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CLIENT STORY: Virtual Cleanups for Small Businesses

Updated: 2 days ago


Meet Karen the Craftswoman


“Professional organizing” is widely associated with pristine pantries, customized closets, and file-folded laundry. But while that is our bread and butter, there’s a reason we don’t just call ourselves “home organizers”: we offer a much broader scope of services! For example, have you ever given any thought to organizing your digital spaces?


The 411 on Digital Organization

Digital organizing entails sorting, purging, and grouping information stored on electronics. This might be a difficult thing to gauge, so if you’re not sure how organized you are, ask yourself:

  • How many emails are currently in your email inbox? Is it hard to find important ones?

  • How many pictures do you have saved on your phone? Are they categorized in any way?

  • Is your desktop easy to navigate, or does it have random files scattered around?

  • How many websites do you have bookmarked on your laptop that you don’t use anymore?

  • How many of your downloaded apps do you actually use, and how often?

  • How well do you manage your passwords? What about general cyber security?


Everyone’s version of “disorganized” is different, but personally, I would consider your digital space disorganized if a) you can’t locate files/links easily, b) you consistently run out of storage space, or c) you don’t have any distinctions between important and unimportant digital information.


If this is hitting a little close to home, don’t worry— this is a far more common issue than people realize. And unfortunately, we often don’t realize there’s an issue with our current setup until it starts causing problems.


Meet Joanna, The Small Business Owner

Few demographics understand the importance of digital organizing more than small business owners, especially those who work primarily online. Joanna S. is one such entrepreneur, working her magic in the dynamic world of creative advertising. Her field is largely confined to the internet these days, so the majority of her work is handled from her laptop. And that (unfortunately) means having to juggle several apps, websites, devices, file formats, and passwords on the daily.


“Everything I do for my business happens online,” Joanna explains, “and being able to find files, look up invoices, and locate important documents is crucial.”


Many large companies have the resources to afford virtual EAs (Executive Assistants) to help keep digital information neat and easily accessible. But self-employment tends to offer fewer opportunities for hiring outside help. And so the burden of maintaining order in her virtual spaces fell entirely onto Joanna, alongside the myriad of tasks that accompanied her actual job title.


Joanna was running the risk of letting things slip through the cracks if she didn’t get some online assistance. Luckily, that’s where we stepped in!


Tackling Virtual Messes

Joanna’s initial obstacles became apparent rather quickly: overlapping calendars, a messy email inbox, files scattered across platforms, and poor password maintenance. Joanna expressed that an executive assistant wasn’t an option at the time, so met her halfway with an alternative: “If you aren't quite ready for a virtual EA,” Joanna advises, “I highly recommend a virtual clean up.”


The first problem we tackled was her mismatching calendars. We synchronized all of her schedules to one convenient app, reducing the possibility of scheduling conflicts and missed deadlines. We even color-coded different events, like client appointments or team meetings, so she could distinguish between them at a glance.


Next, we tackled her virtual inboxes. We went through thousands of emails to identify what could be discarded, then we created folders like client correspondence, invoices, and tech support to sort the rest into. We then broke these folders up into smaller categories, including giving each client their own file. To maintain a fresh and empty inbox, we advised Joanna to schedule in half an hour per week to sort and purge new emails.


Once her email was organized, we moved onto her files. This part took quite a while because she used many different platforms for file sharing and storage. We went through them one at a time, working through Google Drive, Dropbox, photo apps, and her downloads folder. We gave each of them a similar treatment to her email inbox: purge, sort, and categorize. We also worked to make all files accessible from every location so her files would be backed up in case of a crash or data breech.


Finally, we discussed cyber security. There are a number of tricks and resources for keeping digital information safe, including using a Virtual Private Network and setting up two-factor authentication on important accounts. We also introduced her to a tool that stores and protects her passwords for easy log-ins, and reminds her to change her login information when needed.


Our founder, Katy, worked with Joanna for several sessions to ensure that this process was as efficient, thorough, and maintainable as possible. And by its end, KMA Organizing had another very happy customer: “At this point,” Joanna exclaims excitedly, “I don't know what I would do without her.”


Keeping our virtual spaces organized may slip our minds rather easily, but the benefits far outweigh the minor nuisances of staying on top of it, especially if you run a digital business. Whether you want to have easier access to important emails, or you want more storage for pictures of your dog, a virtual clean up may be the solution for you!




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