You may long have given up on your New Year’s resolutions but that doesn’t mean you have run out of time to make some changes to the way you deal with your technology in 2013, says Enterprise Nation’s tech agony aunt Francesca Geens of Digital Dragonfly.
Seven ways to simplify your technology set-up
1. Clear your desktop from non-essential shortcuts (ideally there will be none left) and documents.
2. Documents that are saved on your desktop or other random locations should be brought together into one main location with a folder structure. Unless you have good reason not to, this should be in your Documents folder (for me its my Dropbox folder within Documents). This may take time but really you just need to do it once and you will be all the more productive once you can find your data. It will also make it a lot easier to back up your data as it will all be in the one place.
3. If you are feeling overwhelmed with emails then go about unsubscribing to those newsletters that are not adding any value – even if you don’t read them, they are taking up time and space by coming into Outlook in the first place. I have even unsubscribed from various newsletters that I do find interesting but because I follow RSS feeds from these sites do not need to see the content twice. I would rather have less email and get my information via the RSS feed as I tend to do my reading in batches and it is easier to tweet or save reading to Instapaper.
4. If you have an inbox with 12,000 unread emails – yes I see this regularly and worse – then its time to delete some of these messages. And I can already hear those of you who are saying ‘This isn’t going to happen’, so at least do this: move these unread messages out of your inbox and into a ‘Deal with this later’ folder. At least your inbox is now empty and you can start with a clean slate, staying on top of any new email traffic. Create an Action folder and a Reading folder. Empty your inbox into these two folders daily and delete the rest.
5. Do you have software that you downloaded but don’t use? Do some uninstalling and give your computer a bit more room to work with.
6. Have a look through your Downloads folder and file away anything you need to keep. Delete the rest.
7. And don’t forget to empty the Trash when you are done. Your computer will be grateful.
I would say that the above would be relevant to the majority of my clients (before I work with them, of course), so why not book yourself in for a date with your laptop, pour yourself a glass of wine (you’ve broken that resolution already right?) and do some much needed tidying.
Next month I’ll be writing about THE single most important thing you can do to really simplify how you work – getting all synced up. How to sync data between various devices has got to be the most common question I get asked, so I’ll be giving you the ultimate guide to getting your life in sync in 2013.
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