2016 Digital Reboot and Detox

The biggest accomplishment for me so far in 2016 has been a successful ‘digital cleanse’ and re-organisation. Included in this process was a selection process to reduce the number of apps, cloud storage and other tools in my workflows. I ended 2015 in a bit of a ‘train wreck’ scenario with files and important information all over the place. I wasted time trying to find information and this was a huge productivity killer.

Step 1. I got very clear on what I need to do on a daily basis to achieve my key objectives in my business and personal life. I wrote down what I need to do to drive my business forward and I am determined to shed or outsource the rest. For some reason 2015 caused me to go a bit off course and I was doing work I don’t enjoy and do not perform well at doing.

chaos-485491_1280 Step2. The biggest choice of all was choosing the operating system that I am going to stick with. I think this choice has become harder given improvements in all the major operating systems. I was using both Windows 10 and Apple El Capitan. I like using both but the switching between the two was causing too much friction since there are not clear lines between work and personal time in my life. I need to have one ‘ecosystem’ of hardware and operating system. Tough choice but I made it.

Step 3. I created a spreadsheet that listed all the tools and apps I use and what I use them for. The duplication was numbing. I was using three different cloud storage services, different productivity tools, note taking software etc. You name the need and I was using multiple tools to achieve outcomes. What a mess. I decided on what tools I like to use and shed the rest. In some cases this process was hard since so many tools have strengths that others do not and so on.

For instance the choice between Microsoft OneNote and Evernote was tough. The cloud based storage choice was not as tough but still had some compromises no matter which one I chose.

The selection of a task management tool was also incredibly challenging. I rely so much on a task management tool and there are so many great ones available.

Step 4. This is the part where I put it all in place. I had to spend time migrating files, cancelling subscriptions and general clean up. I found a lot of waste in my systems and realised I collect a great deal of information that I never use. I am sure there are many like me in that area.

At this early stage I am travelling along pretty well. There is a sense of liberation have your tools and information management orderly and predictable. I admit to missing a few features of tools I used before but you can waste a lot of precious time searching for the ultimate solutions and never getting real work done.

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