Welcome to Day 3 of Reboot Your Blog!
In the same spirit of preventing our attention from being spread across too many projects, to-do’s and tasks as yesterday’s “Cull the Herd” assignment, today we’ll continue ditching mental clutter by getting rid of computer clutter.
DAY 03 OBJECTIVE
Upgrade anything and everything related to our business so we’re running the latest versions.
DAY 03 ASSIGNMENT
Get your digital environment clean and organized.
Upgrade Your Computer(s)
Run Windows Update or Apple Update and get your computer current with the latest bug fixes and enhancements for your operating system.
Don’t forget to do this on ALL your machines, not just your main one!
Open any software you use and ensure you’re running the latest version. Some of the ones I always end up putting off to do later:
- Java updater
- Adobe updater
- Market Samurai
- Spyware / Antivirus software updates
- Camtasia / Screenflow
- Printer software
You know which programs you use that have been nagging you to download updates! Today’s the day to get that monkey off your back!
Go through all your internet marketing related files (I keep a folder on my hard drive titled “Revolution Tilt” and that’s were everything related to IM goes). Delete anything and everything that is outdated, no longer works, that disappointed you on purchase because it was something you already knew upside down and backwards, or that never worked in the first place.
Yes, you paid good money for it. But if you haven’t used it yet you’re fooling yourself thinking you will sometime in the future.
I’m sorry if I hurt feelings when I say this, and I know I will, and I also know this is important enough to say again and again: Making it in internet marketing is not about amassing the largest collection of internet marketing products (and judgments for and against each one), or spending the most hours at the computer, or even having the most sites. Size doesn’t matter.
I found a huge package of MRR products and software I’d gotten when I was new in marketing. 99% of the contents of that folder are so outdated it would nearly be a crime to sell or give them away. DELETED!
Old versions of scripts – GONE!
This is simple. Be brutal. Be critical. Be narrow minded. Just DELETE!
(If you’re really nervous about this, put everything you want to delete in a separate folder labeled “To Delete” and file it away in a hidden corner of your hard drive. After a month, I bet you haven’t needed to retrieve ANYTHING that was in that folder. Then, you can delete it with confidence.)
Don’t forget deleting from your Desktop too – I find quite a bit of unnecessary stuff accumulates there!
I’ll show you the method that has evolved and worked for me over the years with some explanation. You can emulate it or adapt it to your unique circumstances. The point is to have everything categorized in some fashion that makes sense to you.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a main folder for anything related to internet marketing, it’s labeled ‘Revolution Tilt’ because that’s my company name.
Within that folder are the folders pictured above. Let’s go over them:
- Graphics: Holds site templates, “Buy Now” buttons, RSS icons, etc. Whenever I need anything related to design, I know to look here. Graphics are organized into subfolders as well, so if I need bullets for a salespage, I just look in the ‘bullets’ folder. I’m using this folder less and less these days. With sites like IconFinder and tools like Evernote to compile info, this folder is becoming less and less used.
- Keyword Research: All my Market Samurai data files go in here, as well as any /csv or text lists of keywords I may have exported.
- Tools: Training materials, products and scripts (like Wishlist Member, which I’m using here to run the Reboot Your Blog). I organize training materials in folders labeled with the author’s name, it’s easier to remember than each individual product name.
- WordPress: Since most of my sites are operated on WordPress, I keep a bunch of plugins in the WordPress folder that I use most often. This is just so I don’t have to re-download them (and remember them all!) when I have a new site to put up.
- Accounting: Records related to finances and accounting.
- Sites: Each site or project I’m involved with gets a folder under this folder. So everything for this blog is in a “Michelle MacPhearson” folder, everything for 30 Minute Backlinks is in a “30MBL” folder, etc. Depending on the site, I may have several subfolders. For MichelleMacPhearson.com, I have a “Reboot Your Blog” subfolder where any files related to this project are kept.
This system has worked for me and you should be able to adapt it for your own business as well.
Once you’ve decided on a core set of folders you’ll use, following my template above, drop everything you own into them. Make sure your files are named in such a way that you can remember what they are. “Untitled.txt” isn’t very intuitive, eh?
Start keeping all of your business (and even consider for important personal files – I do) files in a “Dropbox” folder. Dropbox is a utility (for both Mac & PC) that automatically syncs files across multiple machines. So no matter which computer your at, or even on your phone, all the files you need are available. I do this for convenience, portability and an alternative backup location.
For these same portability and off-site backup reasons, start using Gmail, Google Docs and Evernote, as they can be accessed anywhere. The nicest thing about Gmail is that it’s fast and powerful search features make filing messages into folders unnecessary. Just “Archive” everything and you’ll still be able to find it in seconds should you need to.
You’ve also got to have a formal backup procedure in place. I use and recommend Mozy – it works on both Mac and PC and requires absolutely no input or action from me. It just runs in the background.
Being able to find the files you need will increase day-to-day productivity and also clean out your mental clutter and to-do list. Make a point of completing this today!
By the end of today, you should have:
- All computers running the latest versions of their operating systems
- All software on those computers upgraded to the latest versions
- Your phones running the latest OS or firmware available
- Deleted old and irrelevant files, software, training materials and scripts from your hard drive
- Organized the remaining internet marketing related files into the 6 folders outlined above
- Begin using Dropbox
- Start using Mozy as an automated Backup tool
Depending on how many files you’ve accumulated and how much you put off OS and software upgrades, today’s assignment could take you from 10 minutes to 10 hours. Power through it. It’s another mental weight off your shoulders.
See you tomorrow for more of Reboot Your Blog!