I've been spending time this week cleaning up online accounts so that I can start 2010 with a fresh (or fresher) plate. I had gotten lax about filtering my gmail account, and I had tons of advertising / spammish emails clogging up my inbox. I've been working diligently at creating new rules so I can easily delete unwanted emails, while filtering others I don't want to lose.
To do that, I create filters for incoming messages. For all the advertising / newsletter / miscellaneous emails that come in, I route them all to a "ads" label. If any are of particular interest, I can remove that label -- but otherwise once a month or so I pull up everything labeled "ads" and hit the delete button. It quickly cleans up my inbox, which makes me happy.
Once I added about a hundred new emails to various filters, I went through and deleted almost 2000 emails. Having them filtered into categories makes the deletions easy.
I also went through my feed readers and deleted all the feeds I rarely read, or are filled with drama, or are genuine train wrecks. I use 2 different feed readers -- bloglines and google reader -- to separate personal and work-related feeds. It felt especially good to delete the train wrecks (you know you read a few! But I decided to cut down on the drama that really has nothing to do with me next year.) I deleted almost a hundred feeds from my 2 readers.
And, finally, I did a minimal purge on Facebook. The new privacy settings have made it possible to hide your Wall from others, and I decided that if people were hiding their Wall from me, there was no reason for us to remain friends on Facebook! At first, I was a bit pissy about it and hid my Wall from them -- and then decided to be a grown-up and handle it like an adult. See above: cutting down the drama in 2010.
I set up some files for 2010. It's too soon to close out most of my 2009 files, as there are things that won't be completed / resolved until mid to late January, but having the 2010 files created has allowed me to start filling things in for the new year. I track blog tours, and freelance work, and the like in various Excel spreadsheets.
What about you? Are you cleaning up your online world to get ready for 2010?