A Digital Fresh Start

201811_November Everyday297

It is CRUNCH TIME! Less than 10 days til Christmas, less than two weeks to my son’s birthday, and then that + 3 days until New Year’s Eve and then HELLO 2019! Am I ready? Sure!

I rarely, rarely, have all my ducks in a row for the next year before January 1 and I’m totally okay with it. I’m a procrastinator at heart, and sometimes I don’t know what my goals are until right up until the deadline. This year I’m a little more ahead than ever and have a lot of my Powersheets prep done and words picked out for the year ahead, but there are a few wrap up tasks I have on my checklist for the end of the year that honestly have the most impact on my “feels”.

Goals are fine and well, but I love a FRESH START and here’s how I capitalize on that fresh feeling digitally and start the new year with minimal digital clutter.

  • Back Up all iPhone photos and delete from phone. 
    • We started using Smug Mug in 2015 to archive all of our family photos and never looked back. I try to do it quarterly, but DEFINITELY do it in December– but my favorite thing to do is just dump all of my iPhone pictures into a folder in Smug Mug. There’s videos that I sort out later into their own folder, but I just dump everything (screenshots, accidental selfies and coffee pics and all) and clear off my phone. I usually vow to do better about hoarding the digital iPhone photos the following year, but rarely do. But it’s okay, because Smug has unlimited storage and it is what  it is.
  • Catch up on all real camera personal family photos and upload to Smug Mug.
    • Every month I try to take some “everyday” pictures of kids around the house or tote my camera to any sort of special event or trip we go to. This year I got SUPER behind from like August to November and I just now wrapped up those photos. End of the year goal is to get all of those culled, edited in Lightroom and uploaded in the proper month/year gallery in Smug Mug. I used to be really meticulous about the organization (but as the kids have gotten bigger it has just turned into October: ALL THE PHOTOS.
  • Finish the year’s Chatbook and get it in the queue to be ordered. 
    • I try to have been working on the year’s Chatbook little by little so that once December is over I can throw the last few pictures in and have it ready to go once a coupon code is released. I hate having our family photos weighing on me so this takes a huge load off. I’ve talked a lot about my love for Chatbooks on Instagram and an updated blog post is overdue, but here’s one from a few years ago outlining more of how we use it.
  • Clean out Notes app in phone. 
    • I use Notes for everything. Random phone numbers, planning out stuff for my photography team, email drafts, long text drafts, unfinished blog posts, coffee orders, sermon notes,… It’s a hodge podge and after a while it stresses me out. This time every year I go through and delete the notes that don’t make any sense and categorize the ones that do and that I need to save. I find some gems in there (OH HEY 5 blog posts ready to be published!) and some that are just random numbers or words that really don’t make any sense, but going into the new year with 3 notes in my phone (or ZERO) is the best.
  • Clean out Reminders app in phone. 
    • Same as above. Random Target list from four months ago? BYE FELICIA. I find some gems here too! One time I used a reminders list to keep track of prayer requests and it was really cool to see how God had answered them.
  • Clean out folders on computer and send old documents to trash. 
  • Delete all junk/old email, flag and save those that are still relevant. 
    • This is probably my favorite. I love starting the year at literal inbox ZERO. I try to take any important emails that are still relevant and save the info somewhere sustainable (in a contact, in a Google Doc, etc.) but anything else? Bye bye bye.
  • Factory reset of iPhone. 
    • It’s probably good to do this every now and again. It deletes everything stored on your phone including apps and how you have them arranged. I love this part though, I delete any apps I don’t use on the reg and only add them back as I need them. Contacts, calendar, music, podcasts, email and notes are all saved in the cloud, so clean out those things too (one day soon I’m gonna clean out my contacts too!) so when you sync on your new-to-you-factory-reset iPhone you aren’t putting all the junk back on a “fresh” device.
  • Clear all phone backups out of iCloud. 
    • This takes up so much iCloud space. If you’re starting fresh you don’t need a phone backup. Delete all your backups (have your photos backed up tho, however you decide to do it) and start fresh and enjoy all the new iCloud storage you have!

What’s one thing (digital or not) do you do to get your year off to a fresh start? Share in the comments!

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