Late Night Ramble : Digital Clutter…


We recently installed an SSD into my work computer and, with that, an upgraded OS. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. We talked about upgrading to a whole new comp, but what for, really? I don’t have the fastest system in the office. But, it has potential to become the fastest. The memory isn’t maxed out. And, the graphics card can still use an upgrade. With the new installs, my comp is blazing fast, and I’ve spent the past week setting up and tuning my workspace.

Here’s where the problem begins…

I have programs and data on the old drive that I need to migrate to the new environment. How much of it is necessary? Bare bones on the new OS, all I’ve installed is Adobe CC and a few other prepress necessities. That’s basically all I need, as we’ve been working off a server for the past few years. But, there are folders and folders of files that I need or think I need to move over.

It wasn’t a surprise, but I found that most of what I had was just digital hoarding. There were files of projects I’d forgotten, projects that I’ve already backed up to my laptop, movies that I didn’t watch, music that I didn’t listen to, images that I stocked for inspiration and “research.” I always thought, “I might need this one day.” I don’t. So, last night I started deleting and decluttering… digitally… mentally. As of the above tweet, I’ve deleted over 300 GB of data. Right after tweeting that, I got up and walked outside for a break. Physically, everything was the same, but I felt lighter – more free.

The thought of all that uncategorized, hoarded data was weighing me down mentally. And, I’ve unloaded a huge chunk of it.

So, what’s the point…?

Content and asset management are a struggle, especially when you can easily store and duplicate those digital things at will, especially when you’re trying to streamline and simplify.

What I’ve been working towards is a straightforward, clutter-free system. I don’t have a concrete method. And, there are probably some really good ideas around the web. But, digital zen is possible if I begin with moderating these habits:

  • Excessive bookmarking and link saving
  • Excessive image saving
  • Excessive downloading “for future use”

In the meantime, the hard part is done – reducing drag…

I like to collect, categorize, classify, and over-classify “stuff.” I think to a point, a lot of us do. The promise of a digital and cloud based lifestyle is that you can free yourself from physical baggage in exchange for non-material and remotely accessible media. But, it comes with it’s own set of problems that can easily oppose… a Reduction…

To be continued…


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