Some years ago, I was at Fairbridge Drake’s Applecross centre in the Scottish highlands.
One evening there was a slide show about the activities of the centre and I was delighted to see a picture of me in a Snow Hole from a previous trip.
At the end of the talk, I was given the slide to keep. Problem is I didn’t have a slide projector, what could I do ?.
So it stayed in my memories box for 30 years.
As some of you know, Nikki’s father tragicaly passed away last year.
He left hundred of slides, mostly of Aeroplanes. We bought a slide scanner and converted them all to .jpg (the intention is to put some of them up on the internet for any interested party to look at).
It gave me the opportunity to finaly scan my picture from the Snowhole.
But with all the scanning, it got me to thinking about my own digital posessions. They’ve drifted into my universe (god, am I really writing this crap, I’ve been stuck at home too long 🙂 and like the long neglected contents of a garage, badly needed organising.
So I went through everything and broke them down into the following areas and bellow I’ve written the strattegy I used in each case.
I’ve got letters applying for my first ever job, complaints to the Gasboard, you get the idea.
It took several hours to sort them into catagories, then I put them into dropbox. I always know where they are, they’re backed up and I can access them securely from my phone or any internet enabled device.
Any paper documents I had, where the original wasn’t needed (like a Will), were scanned and put into the relevant folders.
I also have a shared dropbox with Nikki, with secure copy of things like passport/driving license etc. If I’m away travelling (if that ever happens again:) and something happens to me, Nikki can easily get access to these from a phone, tablet, computer in the lobby of a hotel etc.
I scanned all my photo there weren’t digital.
Then I went through every picture and catagorised them. Where there were duplicates, I ordered them by year (so Lake District 2014, Laked District 2015).
Where I had random pictures (I have a picture of some loon walking across the Shropshire Union Canal when it was frozen over) I put them in a catagory called Misc
This job took 2 whole weekends to complete. Once done, I put them up on Dropbox.
I had a lot of Tony Robbins motivational stuff that I’d converted from cd. I also had quite a few podcasts that I’d downloaded (BBC’s 50 things that changed the modern economy is superb). I organised these into a podcast section and put it up on dropbox. I put any downloaded music into a similar folder.
I decided going forward, I would simply use Amazon Music. Anything I wanto listen to now, is on a playlist on my phone, Alexa or my pc with it’s Harmon Kardon speakers.
TV and Film
I rationalised my DVD collection and just kept a few special ones. Everything else was digitised.
With quite a lot of tv series and films, this took quite a while to organise. The the main thing here, was to make it easily available (otherwise, it simply wouldn’t get used, which was the whole point of this entire project).
With the help of my friend Matt, I setup a Plex server. It enables me to stream tv content to any tv or tablet in my house. So when I’m in bed if I feel like watching a random episode of Spooks or the New Statesman, there it is.
For newer content, Netflix and BBC I Player are all that I need. If there’s something I want to watch and simply can’t get anywhere else, I can buy the dvd on Amazon and play it on my Xbox.
I always like to have interesting books around me on my book case. I went through and any I didn’t read or out of date travel guides were deposited at the charity shop.
For fiction stuff, I relly totaly on my kindle.
I’m not a massive gamer, but I’ve played all the Halo and Call of Duty games.
In the past I’ve always bought the box set from Tesco or wherever, but now I just download it.se my home etc, I’ve got copies off them off site (pretty much what I’ve been doing at work for decades
It was 20 years ago in a very volatile personal situation that I had to re-organise my life. I remember reading Alvin Hall’s book Your money or your life.
One key thing I got from the book, was about having simple file box and having every important document (birth certificate, insurance document) in a place where you can put your hands on it in 10 minutes.
Once I’d done that I felt a lot more relaxed about things, knowing that everything was where it belongs. Times have moved on, but the principle is still the same, once you’ve organised everything you feel much more relaxed.