Keep it Simple Stupid (or what’s commonly know as the KISS principle) is something I picked up in my Software Engineering classes during my tour of duty at RIT. It is something I try to carry over into my every day life. That being said I’d like to share a few simple ideas I try to utilize to simplify my digital life.
For those of you reading this directly from the website you should have already noticed a complete redesign. This is only part of my new Zen overhaul. I have taken several points from Skellie‘s post 50 Tips to Unclutter Your Blog. If you’re interested in exactly what I did please check out the article. You may find some additional tips which I haven’t yet implemented as well.
A recent simplification I have made is my wallpaper. I was a fan of scenery wallpaper, most often shots that I took were my favorites, but I recently decided that this just adds to clutter. Photographic backgrounds can hide icons and can be a distraction. I created this simple background which provides a central focal point for any icons you wish to display on the desktop. I’ve provided several sizes so feel free to download it if you’d like to try it out.
Chances are, if you’re like me, you subscribe to a lot of feeds. You probably also generate a lot of content on the Internet and therefor a lot of feeds (whether you realize it or not). If that’s the case why not manage both in the same place? I use Google Reader extensively and this is one of the biggest reasons why. Essentially I maintain two feeds: My Shared Items and My Content. Both are exactly what they sound like. My Shared Items is a feed in which articles, Videos, pictures and anything else i want to share will appear. I do this by utilizing Google Reader’s Shared Items feature. My Content is another feed in which any content that I produce will appear. For example, Any post on this blog, My posts on Randy and Rachel, My Comic Strips and my Youtube videos.
Lets face it, in this digital age chances are you have a lot of digital stuff. Stuff you want to keep. For most people this might just mean photos. For some it means photos, videos, music, software and more. To store all this and keep it organized you need a system. I have dual 250Gb SATA drives in a Raid 1 array which i use strictly for storage. On the root of this array I have the following directories:
Everything I need to store fits somewhere in these 5 categories. Music and Videos are broken down by genre. Files and Software are broken down by category. Photos is broken down by date. This is probably where I’m the most organized. My Photos directory contains photos dating back to the 1950s all the way up to the present. To do this I created decade directories (1950s, 1960s etc) and within that year directories(1951, 1952 etc). Finally within the years directory I list the actual albums which also have a naming convention (MM – DD – name). Because of the shear amount of photographs I store I needed a system and this has greatly simplified things for me.
Regardless of what you’re doing, when something seems like its too complicated it is. Simplify it. Do whatever it takes to reduce the clutter and the complexity in your Digital Life. I will be making this a recurring theme for this blog so let me know if you have any specific topics you’d like to know how to simplify.