How to get a fresh start 🧹 Wonder Tools
6 things you can do in less than an hour for a fall cleaning boost
🍁 Fall’s a good time for a tech reset. I’m moving back home this week & I’m focusing on starting anew. So in today’s Wonder Tools post, I’m sharing a few simple ways to get a fresh start. (Note: next week’s post will arrive on Friday because Thursday is Yom Kippur.)
🎁 You’ll find in today’s post:
📲 Quick ways to clean up your desktop & phone
💌 How to clean your inbox and social feed
🙉 Micro-podcasts — just a few minutes each — for help on starting fresh
🖥 🧹Clean up your desktop 👩🏾💻
If your computer is cluttered with a tornado🌪 of icons, here’s a quick fix.
Windows 10: hide your icons with these steps.
📱 Clean up your phone 🤳
People pick up their phones an average of 58 times per day, according to RescueTime research, and often switch activities every 20 seconds, according to this research via Vox. Apps clutter up phones and suck you in. No one quick fix will work for everyone, so here are a couple options:
Lots of people changed up their home screens during the pandemic. If you just want a homescreen makeover, not an empty look, check out this Pinterest homescreen inspiration page or this one for Android phone makeovers.
📧 Clean up your inbox 📪
Inboxes tend to refill relentlessly. Advocates of inbox zero are losing the debate to those who argue for inbox infinity. Handling email requires three hours a day 🕰 if you spend just two minutes per note acting on 90 messages.
Leave Me Alone lets you unsubscribe from a bunch of email at once. Or roll up newsletters into bundles to streamline your reading. Try it free, then $9/month.
Clean Email is similar and a bit cheaper, at $30/year or $50 to share with 4 friends or family members.
Subscription Zero won’t delete email for you, but it gives you a spot to read your roll-up newsletters. And unlike the other services, it doesn’t request access to your inbox, so it may feel more secure. Free for a month, then $5/month.
Mailstrom will also let you unsubscribe efficiently from lots of lists or delete tons of messages quickly. Works with Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo. Try free without a credit card, but then pay $60 - $200/year.
Here are some more pros and cons of these four services.
Note: I would NOT recommend Unroll.me, which I stopped using after concerns about its privacy practices.
💻 Clean up your social feed 📲
News Feed Eradicator, a Chrome extension, strips updates away from social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and LinkedIn. See just the pages you want, without infinite streams of pictures and updates.
Distraction-free YouTube is another Chrome extension that disables autoplay. That means you can watch just what you want without getting sucked into YouTube’s algorithm.
Here are Wired’s quick tips for wiping away your own past Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.
What’s your tip or tool for a fresh start?
🎧 Get your day started with fresh audio 🙉
I recommend three micro-podcasts — each episode just a few minutes long — to refresh your audio feed for morning walks or commutes.
Radio Headspace — Start your day with a brief morning reflection. These short daily audio notes are free and offer a gentle dose of a.m. positivity.
Small Things Often - These short episodes from the Gottman Institute offer useful thoughts on little ways you can strengthen your relationship with a partner. One recent post focused on the 8 partner conversations that matter most.