The new year isn’t just about throwing out your Christmas tree and eating a few salads to make up for all the mince pies you stuffed your face with. If you really want to be more happy and efficient in 2012 you’re going to need to give your online life a bit of a tidy up too.
Here are a few online ideas to make this year the best yet, after all, you should never under-estimate the impact a messy email inbox or an annoying Facebook friend can have on your happiness!
1. Use Pinterest to keep all your favourite images safe and organised
Every time you see an image online that interests or inspires you what do you do with it? Sure you can save it to your computer, but what if you want to reference it later? Or find similar images from the same blogger?
Pinterest allows you to ‘pin’ content to virtual boards, so you can collect together all kinds of images, keep them super organised and then share them with your friends. This is invaluable for making collections of photos that inspire you, creating mood boards or storing pictures you want to use in blog posts at a later date.
Of course you don’t have to use Pinterest, but find an image curating and bookmarking tool that lets you add a bookmarklet to your browser so you’re much more likely to actually use it!
2. Clear out your Google Reader
If you actively use Google Reader (or any other RSS reading tool), then chances are you’ve been collecting together lots of interesting sites and blogs over the past few years.
However, this means that sometimes you can wake up with 1000+ unread articles that you’re never going to get round to reading. So sort through your Google Reader and if a blog isn’t useful, interesting or inspiring to you anymore, then unsubscribe.
3. Get rid of Facebook and Twitter ‘friends’ that wind you up/annoy you/just aren’t relevant
How many times have you heard someone say they hate Facebook or Twitter? Really they don’t hate the social network (not usually anyway), but they’re sick of friends and followers who post boring and irrelevant updates.
I think we’ve all gotten over the fact we get unfriended and unfollowed from time to time, so just bite the bullet and get rid of anyone who writes anything that’s annoying or offensive.
Yes it sounds a bit harsh, but you’ll start to find more interesting content, connect with the people that matter and see Twitter and Facebook as useful rather than just time suckers.
4. Find the blogging platform that suits you…
In our opinion if you want to write lengthy posts and use an intuitive interface then WordPress should be your new BFF. If you prefer short pieces of content that’s SUPER easy to publish then try Tumblr. Or, if you want to try something new and love big, beautiful images then try Jux. It doesn’t matter which you choose, just set up an account and get blogging!
5. …then actually use it to blog
It’s easy to set up a blog, make it look lovely and write that witty, engaging and all important ‘about’ page, but then you need to actually write something and keep it up throughout the year.
Unless you blog for your day job, for many blogging should be a retreat from the big nasty world of work. However, approaching a blog as “just a bit of fun” often means many people don’t keep it up or stay disciplined. Therefore, don’t make it a chore but schedule in some time each week to make sure you’ve got something to publish.
6. Don’t waste away the day stalking and aimlessly browsing
We waste an insane amount of time stalking old photos and scrolling through tweets. If you’re still finding yourself getting distracted after culling a whole load of people, then read our post about how to stop procrastinating online and get blocking those time sucking websites.
7. Embrace a new network or cool app
You’re probably thinking that you can’t squeeze another social network into your day, but you may find you like something much more than what you’re using at the moment. If you haven’t tried them already check out some of our favourites, Instagram, Path and Google+.
8. Get the new Facebook timeline and sort through it
Everyone should be able to activate the new Facebook timeline by now, so go get it and sort through your old stories and any embarrassing photos you don’t want anyone to see.
9. Organise your Twitter followers into lists
If you’re following lots of people, sorting them into lists can take so long, but it’s worth it in the long run and makes Twitter so much easier to digest once you’re done.
10. Unsubscribe from emails and updates you don’t need
If you’ve bought anything online, chances are you’ve been forced into getting a newsletter at some point or getting updates from social networks or discount websites. Instead of just deleting these annoying emails every morning force yourself to unsubscribe.[Image via Pinterest]