We all know that one of the biggest New Years Resolutions is starting the year healthier or to improve our health. Whether it is to loose weight; get more sleep; get more exercise. All of those things are good but we should also consider the same things for our computers. Here are a few computer tips to do just that.
Think about it we spend hours upon hours each day on our computers creating documents, downloading files, deleting files, adding programs, removing programs and the list continues.
The New Year is a perfect time for a little computer fitness or “tune up” as well. Why not start the New Year off with a little pc once over.
Here are a few tips that will help you get going.
First thing I would check out is your backup plan that is if you have one in place if not this is a good time to get one going. Do you back up your critical files to a local external drive with some sort of software maybe on a pc you are using GoodSync or a Mac the built in Time Machine make sure that these systems are running and that you do in fact have a good back up in place. The worst time to find out that you have no back up is when you really need to restore something.
Do you have an offsite backup it’s always a good idea to have a back up outside of your office or home. You can do this with could storage of critical files consider looking into iCloud or Carbonite or even syncing your files to DropBox or similar services. You could use GoodSync on your PC to sync those files to the cloud storage if you choose and on a mac a good application is Carbon Copy Cloner.
The next thing I would check is a clean up utility such as CCleaner this is an application I’ve used for many years and is available on both PC and Mac. It will help clean up temporary files and Internet cache and free up some needed space.
Finally something I highly recommend is to look over your files and reorganize if needed. Start by looking at your default downloads folder. Many times we’ve download tons of files over the year, many of these files are “one time” files meaning you only used them once and never need them again. Maybe they were software updates, a file from a friend like a doc or spreadsheet they wanted you to review and so forth.
Myself I like to create a “files” folder either on my computer or external drive. I put all of like type files together so that I can find them easier down the road. For example if I’m looking through the “My Downloads” folder and find stock photos that I’ve purchased I can move those to my “stock photos” folder. Any spread sheet files I put in my “Spread sheet” folder. Word documents go in my “Docs” folder and so on. Of course if they are spread sheets or documents are ones I don’t need then they are deleted instead of being moved. You will be amazed how much “stuff” is in our download and documents folders that are not really needed any longer that are filling up space.
If you’ve deleted a lot of files on your PC I would recommend running a program called Defraggler. This is a free application from the company that makes CCleaner and will help your pc run faster. On a mac this application is not needed since the Mac OS does it behind the scenes.
The final place to clean up or get in shape is your inbox many these days are using online services like Gmail but in either case local or online we generally have mail that we planned on going back to read and never did. Now is a good time to clean up those messages and start the New Year in better shape.
I actually recommend doing these steps once a month or at least every other month but many times we get so busy and neglect or computers and then grumble when things don’t work as fast as they once did.
By utilizing these New Year’s Computer Tips I hope you can start off the new year happy healthy and successful.