Embracing Minimalism and Reducing Footprint

by Brian Ritchie


Last Updated: Feb 7, 2013 11:54
813 words · 4 minutes read

Reduce Your Footprint.

Recently, I took some time to evaluate and reevaluate again everything around me. More importantly, how I as a person affect the world around me and within me.

I believe that everything has a soul. We are all vibrations and thus how we do anything consequentially affects how we do everything and how everything responds back to us.

This may seem like a quirky concept but it has helped me dig deeper and delve into the abyss of my mind with a filter or lense that helps me in making sense of it all. By doing this, I somehow arrived at a new purpose in life.

footprint-brian-ritchie

Embracing Minimalism and Reducing Footprint – Image courtesy of Sheep purple

Reducing Footprint.

This is not just about your eco-friendly carbon emissions campaign but something deeper. The idea is to effectively reduce your footprint in everything you touch, you feel, you interact with and use in your daily lives. In addition, you reduce the footprints of anything that interacts with it and within it. Anything around it. Anyone around it.

This lead me back to a concept I have been a fan of throughout my life

– Minimalism –

The idea of understanding that what isn’t there is just as important, if not more important than what is there.

Somehow, the idea seems rather natural to me. It seems almost second nature and what’s inherently more interesting is, despite it seeming so familiar, I have never really took my time to focus deeply on the concept and apply it to the world around me.

My first order of business was to ensure I had some quick wins under my belt. This should give me enough fuel to keep me going as I continue this journey of reducing everything about myself and the things around me to only what is absolutely required.

To quickly garner a quick win, I decided to first start with the insane amount of apps I run on my Laptop. To narrow down even further I decided to target Email.

Originally, I use to run (the now acquired) SparrowApp to maintain my numerous mail accounts. This was an additional app on top of my Browser and other communication Apps that I needed to use for work. I started seeing the clutter of it all. I began to truly understand the fact that every app within the ecosystem fights to stake its claim and leave a footprint on my machine. If it were a living soul, it would be troubled, bothered even by the constant infighting of these apps for claim of it precious memory.

This bothered me beyond measure. It troubled me to realize that I contributed towards this mess. I realized that I had to turn back to the browser. After all, why add another layer to what is already there.

I tried Alto. An amazing product. Its simplicity blew my mind. It helped me organize the clutter. It kept me sane but I stumbled upon two minor problem.

1) It couldn’t support all the mailboxes I had to check on a constant basis

and

2) its organization scheme meant that if I were to ever login to GMail, I would still have an extremely uncluttered mailbox. It had a limit and I understood why that was important. I understood the need to compress my life into just 4 mailboxes but at this point in time, I had to accept that I couldn’t.

I had to take a step back and look through the looking glass again. After all, both God and the Devil are in the details. I had to figure out how to organize my clutter which particularly also is because I subscribe to a large variety of newsletters and topics. I realize I had to go back to GMail but this time, I stumbled across another issue – I needed to constantly open 5-6 tabs of different mail accounts and doing it manually every time is a pain. Fortunately after a little Googling – I found TabBundler. A Chrome Extension that helps save bundles of tabs to be opened with just a click of a button. Problem solved.

Then I had another problem. Clutter. I had Labels from a while ago but I hadn’t labelled some of the newer subscriptions. This was yet another important problem to solve towards my goal of reducing everything around me. I decided to do the one thing that solved my clutter problems before. I selected all my emails and archived them. This left me with the famous – Inbox Zero. Now every time a new mail comes in, I attempt to filter it just like I did before, Only this time, I know I’ll catch em all.

I am also now fully browser based for my emails until such time that I find out how to further reduce my email footprint.