It only works if you use it right.

I confess… I like my stuff.

I’m selective about my stuff (which should surprise no one), but I have a good bit of it.

Recently, though, I did a big clear out of my physical stuff. I got rid of clothes that I bought and never wore, things I haven’t looked at since I moved here, things I don’t remember why I got in the first place… I could definitely get rid of more, but I’m down now to the stuff that makes me happy to look at it… and the stuff in the attic that I haven’t gotten to yet.Image

Now I’m in the process of de-cluttering my virtual life. This week I had a near catastrophe because I was switching computers and saved the wrong copy of a file from the wrong computer… and I realized this is an embarrassing problem to have.

THEN, I was trying to log into a website, and I couldn’t remember what email address I’d registered with. I tried six different ones then gave up and created a new account.

THEN, there’s my brain, which is juggling multiple writing projects in multiple stages, plus some odd jobs I’ve picked up (some of them VERY odd), plus family life, plus household management stuff (like paying bills, which for some reason is important to some people), plus, every once in a while, a social life.

The worst part is, these are things that are supposed to help me stay organized across platforms. Everything syncs. Everything has tags and folders and notebooks… provided you use them correctly.

The whole point of multiple email addresses is that you use different ones for different things. But if you don’t have a consistent system, you end up getting three copies of the same e-newsletter because you give a different email every time you order something from Vera Bradley.

Then there’s the problem of organization and notetaking apps, which don’t magically organized you. You have to use them.


I keep trying different ones, looking for the magic bullet. Now I can never find anything because I don’t remember which app I used to make the note.

This is my brain.

This is why I have to keep my desk and office fairly uncluttered. Because it gives me the illusion of control of my environment when the inside of my head looks like an episode of Hoarders. (Only very clean. Jam-packed and jumbled, but very very clean.)

So, this I vow– I will simplify my virtual life. I will pick one note-keeping app and use it. I will decide which email address to use for online shopping and stick with it. I will use technology to my benefit and not my detriment.

And by God, I will back up my computer with hourly versions of my work. When it comes to backing up your work, you absolutely, positively, cannot have enough (well-labeled and easily retrievable) stuff.

Do you have any tips for organizing your virtual life?  Please help a girl out and share in the comments.

1 thought on “It only works if you use it right.”

  1. I don’t use a note taking app/program, but I thought this one Farhad Manjoo on Slate reviewed look like one that would work for me.


    One app I do use for usernames and passwords is Last Pass. It is a browser add on (I use Firefox) that saves all of your usernames and passwords. It will also generate strong unique passwords so you aren’t using the same one over and over. Other neat features is an autofill feature which allows you to store your credit card information and profile info. No more filling out long information forms. That might be the best feature. It is all secured with one master password.


Comments are closed.