Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Bye 2011

OK, minus points for totally unoriginal title, but bonus points for blogging more in 2011 than in 2010!

I think that makes me even, points wise.

Which in this economy is a good place to be.

To wrap up the year, I thought I might pass along some general technology tidbits, in no particular order...

1. Never leave your electronics in a car in the cold.

You run the risk of condensation on the inside and condensation leads to rust. Always bring your laptop and cell phone in from the car.

2. Please put a password on your cell phone.

It can be as simple as 3 letters, anything to discourage would be thieves. YOU are responsible for charges on  your cell phone. When someone steals it and starts calling Nigeria, it's your responsibility to pay for that. It's not the phone carrier's fault. You see this same story countless times on the news websites - unsuspecting consumers owing thousands of dollars to the phone carrier. This is true for ALL phones on your account. Try and get long distance calling disabled on your children's phones.

3. Organize your files in folders

The end of the year is the perfect time to Archive old files into folders. In today's digital age, if you don't have a folder structure, you're wasting a lot of your time hunting for things. Use the features of the operating system to sort files by date, or type instead of name.

Create folders inside of folders for years - move everything into place

Especially pictures. My personal pictures folder has main folders for all holidays, and then inside each is a folder for each year. Christmas -- 2008 --- 2009 --- 2010 etc.
You can also do it by year if you wanted 2010 - Easter --- Summer vacation --- Fall -- Ski trip ---Christmas etc.

4. Cull old files and emails

Now is the time to clear out that clutter from your inbox. Permanently delete Deleted Items. You'll feel better starting the year with only the emails you need in front of you.

If you are using Outlook and have old email addresses in your auto complete, you can take some time to clear those out as well. Highlight them and hit the delete key - simple.

Hotmail, Gmail, whatever mail - clear out, clean up!

5. Drink more lattes - they are one of life's simple pleasures if you like milk with your coffee.

6. Use your laptop battery!

If you have a laptop the best way to extend the life of the battery is to USE it. Even if it sits at a desk for 90% of its life, unplug it and run it on battery until it's beeping like mad. It annoys me when people have a new laptop and the battery only lasts 5 minutes - it's not a manufacturing defect, it's because you never used it.

Also unplug it and let it discharge over the weekends. Power it off every once in a while and unplug the cable from the laptop AND the outlet (or power bar). Laptops are a little different from desktops in that they can build up static inside. You don't need to know the details, just unplug it and let it rest every once in a while.

7. The internet is your one stop shop

We're coming into an era of no excuses. There is literally nothing that you cannot find on the internet. And almost nothing the internet cannot help you with.

For example, if you don't know how to do number 3 and 4 - find out on the internet.

Start with "creating folders in windows 7" in a google search bar. If video is your preferred learning method, try You Tube.

If you don't know your version of Windows, start with "Find my windows version"

Start with learning about Google. Google help:

7.5 Have a latte while you're learning (see number 5 above) or whatever makes you calm

8. Improve your typing skills.

Really the only thing for this is practice. Google "learn to type". Retype your recipe cards. Whatever it is you're typing doesn't matter, practice on something. If you can get to 20-30 wpm your online life will be more enjoyable.

9. If you have several containers of Christmas decorations, mark on the outside which one you put the ornament hangers in.

And then put a note to yourself inside the other containers about which one you put the ornament hangers in. Then when the Ornament Hanger Goblin comes at some point during the year, you'll know which container to dust for incriminating fingerprints and DNA evidence.

That bugger belongs in jail.

Hmm...digressing a bit there.

Probably time to sign off on 2011 and we'll meet up in 2012.

I'll be available for one-on-one website mentoring in the new year, at the super low rate of $125, just give me a shout.


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