Follow up: 10 ways to organize your digital life in 2016, from passwords to a zero inbox

"Digital health is a lot like physical health: You have to work at it. Not sure where to start?"


Earlier this month, I received the opportunity to talk with Sarah Gish, reporter for the Kansas City Star, to talk about some tips to help organize one's digital life in 2016. Had I known she was also interviewing some of the most esteemed members of Social Media Club of Kansas City as well, I probably would have just waited to get their tips instead. Sarah did a fantastic job of bringing together some incredible people to coordinate a list of fantastic tips. Here are some of the best (from some of the best):

Safeguard your passwords
On New Year’s Day a couple years ago, Dave Greenbaum changed all of his passwords with a password management system called 1Password (another option is LastPass). “The concept is that these are digital vaults,” he says, “so you only have to remember one password.”

Freshen up your profiles
If it’s been more than six months since you swapped out your profile photo and bio info on Facebook and Twitter, Marc Vasquez says it’s time to switch it up. And too many people let their LinkedIn profile go dormant when it can be an amazing networking tool (not just when you’re trying to find a new career).

Take better notes
Paper notes can be lost, forgotten, eaten by the dog — you get the idea. But there are plenty of apps that help you increase productivity while cutting back on paper. Carolyn Anderson uses Google Keep to wrangle notes, links, photos, audio clips and lists in one place.

Organize your inbox
Imagine an inbox with zero unread messages. Yes, it’s possible. Jessica Best aims for what productivity geeks call “Inbox Zero” every day. “It’s this idea that, at the end of the day, your inbox is completely clear,” Best says. “Everything has been responded to, assigned somewhere else, filed away — it’s out of your court.” Best is a self-described “folder junkie” who uses email folders and subfolders to file her messages. She says getting to zero emails is pretty tough, but that it still feels good to end the day with five to 10 messages in the inbox instead of, say, 510.

Challenge yourself to disconnect
If your phone buzzes every time you get junk mail, an Instagram like, or a request to play Candy Crush, it’s time to trim down your notifications. Most smartphones allow users to edit notifications by app. If you have an iPhone, you can go to “do not disturb” under settings to turn off all notifications (even texts) at night or during specific parts of the day. Mike Gelphman turns off alerts in the early to mid-morning, when he tends to be the most productive. He says protecting that time from those distractions helps him stay focused on long-term goals.

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About the author:
Marc Vasquez, APR, is the technology chair for the Social Media Club of Kansas City. He holds the Accreditation in Public Relations credential which has been established as a way to recognize public relations practitioners. By night he is the gaming sidekick to his son @StuffJakobSays. You can generally find Marc via @vasquez007 or on LinkedIn.