Spring time is here. It's a fun time of the year. It's a time of renewal. That's why after a long winter people do spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a great way to keep your life neat and organized.
Sometimes an overlooked area of spring cleaning is technology. However, it's a really good area to focus on. Technology is such a part of our lives now that it's important we don't let it get out of hand. If it does get out of hand we risk letting our technology control us. And we don't want that, do we?
This is a big one. People let their email get away from them. Their inboxes and their minds get overwhelmed with all kinds of mail. It becomes difficult to keep up or make sense of it all. Then there is the problem of storing and organizing the emails that one needs. So, take some time to clean up your email. You can find some email clean-up tips here and here.
Keeping organized electronic files is important these days. Having systems to name the files and store them in a logical, easily accessible way makes people work more efficiently and effectively. Who wants to waste their time hunting after files that should be quickly found? Having organized electronic files also helps you maintain your sanity. That's a bonus. It amkes sense to take some time and start eliminating unneeded files, naming and labeling files, and organizing them in a sensible way that works for you (and your team).
We use our keyboard and mouse regularly. For many, these are the most commonly used items in their life. Think of how often you use your keyboard and mouse. Now think of how often you clean them. You get the point? Enough said. Clean your keyboard and your mouse regularly. This goes double during cold and flu season.
The monitor is the main visual interface of a computer, laptop, or mobile device. It's what allows you to see the good stuff you logged on to a computer for in the first place. Do yourself a favor. Have a crisp, clear view. Clean your monitor. Remember to use the proper supplies so you don't scratch or damage your monitor in any way.
There's a fair chance that you might have some hardware laying around that you aren't using. If it's not serving a purpose, it's time to donate, recycle, or sell that hardware. You want to make sure you are doing this safely and properly. There may be information residing inside this hardware that belongs to your organization only. Ensure your information security. If you sell your hardware, make sure you sell it to a reputable source who will handle it correctly.
Many types of equipment come with service or maintenance contracts. One case may be network hardware maintenance contracts. Many people have service, maintenance, or hardware replacement programs in case a problem occurs. (a) Make sure you have these contracts up to date. (b) You might want to consider co-terminating them so the service contract dates can be more easily managed. (c) You may want to even consider having some spare equipment in case of emergencies.
Your browser is one of people's most used resources. You can bookmark a website you like or find useful. It is a handy and convenient feature. However, bookmarks can start to add up and become a mess. When you have a zillion bookmarks without much organization they lose their usefulness. Best to clean up and organize your bookmarks.
Browser Add-ons & Extensions
There are lots of extensions and add-ons that enhance the capabilities of your browser. Web designers and developers use Firebug. Some use Readability or Evernote. But there are tons of add-ons. Just like bookmarks, electronic files, and emails it's important you keep these organized. Keep what you need and use. Dump the rest.
This seems like a no-brainer. Yet so many people make a cluttered mess of a computer desktop. They save all kinds of files to the desktop. Then they never give these files a nice permanent home later. It will be a mish mash of folders, files, shortcuts, and program icons. If you want to work better, have a simple and effective desktop. Stick with a few folders and programs that you frequently use. Think 80/20 rule here.
Last but not least are start-up processes. When your computer starts up there are certain programs that start to run. Some of these you just don't need immediately running on start-up. Go through these processes to keep your computer running quickly. As most know, you should take your time and use some caution here. Deleting the wrong thing can cause some big headaches. But as a friendly reminder, if you aren't sure don't delete.
Cables can become a big mess. You move things. You add new equipment. After a while the clutter creeps in and before you know it they become a headache. It's a good idea to keep your cables neat and organized. If you are in IT, then you may need some serious cable management.
Well, there is a quick list to help you with your technology spring cleaning. It's important to keep a neat, clean, and organized technology and workspace enviornment. It can have a giant effect on performance and effectiveness. Plus, it's just nicer to work when you technology is well maintained and working well. Hope this helped. Good luck with your spring cleaning.