5 things to do to organize your tech right now

Have you taken a look at your friend requests lately? Did you even know there’s a “spam” folder inside the folder of “message requests” inside the “messages” folder on Facebook? What do all of those notifications mean?

Everyone’s craving a fresh start, right? Humans spend a record amount of time on their gadgets, especially with the pandemic and so many jobs and educational opportunities moving to remote activity. If you’ve been putting off learning about the things that annoy you, it might be a good time to declutter your mind and feng shui your goals. After all, a streamlined process leads to efficient and productive work. Why not start with a little bit of tech clean up and organization leading into 2021?

1. Clear your Facebook messenger notifications

Ever wonder why you have a red notification bubble next to your Facebook Messenger icon that just won’t go away, no matter how many times you check your inbox and make sure you replied to your office buddy telling you about the to-go discount at the bar down the street tonight? Did you know that your inbox isn’t the only place you could be getting messages? Your social media platforms are like a Matrix, and it’s important to get all of those messages read, boxes checked, and notifications reviewed.

To access message requests on the desktop from people you are not connected with on Facebook, click the thought bubble icon (“Messenger”) on the top menu, and click “See All in Messenger” at the bottom of the list. Next to “Chats” in the left column, click the “Settings, help and more” wheel. Click “Message Requests.” There, you can see messages you may want to view. Feel free to delete what you don’t want to interact with. To go further into the matrix, click “See Spam” at the bottom of the list of messages in the left column.

2. Create labels in your Gmail inbox

“Trash,” “spam,” and “sent” are all commonly viewed in your label area, but are you utilizing this feature to the best of its abilities? What if you could open your inbox, click a tab at the left and see all of your relevant work emails? What if you had a tab set up for updated Google alerts on specific keyword searches or brands you work with? Do you get self-care subscriptions, journal prompts, or feel-good items in your inbox that you want to keep in one spot to indulge in after a busy day’s work?

You can create up to 500 labels in that left margin. Not that any one person needs that many options, but you can create labels based on different accounts at work, job searches, and dog food coupons, instead of trying to balance everything in multiple accounts.

3. Adjust Quick Settings in Gmail

Aside from the array of incredible tools provided within your GSuite platform, Gmail itself is kind of fun to play around with. Depending on your settings, you can schedule emails to go out in advance, create workspaces and chats within your inbox, and arrange everything to your preferred aesthetic. Choose for your home screen to be displayed in “default,” “comfortable,” or “compact,” choose a color scheme or photo for the background of your inbox (Ours is cascading jellyfish), and decide if you’d like your messages to be displayed as “Unread First”, “Starred First”, or otherwise.

4. Rearrange your cell phone screen

Your icons are what you see every day. You want your phone’s background, esthetic, and organization to be appealing enough to lift your senses when you look at it. A cluttered phone background will not do that for you. Thankfully, with today’s smartphone setup, all you have to do is click on an icon, wait until the icons on your screen start to shake, and drag the icon to where you would like it to be.

Our favorite layout? Keeping it minimal and just putting your feel-good apps on the first page, and keeping your work icons on a page you have to swipe to. It’s amazing what a refresh on your home screen photo and organizing your icons into categories can do for the soul.

5. Make your Google Drive more efficient

Streamlining your Google Drive experience is going to be key to successful remote work in 2021. Here are our three tips.

There are plenty of updates you’ll want to make to your tech and your approach to work heading into the New Year, but these are some of the simplest options for when you have a few minutes here and there during the holiday madness. Good luck, and godspeed!