Tidying Up Your Digital Workspace

Organize your Google environment and enjoy a better work day experiences - Tidying Up Your Digital Workspace with KonMari Method

In our pursuit of a clutter-free and organized life, many of us have turned to Marie Kondo's KonMari method for decluttering our physical spaces. But have you ever considered applying these principles to your digital life, especially your Google Workspace environment?

Let's explore how the KonMari method can help you declutter and optimize your digital workspace.

Start with a Vision

Marie Kondo encourages us to begin decluttering by envisioning the life we want to lead. In the digital realm, take a moment to imagine your ideal digital workspace. What does it look like, and how does it function? How does it embrace collaboration and human interaction? Having a clear vision will guide your efforts as you embark on this digital decluttering journey.

Start One Thing at a Time

In the KonMari method, we declutter by category, not by room. Similarly, consider the different categories of digital assets in your Google environment, such as emails, files, chats, tasks, and calendars. Begin with one category at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

The core question in the KonMari method is, "Does it spark joy?" Apply this concept also to your digital environment, especially in your inbox. Review your emails and ask if each message serves a purpose or brings value to you, or your team. We've all encountered email chains with subjects like "RE: VS: RE: RE: RE: RE: Vs RE:" that seems to go on forever. It's time to declutter.

Organize Your Files - Better Sense of Control with File Management

Google Drive can become a labyrinth of files and documents. Take the time to sort through your files, delete duplicates, and organize them into logical folders. A tidy digital filing system will help you find what you need more efficiently. What if you’d take a look at one file at a time and try to identify if a new version replaced this one? At least I'm familiar with Google Drive which has documents like:

  • draft-2021marketingbudget-MK-TT-final090923-finalfinal and
  • draft-2021marketingbudgett-MK-TT-final090223-finalfinal-revisited15092023-MK-final

And, following with a few other file names, that might indicate that there is another edition somewhere that MK or TT has not even seen.

Better Flow of Work by Streamlining Your Calendar

Just as you would declutter your physical schedule, review your Google Calendar. Book slots for your Focus Time, re-evaluate recurring meetings and your need to attend those, unsubscribe from irrelevant calendars, and simplify your calendar view. A clean calendar allows you to focus on what truly matters. And remember, it is okay to decline meetings that do not have an agenda attached or otherwise are not clear in purpose.

Internal Comms - the Right Message in the Right Place at the Right Time

Take a look at your internal comms channel. If it is in email, maybe take a closer look. If it is on Google Chat or Slack you are in a better place to start the work. Are your chats or channels serving your vision? Does your channel structure make sense and enhance collaboration? Is there a possibility to decrease the amount of chats? Or, change some of the chats as temporary? Remember that some of the chats/channels should be archived when the need for specific communication decreases.

I am sure I am not alone when trying to communicate internally and finding it difficult to understand where the information should be shared. In these scenarios, at least I end up choosing between two or three channels, making sure that the message reaches everyone who might want to read it. Or, end up opening a new group chat instead of a channel because you weren't sure which channel you should communicate on. What if you take a closer look at different chats and channels and think if they serve an active purpose? Is there a clear owner? Is it still valid or could you just save the result elsewhere and archive that channel?

Regular Digital Maintenance

Maintain your digital decluttering regularly. Set aside time each week or month to review your emails, files, and calendar. Consistent upkeep will help you stay organized in the digital world. If this feels too time-consuming, good governance, name conventions, and adapted processes might keep your environment nice and clean for a longer period.

Less is more - Embrace Minimalism

In the digital world, less can often be more. Embrace minimalism by simplifying your online tools and apps. Remove unused Chrome extensions, delete redundant apps, and thus streamline your digital ecosystem.

Ensure Data Security and Backups

As you declutter, don't forget to back up important data and ensure your Google environment is secure. Regularly review and update your security settings to protect your digital assets. You might want to check that your lifecycle management and governance are up to date, you have email and file backups in place, two-way authentication in use, and external file sharing in control. Remember, human error is usually the biggest security risk for your environment. With proper tools, you can minimize these risks.

Share the Best Practices Throughout the Organization

Just as Marie Kondo encourages us to share our joy with others, consider sharing the best practices of keeping your digital environment tidy with colleagues. Collaborative tools in Google Workspace can enhance productivity and teamwork - if you are using the tools in the same way.

Even if you don’t apply the KonMari to your digital workplace, you might agree that a clean and secure environment is a source of better flow at work. By decluttering and optimizing your Google Workspace you'll create a digital workspace that sparks joy, enhances collaboration and productivity, and simplifies your digital life.