How to Streamline Your Digital Ecosystem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I vividly remember when Microsoft rolled out Windows 95. Designed to actually look like a desktop, with icons for the Recycle Bin, Briefcase, Inbox and other functions, it felt revolutionary, a boon for productivity as well as operations and logistics, and above all, user-friendly. And that innovation was market-proven: Microsoft product designer at the time, Juliette Weiss, noted in a 2017 article for Medium, “It was the most heavily user-tested product in [the company’s] history.”

In those days, it made sense to treat a computer workspace more or less like your home or office desktop — to regularly clean and organize it just as you would its physical facsimile. But today, with cloud computing and an endless number of automated tools and apps, the digital/physical workspace analogy doesn’t quite hold up. Organizing your 21st-century ecosystem isn’t just a matter of implementing a smart filing system, but about choosing the right tools and building intuitive systems, then continually refining and updating them. Harvard Business Review summed it up well in an article published more than a decade ago: “Our job today and tomorrow,” it read in part, “isn’t to organize ourselves better; it’s to get the right technologies that respond to our personal productivity needs.”

At Jotform, my team and I rely on a multitude of tools and platforms for personal work and collaboration and streamlining them has helped us to reduce friction, increase output and both grow and scale without a dime of outside funding.

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