Worksheets. eBooks. Wallpapers. Icon sets. Fonts.
There’s an awful of of free stuff for the taking as you traverse the many roads and routes available for social media travel.
A download here or there doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but eventually you’ll be forced to face the overwhelm that can come with too much stuff.
Yes, you can ACTUALLY have too much digital stuff!
Stop The Free Font FOMO!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of fonts (all right, all right … I know they’re typefaces. Stand down. I’m going for a little alliteration here and it’s not easy to do so with “typeface”).
But, how many of those fontastic freebies have you actually managed to use in a paying project or prototype?
Probably not that many.
Free fonts seem like a good deal … until you find yourself scrolling through a seemingly endless list, looking for the type that will transform your next branding effort.
Ever been so jazzed about a groovy script that you immediately download it and then never manage to use it? If your hand isn’t up in the air you’re either a liar or you don’t work in design and visual marketing.
Clear out some of those tempting, but sadly unused, typeface files. Many of them just aren’t designed well for actual use. If they fail their intended purpose, why do you hang on to them?
Work That Sheet Or Walk Away!
Free worksheets. They’re everywhere! Checklists and to-dos and how-tos, oh my.
But how many of these worksheets are actually adding any wonderful to your workday?
Admit it! You downloaded it as a reference for a future worksheet of your own. Nothing wrong with that. As long as it’s really just for reference and you aren’t going to get a little too grabby with concepts, ideas and design and copy it a little too closely.
If you’ve never taken the time to actually fill out the worksheet, not even once, it’s just more clutter. Delete it or pass it along to someone who will use it.
You cull clothing and footwear you never wear from your closet, right? Do the same with those worksheets. If it’s not working for you, it’s just taking up space!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Do SOMETHING with those downloads … or clear out the clutter!” quote=”Do SOMETHING with those downloads … or clear out the clutter!”]
Read Or Release!
Much like worksheets, you’ll never have to look too far before you find a free eBook just waiting for your click.
How many of them have you actually read?
I’m an avid and voracious reader, and even I can admit I’ve got scores of easy download eBooks that I’ve never read. Taking up space and taunting me every time I peruse my file folders.
If it was free, trash it. If you paid for it, move it to the cloud or pass it along to someone who might actually read it and benefit from it.
NOTE: I’m not saying you should share digital books with the masses when the author means for it to be purchased. That’s unethical. However, if you bought it and never read it and never will read it, I see nothing wrong with passing it along, ONCE, to someone who might benefit. It’s like a gift.
But, I Might Need It Later!
If you’re not 100% sure you won’t ever use that typeface, worksheet, icon set, etc., you can clear your clutter in a two-step process.
Move the maybe files from your active files (on our computer or device) and keep them in cold storage on the cloud for a bit.
If, after six months or so, you’ve still not accessed or used the downloaded file for its intended purpose, consider a final delete!
Download With Intent & Purpose …
You don’t have to download every free file that presents itself.
Carefully consider each download. Is it something that truly interests you? Is it a file, font or image you can see yourself actually using in the future.
Don’t get sucked into downloading simply for acquisition’s sake. It’s a drain on your computer resources and space, and it can become a time suck when you need to make a decision in the future.
Do you really want to wade through countless downloaded files when you’re seeking the best solution for your business or that of one of your clients?
I’m clearing out unused files as I continue my summer streamline process. How about you?