I was overwhelmed and out of control due to the abuse of technology, the Internet when I was a student when I didn’t know the minimalist lifestyle.
During this lifestyle practice, I started to care about how I use technology and electronic devices, and then I know the bad habits I need to quit and new, healthy habits. need to create.
When it comes to the minimalist lifestyle, we not only talk about a living space with very little furniture but also talk about a simple, healthy spiritual life, not dependent on or dominated by the public. technology, electronics. So, to me, “digital life” is just as important as everyday life. It also needs regular care, organization, and cleaning. Here are a few ways I can simplify my digital life, which will hopefully be helpful for you.
The desktop (desktop)
Many people often have a habit of saving files off the screen for easy access when needed. But remember not to save too much and too massively! You should consider saving only important files and deleting them if no longer important or transferring them to local data drives.
In the past, when I went to work, I was very lazy to choose the location to store the documents before downloading, so I kept saving it on the computer screen to save time and effort. So over time, the two screens in front of me are getting more and more occupied with images, videos, and pdfs of all kinds (my computer at the company has two screens to support writing, editing images, video).
So every morning going to the company and turning on the computer feels stuffy, not to mention finding the documents you need at those times is like finding a needle on the seabed.
Since I have been following minimalism, I have felt that life has become more organized, not as hurried and cluttered as before. The computer screen is no longer sporadic files, all kinds of things in the world, but only exactly 5 applications I access most. I also chose a simple background, with a soft, dark tone. This makes it easier for me to focus on work and my eyes feel comfortable to look at.
Folders, files, data archived
My files on my computer don’t have a lot, as I usually store them on online storage apps like Google Drive and Dropbox. Due to the nature of work, now I mainly use Google Drive. The good thing about Drive is that I can access my documents anywhere with the Internet and share them with friends and colleagues quickly and conveniently.
With the data on my computer, I organize them into the right folders so they can be easily found when needed. The downloaded files will be put in the selected folder right before or after pressing the “save” button. The photos I take with my phone or camera will also be carefully selected before being saved to albums on my computer. The same photos, blurry, poor quality photos will be deleted. It is also necessary to arrange photos by time, location, or event after uploading them to the computer.
In addition, I also trained myself in the habit of cleaning computer data at the end of each month. Documents that are no longer needed are permanently deleted instead of in the trash (Trash). Gather related folders into the same parent folder to avoid having too many different folders on your computer. Remove empty folders and rename existing folders to “New Folder”. Documents that are important or frequently accessed will be transferred to Google Drive to avoid computer damage or loss.
As the world of technology becomes more developed, there are more intelligent and extremely useful applications and software. However, please remember to research carefully before downloading any software to your computer because if you are not careful, we can completely stick to the “malicious” software of bad objects.
It’s better to only download the software you really need and from reliable sources. This will both help your computer avoid the risk of virus infection, while also helping your digital space more neat and clean. Currently, on my computer, there are only a few of the most important software and is used frequently such as Chrome, Skype, and Slack. The rest is Windows default programs.
In addition, it is also important to take the time to remove old or unused software and programs. Because it will help free up system memory, improve computer performance. Remember to remove them, because if you delete shortcuts only, it won’t do any good.
Like desktop screens, phone screens, Ipads are also regularly cleaned by grouping related applications together into the same folder, letting the eyes have more free space to breathe and see. A screen full of different applications will only make yourself more tired, not good for the eyes, and will take time to search.
Applications and notifications
No matter how large the memory is, downloading too many apps will not be good for our phone at all. So, usually, I just download the applications that I find really useful, instead of downloading rampant to try and then leave it, without looking at it and forget to remove it.
After a while, I go through all the apps on my phone one at a time and delete the ones that are no longer in use or no longer needed.
In addition, most apps allow users to customize the notification mode (Notifications), so when I download them, I go to Settings to reset the frequency and time of receiving updates. If you find it unnecessary, it will be turned off completely, so you don’t have to hear the Tintin sound every few hours.
Video, audio, image files
If you are a lover of photography or video recording, then you, like me, would be extremely happy to see some mesmerizing moments, and then pull out your phone and take it to capture it too, hope to have it. the best photo
In the old days, before I used film cameras, I also took a lot of photos and took photos, and then when I look back, a series of photos are similar to each other but can’t help but delete because “every photo is beautiful”. So the photo album keeps increasing every day, making it incredibly difficult to find a beautiful photo to send to your best friend.
Now things are much simpler, partly because I take fewer pictures and take the time to watch, to enjoy that beautiful moment (if any, shoot with film), partly because I am forging. practice the habit of only keeping the “best” picture and erasing all the other photos right after each shot. No more hesitation or confusion, because it is still the memory, the feeling, the moment that is stored in the mind, not in the pictures.
I also regularly transfer photos and videos to Google Drive or Flickr to free up storage for my phone.
Music and Podcasts are also cleaned up regularly. I use the Spotify app to listen to music, so I won’t need to download music, making the capacity more heavy and difficult to manage music files. Podcasts, I only subscribe to channels that are useful to me (educational or inspirational) such as Ted talks, French Easy, Optimal Living, The Minimalists, … even unsubscribe from all other channels. The nice thing about podcasts is that the episodes after listening are automatically deleted, so I won’t have to waste time searching and deleting them.
When it comes to phone cleaning, perhaps few people think about cleaning their contacts. I was like that before. As a person who lives a lot of emotions, sometimes deleting a name from his or her phone book becomes quite difficult. For my fear, to delete it is to erase the memory of that person, to erase themselves from my life. So at that time, my directory had many names and numbers. This makes finding someone to contact a waste of time. When I choose to live a simple life, I choose to keep to myself what is most important and let go of everything that weighs on my mind. After a while, I open up the phone book again and delete the names that are becoming unfamiliar. It is also a way to live simply.
Have you ever opened up the contacts list and found both familiar and strange names? Then feel a little light in my heart when thinking about the past, it turns out that person and I have talked, used to be very close? Life changes and it’s understandable for a relationship to fade over time. So, cleaning up your phone contacts is also a need and should do to live more lightly.
Email is also an indispensable part of my digital space cleaning because the time I spend checking mail “used to” a lot, as a habit.
About email accounts: If before, I have 4 or 5 email accounts to serve different needs and purposes, now I only use only 2 accounts (one for personal communication. multiply and the other is for work). Cutting email accounts saves me time because I don’t have to check my inbox many times.
Online data storage applications (Google Drive, Dropbox)
I use Google Drive and Dropbox to store my documents for their convenience and safety. Similar to computers, data on these applications is also organized into folders for convenient access by me. At the same time, documents that are no longer needed are deleted, making room for new ones. In Google Drive there is a “Shared with me” section, this is a place to store documents that other people share and they cannot be organized into large, annoying-looking folders. So when I work on this, I either add them to my Drive and then group them or delete them if I don’t need them.
Honestly, I don’t really like using social media. Currently, I mainly use Messenger to keep in touch with family, friends, Instagram, Pinterest for work purposes, and YouTube for entertainment and learning. The time I spend on social networks is not really much compared to people who are considered “virtual” people. Yet they also made me lose focus many times. So in order to make life more light and meaningful, I always try to cut as much time as possible to use my social networks, and at the same time strictly manage the content appearing on those pages.
Manage friends and followers lists: I only accept friend requests from people I know, follow those who share my values , and unlink or unfollow people. unfamiliar, people who regularly share negative, heavy, and meaningless content. Currently on my Facebook friends list there are less than 200 people, and they are either close, close to me, or bring value to my life (such as knowledge, experience, inspiration. , motivation,…)
Manage likes/groups Facebook has joined: I want everything that shows up in my newsfeeds to be something I want to read, want all notifications to appear as necessary updates. So the sites and groups I join are often places where I can share, learn, and connect. After a while, I clean up my Facebook, get out of groups I don’t usually work with, dislike pages that are no longer needed, and choose to turn off irrelevant notifications. With YouTube, it will unfollow the channels you do not watch, and the channels do not bring value, turn on the Restricted Mode, delete the watch history, save the videos you need to watch again on the watch list. (playlist) match.
Bookmark on the browser
I often like to re-bookmark important web pages so that they can be easily reviewed next time so that it doesn’t take much time to re-type. So keeping your bookmarks neatly is a thing that needs to be transformed into a habit. Relevant web pages will be put in the same directory for easy finding, and pages that are no longer needed will be removed.
Besides computers and phones, there is also an electronic device that I use (almost every day). That’s the Kindle Paperwhite I ordered from Amazon last year. Before using the e-reader, I mostly read paper books or read e-books on the Kindle app on my phone. Now there is Kindle, spoiled for reading. I often call it Ken and have written an article dedicated to Ken as well as other Kindle friends in general on the blog, you can read if you’re interested.
The first thing I do after holding Ken in my hand is to immediately remove the Special Offer (SO). SO is the ads for new books, promotions, … on the Kindle Store. Amazon comes in two different versions, a regular version, and a non-SO version. In fact, these two versions have no difference in features, except for that SO. I chose to buy the SO version because it is cheaper and because I am in Vietnam (Amazon’s ad is aimed at users in the US), it is possible to remove SO completely without any charge. Removing SO is also quite simple, as long as you contact Amazon customer service and ask them to remove SO for you. About a few moments later (a few dozen minutes or it can take up to 1-2 days), you will see the Kindle no longer appears SO.
Compared to me was not necessary, moreover, it made me feel quite uncomfortable, so when you remove it, the Kindle looks cleaner, softer.
Book files, reading documents
I always arrange the books I read into their correct collection (collection) so that they can be easily searched and helps Ken’s homepage also become tidy and tidy. The collections I named after genre of books (such as poems, short stories, classic novels, autobiographical memoirs, diary, …). After reading, books that I do not intend to re-read or further study will be deleted. I delete directly on
Amazon Cloud instead of just deleting on the device to avoid Cloud overloading with too many books no longer needed for me.
I must say that electronic devices help me a lot in my life, study, and work. However, the time I use them is something I try to limit as much as possible.
During the day, I allow myself to use technology only at certain times and at an appropriate amount of time. The phone was not used before 8:00 am, and after 9:00 pm. Rest your eyes, relax after every 45 minutes of sitting in front of a computer by walking, doing physical activity, or simply closing your eyes.
Remove Facebook and entertainment apps from your phone to avoid distractions (and temptations).
Make time for other activities such as meditation, yoga, jogging, walking, writing, drawing, learning guitar, baking, taking pictures to balance your life.
One or several days a week do not use the Internet at all, no social media access. At the same time, one of my rules is not to use the phone during meals, when chatting with other people, or while taking time for myself.
Minimalism is essentially a conscious life. We know what are the meaningful things we need to pay attention to, and what are the unnecessary and unnecessary things we need to eliminate. Whether it is physical, spiritual, or digital life, cleaning it up regularly will help us feel at ease and calm.
Of course the above is just the ways I apply, there are still many more, more effective ways that I have not known. So, remember to share how you often use to simplify your digital life.