Winning the Internet

Spring cleaning: Clean up your digital (work) life

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

broomWell, spring has sprung! It’s a spectacular day here in Oakland and my mind is on spring cleaning. It’s one of those things that feels so great when it’s done, so why not do a little spring cleaning at work?

To make things simple, I’ve put together the following checklist, with ideas for cleaning up your digital work life. Print it out and start checking boxes!

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Clean Up Your Digital (Work) Life Checklist

Eliminate clutter
☐ Stop forcing tools that aren’t working for you.
If you haven’t updated your organization’s Pinterest boards in the last six months, for example, it might be time to give yourself permission to stop thinking about them altogether. There’s no shame in trying new things as long as you realize when they’re not working and stop wasting time on them.

☐ Trim down your to do list.
If there’s anything on your to do list that won’t actually help your organization achieve its goals, get rid of it.

Fix broken stuff
☐ Find out what is and isn’t working for your org, and fix the broken stuff.
Spend a little time digging into your organization’s data (email, website, Facebook, etc.) to see what isn’t working. To keep things interesting and avoid spending an entire day on this, block out an hour on your calendar, put on some headphones and make it a timed exercise.

☐ Create a testing plan.
If you’ve got a hunch that some things could be working better, but aren’t sure, testing can help you figure it out. Put together a list of everything you’d like to test (email templates, calls to action on your website, etc.) and assign target dates for each test.

☐ Revamp burdensome processes.
I touched on this last week, but couldn’t leave it off of this checklist. If repetitive tasks like editing emails or planning campaigns are about as fun for you as a trip to the dentist, pause for a moment and intentionally rework the processes.

Get organized
☐ Develop a content matrix.
If program staff and others at your organization are always sending you things and asking you to turn them into emails, Facebook posts, etc., you can save time by defining upfront how you’ll handle different types of content.

Put together a simple spreadsheet with the type of content going down the left side (press release, event announcement, post to your organization’s blog, news article mentioning your organization, etc.), and the possible ways to promote things going across the top (mass email, Facebook post, Twitter post, feature on homepage, etc.). Check off the appropriate boxes for each type of content.

☐ Create a communications calendar.
Go a step beyond the content matrix and think about what’s coming down the pike in the next month or so, then put the dates on a calendar. If your organization uses Google calendars, consider setting one up especially for this purpose so your colleagues can access it when they need to and you can avoid emailing the same document over and over again.

Image courtesy of Jean Scheijen.


About Melissa Foley

Melissa is the Director of Training and Mentoring for Netroots Foundation and New Media Mentors. She aims to use her MBA + nonprofit background to teach organizations to use new media tools strategically.

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