Digital Clutter

Pile of papers Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

I'm going through the process of moving my notes from Evernote to .... somewhere. Obsidian? Standard Notes? I'm not yet sure.

Going through this process has highlighted the amount of digital clutter I've archived over the years.

Many things aren't clutter - important documents and records, snippets and audio clips of first words, and various artwork and scribbles from over the years.

But do I also need to muddle them with bills and insurance documents from nearly two decades ago? Ticket confirmations from shows long-since seen?

As Tony asks in his post, I'm questioning the benefits of being encouraged to "save everything" over the years:

Tools like Evernote trained us to capture everything. Scan a document. Send it to the cloud. Keep it forever. In all honesty, you’d have shredded the real thing by now.

I remember that being one of the original features of GMail when I signed up ... No need to worry about storage, just throw everything into the archive...

It may have been a feature, but I'm not sure it's a benefit. It's more to think about; more to manage when you eventually want to move, or even hit the "delete" button.

If nothing else, knowing it is sitting there, wasting taking up storage, and forever building up can feel overwhelming. It's very much the digital equivalent of the messy desk. Multiplied by a seemingly infinite number of bytes.

Will I need that water bill from 2007? Probably not, but I'll leave it archived for now.

Just in case