Modern Rules: Digital Spring Cleaning

Is all the fun stuff you store on your computer — movies, photos, music — an organizational disaster? You're not alone. Manage your e-world with these better wired practices.

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Is all the fun stuff you store on your computer — movies, photos, music — an organizational disaster? You're not alone. Manage your e-world with these better wired practices.


E-MAIL

Create a clean habit. "Batch-edit e-mails at the end of every day and delete everything that isn't necessary," says Emily Weiss, founder of beauty site Into The Gloss. If you don't do this already, start now.

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Take control of your inbox. Move e-mails to "key folders that you can use just like a filing cabinet," says Annemarie Frank, VP of digital marketing at HSN.


FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM

Stop hoarding friends. Cut the FB cord with acquaintances you aren't corresponding with. "If it's been a year, then it's probably time to de-friend," Frank advises.

Weed out your feed. "I regularly remove people from Twitter as my interests change," says Alexa Hirschfeld, cofounder of Paperless Post. Or have nest.unclutterer.com or twitsweeper.com do the cleanup for you.

Vow to cut back. "I check instagram only at the end of the day," says Weiss. Designate specific times for social media.


PHOTOS, MUSIC, MOVIES

Put it in the cloud. Services such as Dropbox, iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive, or Google Drive "automatically sync any new photos and music that I have with all my devices," Weiss says.

Get off your computer and into the real world. Use a Wi-Fi Blu-ray player to stream Netflix and Hulu plus on your TV. Try a Sonos system to play Spotify throughout your house. Vacation snapshots lost in an electronic mass grave? Frank says, "Use the Shutterfly app" to print pictures.


CALENDAR

Make it visual. Color-code events (work, social, networking) to "train your eye to get a feel for your day at a glance," Weiss says.

Save time planning a party. "I have different types of contact lists," Frank explains. "If I'm organizing a night out, celebration, or happy hour, I can just type in BFF since I've classified all my friends in that list." Use Paperless Post to send the invite.

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