The Internet is a valuable resource but a disorganized approach to your online resources can result in wasted time and, ultimately, wasted money. Whether you’re logging into one of your many online accounts or saving a web page for reference, keeping track of that data can be difficult.
Kyla Rozman, a Vancouver-based professional organizer with In Order To Succeed, provides tips on how to organize the information you use and gather on the web:
> Organize your passwords
It seems every website requires a login and a password — which can be difficult to remember. So, how do you organize all the secret codes that enable your digital existence?
Applications are available that can help you organize your passwords. Rozman suggests 1Password (https://agilebits.com/onepassword).
You record your passwords and their websites within this program, which you access through a “master password.” Once you have logged in, the program does the rest of the work.
For example, if you want to access your online banking account, you would click on your bank’s link within 1Password. It will take you to that site and produce your login information for you. These sensitive details are encrypted so only you can access them.
1Password can be downloaded onto Mac and Windows-based computers as well as most smartphones. The cost varies depending on the device used. If your phone uses an Android-based operating system, you can download a “lite” version of the program free of charge.
Other password management apps include eWallet for iPhone and iPad (available on iTunes), and LastPass (https://lastpass.com).
(As always, the use of any digital application should still be checked with your compliance department.)
If you prefer working on paper, Rozman suggests recording your password details onto a chart with these columns:
- company name;
- company website;
- username; and
The safest place to store this information is in a safety deposit box, Rozman says. Few people do this, for obvious reasons. Another option is to create a coded digital file, which you name in such a way that no one would suspect it contains your sensitive information. For example, you could call the file “house repairs” or “kids’ report cards.”
> Saved web pages
How often do you browse a website and think you must go back and read that interesting article when there’s more time? How often do you save those websites’ addresses to your browser’s bookmarks bar?
Says Rozman: “They add to our never-ending to-do list and cause stress.”
If this is the case, it’s time to do some purging.
Rozman suggests saving only as many pages as can fit on your bookmarks menu without having to scroll down. Once you find yourself running out of that space, delete the oldest item or the one that seems less interesting to you.
If you save websites for reference on projects, create folders in your bookmarks menu to keep them organized.
However, just because you are saving items for work, don’t use that as an excuse to keep everything. After all, website information can quickly become outdated. Regularly go through your folders to make sure your system is staying organized.
This is the second installment in a two-part series on cleaning up your digital files.