Digital Decluttering

So I’ll be first to admit, I love a well designed App. Anything that is designed beautifully, is going to increase my productivity or make my life easier I am onto it! Software as a Service is big, so huge right now. There’s an app for everything!

We’ve recently been going through the decluttering process in our home, and boy does it feel good. I’ve actually thrown out the majority of my clothes and pretty much have adopted a Steve Jobs kind of outfit situation without the turtleneck (jeans + black top = my staple). I am very anti stuff, but somehow I manage to accumulate it.

It wasn’t until just recently I did had a good look at ALL the things I was using to run my business that I realised, I am making this way more complicated than it needs to be, and wasn’t even using half the stuff I had signed up for!

Here’s the list of what I had…

  • Quoting system
  • Collaboration tool
  • Project management software
  • To do list
  • Email marketing system
  • Accounting system
  • Time tracker
  • Google apps
  • Creative + business software
  • Appointment booking system
  • Search Engine Optimisation tools
  • Social Media Tools (x2)
  • Dropbox
  • Skype

All up I was spending close to $400 a month on subscriptions. Crazy huh. And the USD to AUD conversion right now is horrible so it fluctuates. This is the cost that I was questioning for a new office space, which certainly puts things into perspective. Of course some of these are crucial to what I do (eg. Creative software) so I can’t cut them, but others are just there for ….fun.. I guess..

So here are my tips for doing a digital declutter:

Go analogue

The first thing I did was decide what I could easily move to in an analogue sense. I am a stationary addict so this was a pretty easy transition.

As much as I love beautiful apps, my productivity works way better when I switch it analogue style. There is just something super satisfying about physically crossing something off a list. I already use my own version of the Bullet Journal system, a whiteboard with all my current projects on the board, and a Neu Year Wall planner.  This helped me say good bye to do lists, project management software, time tracking and appointment booking software!

Make use of what you already have

It came to my attention that some things I already have do the things that I am paying extra for from other services. So for example my Accounting system now does quotes. I can also manually create a quote using my design software if need be – I don’t need the fancy stats that tell me who has looked, accepted etc. My collaboration tool can easily be switched back to a mix of dropbox + email. A little more leg work but sometimes clients don’t even use it anyway so it’s no extra drama for me.

Get rid of the shiny objects

Some things you sign up for are just another shiny object, this in particular is the social media and search engine optimisation tools. Whilst in some circumstances they do make my life easier, for right now where I am at in my business, they aren’t a major deal breaker in my business.


After my declutter I have effectively cut my list in more than half and resulted in a few key things that will keep me going and instead of $400 I am closer to $150. What I have left:

  • Email marketing system
  • Accounting system
  • Google Apps
  • Creative + business software
  • Dropbox
  • Skype

How many things do you subscribe to, to keep your business running?


6 thoughts on “Digital Decluttering

  1. Great post Nicki! I’ve been looking at doing this myself. Without even writing a list, i know of at least $30 a month i can save – that feels good. Eliminating what is not necessary – declutters, the mind as well as the bank statement! Love the wardrobe idea too. I’m a jeans, shirt & scarf girl and the less i have to think about what to wear in the morning – the less stressed i start the day 🙂

    1. I know it makes a big difference. Re the clothes I only have issues when going out, I go through the – oh I have nothing to wear cycle (because I threw everything away!)

  2. You have given me a lot to think about, I don’t spend a lot of money on apps but I do have a lot of shiny unnecessary objects floating around. I’m curious, what search engine optimisation tools do you recommend?

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