Downtime Tech Tasks to Keep You Organized
Many of us find ourselves with a bit of extra time on our hands during the holidays. While I encourage taking this time to relax, if you’re going a little stir crazy, there are a number of housekeeping tasks you can perform to keep yourself organized and to keep your tech running at its best.
Organize your digital photo library
Thanks to digital photography, we take more photos than ever before and keeping all those photos organized and backed up can be challenging! If you snap photos with your mobile device, downloading Google Photo is a good start. Google Photo gives you unlimited cloud back-ups, making it easy to keep all your photos safe from data loss. As an added precaution, I also recommend backing them up on a physical external hard drive or Network Attached Storage.
While Google Photo and external hard drives can make backing up your photos a breeze, they’re not the best tools for organizing them. When it comes to organizing, I recommend using software like Photoshop Elements. Elements allows you to automatically find and organize photos by the people in them, the places they were taken, and the events during which they were taken. It also offers some basic editing tools that will help you get your photos looking their best.
Cable clutter clean-up
Cable clutter drives me crazy! It makes things very challenging if you need to replace a device or isolate a problem in your tech set-up. To make things easy on myself, I make an effort to keep cables as organized and easily identifiable. This way, I don’t have to dig through piles of cables, following each one to figure out what device it belongs to.
If you’d like to get your cables organized, I recommend looking behind all your devices and using tools such as zip ties and Velcro cable straps to neatly bind all wires. You’d be surprised how much time it saves you when you’re troubleshooting or replacing a device.
Once a year, I like to do a little refresh on my system to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Doing this over the holidays makes it easy to remember when it was done last, allowing you to stay on top of things.
If you decide to refresh your computer system, I recommend starting with a complete virus and security scan. If you don’t have software installed to do this with, try one of these programs. Next, defragment your disk. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even reformat your whole system. However, I only recommend doing this once you’ve backed EVERYTHING up and if you know what you’re doing.
Clean your tech
Keyboards, screens and the inside of PC’s have a way of collecting dirt and grime over time. To keep them clean, I recommend purchasing a few essentials: screen wipes, cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth, and compressed air. Wipes, cleaning solution, and microfiber cloths help you get everything from fingerprints to food splatter off the display and casing of your favourite devices. To keep dust and other particles out of your keyboard and other key areas, try a can of compressed air. Just keep in mind that compressed air can be quite powerful and shouldn’t be directed at delicate components.