. When stacked in a pile, it takes 3,000 sheets of paper to reach a foot tall. Take your total number of files and divide that number by 3,000 to yield how many feet tall your files would stack to.
Now look around your office. Do you have enough room for all those piles and feet of paper? Do you need to keep all of those files? Do you have duplicate files? Can you find the electronic files you’re looking for quickly and easily? Just because you don’t need to physically store these files, your electronic files are still piling up into digital clutter…lots of digital clutter.
To learn how to clear out, reduce, and manage your digital clutter, sign up for our “Reduce Digital Clutter: Keep Your Electronic Files Organized” webinar on June 19th.
How many feet tall would your digital clutter stack be? Let us know in the comments (scroll to the very bottom of this page) to see how you “stack up.”