Whatever system you choose, you want to make sure you never run out of space. Having to carry around an external hard drive defeats the purpose of decluttering in the first place. You can either search for a larger storage device (1 TB will be enough, but 500 GB is sufficient) or invest in a cloud service like Google Drive, OneDrive or iCloud. If you are not already using Google Docs or Microsoft 365, which automatically stores your work in the cloud, be sure to upload your work periodically and free up space on your computer.
Replace books and papers
Once you have settled into your main equipment, your next goal is to eliminate as many books and papers from your school life as possible. If you are someone who works best with a low-tech pen and paper experience, this section is not for you.
For the rest of you, do the math. If you could convert 1
Most textbooks are available you can today them on Amazon, Google Books or Scribd. I If they are not, you may want to consider digitizing them with a service such as 1DollarScan or Blue Leaf Book Scanning. These companies will make soft copies of your books, complete with searchable text, so you can easily find the keyword you need.
Likewise, apps that take notes in handwriting recognition help you keep track of your crazy lecture scribbles. You can look for notes from a specific date or search for specific topics, and you can also back everything up to the cloud for easier access (and safer storage). My colleague Nick Summers wrote a note guide that describes the best apps for different uses: Check it out here.
In most messy technical setup, wires are the culprit. You already have cables needed for things like lamps, appliances, laptops, phones and power strips, so why add the pile? Swap your wired headphones for a wireless set – there are plenty of great options from real wireless earbuds like AirPods ($ 159 +) to noise-canceling headsets.
Alternatively, consider a table lamp with a built-in wireless charging base, which once again reduces the number of cables you need. For those of you who have an external monitor set up on your desktop, get a hub that you can use to wirelessly connect your accessories to the monitor.