This post was originally published on December 28, 2017 and updated on December 27, 2018.
We’re barreling full-tilt toward the end of another year, and while that might make most people pause and reflect on the year in the review, I’m already thinking about next year! This is the time of year that gives me the feeling that everything is possible. The new year beckons, full of unrealized potential. What might it bring for you? I’m no fortune teller, but I can give you some tips on how to make the most of that “shiny new year” feeling—for your digital life, anyway!
You’ve Got Mail
Let’s start where many people start: their email inbox. This is the time of year when I see a lot of people making New Year’s resolutions to get that pesky “unread emails” number down to zero. But why not address the cause first? We all know we end up on a ton of email lists, for all kinds of reasons. Are you really still interested in that website that specializes in fuzzy cat socks? Then by all means, keep the subscription. But if you find yourself scratching your head wondering why you’re getting a particular batch of emails, feel free to click that “Unsubscribe” link. On the flip side, if you’ve been entertaining a new idea or a career change or just something you hadn’t thought of before, this would be a great time to find some like-minded newsletters to subscribe to. (Have you subscribed to our blog yet?)
How’s Your Social Life?
Let’s talk about social media. The social media landscape is definitely changing, both in how we interact with external sources like news media, and also in how we interact with each other. To make your social media time the most positive and productive, I would highly recommend you take stock of your profiles. Which social outlets are you using? Is there something you’ve been thinking about trying but haven’t yet? Are you following enough people? (Or too many?) If you’re monetizing your outlets, how’s that working out for you? Are you seeing a return on your investment? (And yes, time counts as an investment!)
If you’ve ever logged into a website using Facebook, or allowed Twitter permission to connect with a third-party app, you might review the sites you’ve given access to. Do you really need to be connected to all of them? Facebook in particular has had a really terrible year in terms of keeping your private data secure. If you’d like to review which external websites you’re connecting to via Facebook, just go to Settings > Apps and Websites. Same goes for Twitter: visit Settings > Apps and devices to see and modify your connections.
If you use social media for your business, this would be a great time to check your connections. Are your social channels easy to find on your website? If you’re advertising on social, how’s that working for you? This is a good time to make some tweaks or try a new plan. And of course, you’ll want to be able to measure how much your social reach is actually benefiting your business. Most channels provide their own analytics for you to review, but I also like digging deep into Google Analytics. This shows me exactly which channels are providing traffic to my website, and also what visitors do when they get there.
Roll Out the Welcome Mat
And speaking of websites, how’s yours? If you haven’t taken a long look at it for a while, this would be a great time to go visit. Try and see it the way a new visitor would see it. Can you find everything okay? Are there parts of your online story that need some expanding? It might be time for a redesign or a refresh. I wouldn’t recommend changing just for the sake of looking different. Rather, take the time to re-examine what you’re doing with your website and how it reflects on your real-world persona or business. We all grow and change—your website should grow and change along with you.
Lastly, remember to connect with the world outside your screen! Knowing that you have your digital ducks in a row can help you relax and focus on the people and activities in your real life. Just like a clean house can make you feel more relaxed and peaceful at home, a well-organized digital life can make time spent online more productive and more enjoyable.
Wishing you all the best for a wonderful new year!