Safe Keeping

Where do you keep your favorite online things? Not “where online do you keep your favorite things.” Rather, where do you keep track of the things you’ve found online that you want to find later?

Many options for saving online things exist: Google Keep, Evernote, Pocket Reader, Instapaper, Notion, so on and so on. It’s hard to choose from so many options. Goodness knows that makes it all too easy to leave the digital equivalent of overstuffed closets lying all over the Internet, especially when shiny new storage options continue to pop up without stop. Storage only matters, though, insofar as it helps you find what you want and need down the line. No online system can compete with hoarding.

How many of those articles that you saved over the last few weeks have you actually read? How about those from the last few years? Is that interesting new online service still online all this time later? Do they still sell that product on your wishlist? Do you want all these things haunting your online storage, or is it time to exorcise those expired links?

Perhaps it’s time to declare digital bankruptcy. It’s tempting to try and clean up that online storage but, unless you’re ready to dedicate serious blocks of time to KonMari that clutter (which is an option), you can expect to burn out long before you make headway. Dropping files en masse entails a hard emotional hit up front but that can’t compare to the cumulative pain of picking through each article one at a time. It’s not like you can donate them to charity, anyway.

How do you let go of your old online things? How soon can you let them go? How much room in your head and on your hard drive will you liberate in one broad stroke? How much emotional weight would such an emptying-out take off of your shoulders? Besides, you might just stumble across that one article you truly meant to read along the way.