No matter if you are a certified geek or a computer newbie, you still need to take some time out to do some computer spring cleaning. The basic steps listed below will give you a fresh start to the summer and fall and hopefully increase your productivity – giving you more time to enjoy sitting in the park or attending baseball games!
1. Clean out your email inboxes. This is a chore that can seem endless, but how many of you keep emails way past their expiration date? Honestly, are you going to send that forward that Aunt Sue sent you 5 years ago to anyone else? Or do you really need to keep the shipping notification from Amazon.com about a book you purchased six months ago? If not, delete these emails and free up some space in your inbox. Just because you have a ton of space doesn’t mean you have to use it.
2. After cleaning out your email inboxes, sort your emails into folders or labels. Sorting emails can help you get control of your inbox – and your life. Setting up filters for incoming mail can sort work from personal email, mailing list emails and more. It is up to you as to how many or how few filters to utilize.
3. Backup your data – if you use Gmail, consider installing Thunderbird and backing up your emails to your computer. You should also back up your important files to an external hard drive or one of the many free online solutions – or go old school and save them on CD-RWs or DVDs.
4. Slim down your email, system – and your life! Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you do not participate in or do not find useful, unsubscribe from RSS feeds that you never get to read and uninstall programs you never use or duplicate functions. Ask yourself – have I used this in the past week, month, three months? If not, you might consider cutting it out. As my grandmother used to say, “Time saved is money earned.” Believe it!
5. Evaluate your browser’s bookmarks for duplicates, broken links, and sites you wanted to visit again but never got around to it. There’s no need in lugging around extra baggage – when you can take an afternoon, organize your bookmarks and have your browser looking (if not also feeling) much more organized and ready for “work.”
It is important to remember that for most of us, an organized workspace leads to a more productive experience – and greater feelings of well-being. Now, finish cleaning up your computer and browser, so you can head out and enjoy the sunshine!
This special feature, Geek Girl, appears every Monday.