As more people shift to working from home, their dependence on digital devices to get work done has become an integrated part of their lives. With that being said, it's no surprise that the number of apps and files on these devices has increased as well.
If this sounds like your experience, you have probably seen what we like to call "digital clutter." Digital clutter happens when you have a wave of work documents, applications, and digital files pile up with no organization strategy. Lack of device backup and sync, lost devices, forgotten passwords, too many browser tabs, and lack of digital organization can make life more complicated and stressful- especially when it ties into remote work.
When working remotely, it's essential to communicate effectively and, at the same time, make sure your data is safe and can be retrieved easily. When using any device, you should ensure that:
- You can retrieve information fast
- There are limited distractions
- You won't miss essential communications
- You're in control of your space
Let's dive into how you can keep your desktop organized to make your remote work more manageable.
Tips to Organizing Your Digital Life for Remote work
Use Apps to do the Heavy Lifting
When working remotely, your computer is your office. And managing your whole office within a single device requires substantial considerations in terms of storage space, accessibility and security. Aside from that, and in the very least, you need to have your links, files, and apps decluttered and organized regularly.
Using the right applications can help with this significantly. It’s important to ensure that you can quickly access key applications, such as Google Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, Zoom, and Slack. It's best to define a specific use case for each of these apps. For example, email is only used for client communication and chat is strictly used for team communication.
Another route you can take is to switch to a dedicated platform that can be the one-stop shop that manages your digital workspace. Applications like Desktop.com optimize your functionality by organizing your links and apps, team communication, and password management- all in one place. You are also able to create different desktops within the app, which means that you are able to conveniently switch between personal, departmental, or specific team dashboards all within the app.
Decluttering and Organizing Your Remote Workspace
When decluttering and organizing your digital workspace, focus on your browser. We are using the internet more than ever, especially while working remotely. Browsers such as Chrome allow you to organize different links in the Bookmarks Bar while giving you the functionality to create folders and even subfolders. Additionally, you can create and add tab groups - which is a great way to organize different tabs in your browser. For example, if you are a content manager, you may have a tab group for content you're reviewing and different tab groups for researching topics.
Another option, and perhaps a more convenient one, is an all-in-one bookmark manager that provides more features than browsers typically do. A dedicated bookmark manager allows you to create tags in addition to folders. Creating tags on different bookmarks allow you to easily search for various links rather than hopping around from folder to folder. An additional added benefit is that teams can collaborate and share bookmark folders, which makes key information accessible to everyone on the team rather than having separate links saved on individual devices and browsers.
Streamline Communication and Expectations
Another aspect of keeping your digital space functional for remote work is knowing how and when you should communicate with one another. The importance of establishing an effective way to communicate with your team saves time and increases productivity, as well as lowers stress.
Set a cadence with your team for what a reasonable response time should be for messages and emails. In addition to response time, determine what different communication outlets the team will use and what context they will be used in.
Organize Your Remote Work: It's All In The Tools
Working remotely brings its unique challenges to the table, but small changes to your digital setup can make all the difference. Utilizing applications, organizing and decluttering your digital remote space, and establishing communication standards are key variables to making your workspace efficient and productive. Dedicated platforms that can link your favorite apps, devices, and teams together in one place are great for making your digital workspace coherent and more manageable for the long term.