How to Spring Clean Your Tech
Every spring a subset of extremely organized individuals – or the disorganized who long to be organized – bar their doors and spend hours, days, weeks, even months going through their homes in search of a fresh start. They sort through every article of clothing, piece of junk mail and miscellaneous object in an attempt to bring order to their otherwise chaotic lives.
There is one type of clutter, though, that is almost always missed in this quest for clarity: digital clutter. We harbor old flip phones in our junk drawers, save sentimental emails in the depths of our inboxes because we can’t bear to press delete and stow precious memories on thumb drives never to be seen again.
It’s so easy to forget this key aspect of spring cleaning because it’s almost always out of sight. That’s why we’ve created a handy checklist to help you clear your digital clutter.
Toss Old or Outdated Hardware
We understand that the flip phone in the back of your junk drawer is your safety net. It’s there in case of emergencies, right? But what about the three other smart phones that are sitting right next to it with cracked screens? Do you really need all four old phones? The answer is no. You don’t. The next logical question is, but what do I do with them? You can’t throw them in the trash, but you can recycle them! Now you have no excuse. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!
Analyze Software Choices
In the world of Saas (software as a service) or subscription software and automated bill pay, it’s easy to lose track of all of the software services you pay for each month. This year, take a critical look at the software you pay for and determine if it’s really worth the space on your phone or laptop.
Purge and Organize Emails
We all dread the day we have to go through our inboxes. It’s the one task on our to-do lists that just seems to never get finished. This spring, spend an hour (or a day) and go through your inbox. If you have work emails you absolutely cannot get rid of, then create folders to at least keep them organized. When it comes to the promotional emails, 10 percent off really isn’t worth it (plus it’s probably expired by now). Once you’ve gone through your main inbox, make sure to check your spam and/or junk folders, too! Be merciless, and then empty your trash.
Change Your Passwords
Unfortunately it’s becoming easier and easier for hackers to get a hold of your personal information. That doesn’t mean that you should make it any easier for them, though. Go through and change your passwords this March. Make them difficult to guess. Include numbers and symbols to make them more secure. This is especially essential if you use your personal devices for work. To keep your business information private, you need to keep your personal security at top notch, too.
Verify backups are working correctly
The worst thing to find out after your computer or phone crashes is that something went wrong with your backups. Don’t get caught having to send out Facebook messages telling people to text you because you lost their number. Since you’ve just spring cleaned your apps, double check your backups work correctly, and then run another one. That way if something does happen to your phone or laptop (knock on wood), at least you won’t have to go back through all those apps you painstakingly deleted!
Take a Tech Break
By this point, it’s understandable if you’re sick of looking at a screen. So don’t! Reward yourself with a tech break. Take a day, a week or a month and spend time away from technology. You’ve earned it.