Fox Den Spring Cleaning

The goal of this week is to give you some easy, quick things you can do each day to make small and meaningful impacts on data you might have that you no longer need.

Each day has a recommended focus area and a suggested list of steps you can follow.

Monday: Paper/Physical Files at Home + Google Drive and/or Box Files

Tuesday: Laptop Files - Desktop, Documents, Downloads

Wednesday: Email, Matrix, Google Groups..and on and on.....

Thursday: Not Sure Items and Password Managers

We really encourage you to take advantage of this time. A little effort by all of us will make sure we stay lean and mean. Plus, think of how great you’ll feel when you see that clean download folder or desk drawer in the morning!


Monday - Paper does still matter. And "digital paper" matters too!

We still create, and sometimes are required to, keep paper records. Write down your passwords on a sticky note or random slip of paper in a drawer? Use removable media? Perhaps you don't use paper, but you are a heavy Google Drive or Box user. Use today to clean up and get those (sensitive) files out.


What Can You Focus On?

Make sure that if you are getting rid of papers to use secured bins or thoroughly shred the documents. Dumpster diving is a thing after all!

Here’s today’s handy checklist:


Physical file cleanup


Home office - 10 minute activity

  • Quickly scan files.
  • Move useful files elsewhere; secure anything with protected information.
  • Shred anything unneeded.


Work bag - 5 minute activity

  • Quickly scan files.
  • Move useful files elsewhere; be cautious with these documents as they are more susceptible to being lost or stolen.
  • Shred anything unneeded.


Digital file cleanup (note: computer files are tomorrow!)


Google Drive or Box - 15 minute activity

  • Quickly scan files.
  • If you were assigned individual access to a document or folder with protected information and you don't need access to the document or folder anymore, delete it or notify the document owner to revoke your access.
  • For sensitive documents, ensure the appropriate access controls are applied to the documents.


Removable Media

  • If you use thumb drives, external hard drives or other removable media, make sure it is password protected.


Tuesday - Welcome to Computer Files Day!

As much as many of us love to work via Google Drive and other collaboration solutions, inevitably things may end up on our computers. Use today to clean up your computer and reduce the files you have on it!


What Can You Focus On?

Here’s a handy list you can use to help you get going.


Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the below tips. You can use these suggestions as you organize your computer files for clean-up in Step 2.

  • Know what you can rule in and rule out.
    • Did you already store that doc where it needs to go? Get rid of the copy.
    • Not sure? Keep it & look into it later.
  • Key things to look for: contracts, contributor reports with identifiers....and so on
  • Working drafts are ok to keep locally.


Step 2: Computer file cleanup


Desktop Folder - 5 minute activity

  • Create 3 folders called “Move Now”, “Delete Now” and “Delete Later”.
  • Move any records that are clearly required to be in secured storage to "Move Now".
  • Move any items you aren’t sure about into “Delete Later”, otherwise move to "Delete Now".
  • Trash everything in the “Delete Now” folder (including in temp folders).
  • Empty your trash.


Documents Folders - 15 minute activity

  • Create 3 folders called “Move Now”, “Delete Now” and “Delete Later”.
  • Move any records that are clearly required to be in secured storage to "Move Now".
  • Move any items you aren’t sure about into “Delete Later”, otherwise move to "Delete Now".
  • Trash everything in the “Delete Now” folder (including in temp folders).
  • Empty your trash.


Downloads Folder - 15 minute activity

  • Create 3 folders called “Move Now”, “Delete Now” and “Delete Later”.
  • Move any items that are clearly required to be in secured storage to "Move Now".
  • Move any items you aren’t sure about into “Delete Later”, otherwise move to "Delete Now".
  • Trash everything in the “Delete Now” folder (including in temp folders).
  • Empty your trash.
  • Select “Clear Downloads” in your browser download setting.


Wednesday - Is there ever enough email?

Now that you have a few things cleaned up this week, let’s keep the momentum going with our email inbox.


What Can You Focus On?

Concentrate on what might matter most - check out the suggestion list below. Remember, keep your goal small in order to be successful. You can always complete one goal and then work on another! Won’t it be fabulous to have some of those boxes under control?

  • Sort your email for attachments. This will help you quickly find documents that are likely to have personal or confidential information.
  • Is it a final document or deliverable of some sort? Keep it.
  • Not sure? Keep it & look into it later (we'll have time tomorrow).
  • Focus on the last 7 days worth of emails.
  • If you have extra time, go back 14 days, then 21 days, etc.


Email clean-up - 15 minutes

  • Use the same structure for email that you did yesterday for computer files. Create 3 folders called “Move Now”, “Delete Now” and “Delete Later”. Remember, time is precious so you want to focus on emails with important attachments that you (or your team!) wouldn't want you to lose.
  • Move any documents that are clearly required to be in secured storage.
  • Move any items you aren’t sure about into “Delete Later”.
  • Trash everything in the “Delete Now” folder.
  • Empty your trash.


Anything Else?

Absolutely! Do you own a Matrix channel or a Google group that you don't use or need anymore? This is a good time to clean that up and have it removed.


Thursday - Check those “Later” folders and set up your Password Manager

Did you put some documents or emails this week into “Delete Later” or “Look at Later” folders? Totally fine! Let’s make sure those “Delete Later” folders don’t become “Never Delete Later” folders.


What Can You Focus On?

  • Pick one of those "Later" folders and dig in.
  • Working draft? Keep it.
  • Possible duplicate? Do your homework.
    • No record of it anywhere? Store it in the right place.
    • Older version with newer versions stored or currently being worked on? Delete.


Anything Else? Yes! You need to use a Password Manager. Get one today!

A Password Manager is software that lets you generate, store, and use unique passwords for every site and service you use, protected by one master password. Instead of remembering multiple passwords or using the same password over and over, a password manager remembers all the passwords for you. It helps you do the most secure thing AND makes your life easier!


What you should do Install and use a password manager such as Firefox Lockwise!


Further resources

If you found this useful and want to look at steps you can take every day to keep your digital world a bit more manageable, you may want to look at the Data Detox Kit as well as videos that will help you to detox your computer, smartphone and social media.