I’m excited to share a recent article written by Rose Hawyood, an IT professional and freelance tech writer. Having transformed her own career several times over, she enjoys writing about issues related to entrepreneurship and small business success. She hails proudly from Asheville, NC but resides for the time being right outside of Atlanta, GA. You can view Rose’s blog or reach out directly via twitter.
Thanks so much Rose for sharing this post! Read on to become inspired!
Reduce Digital Clutter and Boost Your Productivity
Thanks to reality TV, many of us have seen how overwhelming, detrimental and paralyzing the practice of ‘stuff hoarding’ can be for everyone involved. While the need to keep every issue of The New York Times from 1980 to 1990 is puzzling, many people may be unknowingly guilty of a new form of stockpiling: digital hoarding. Nowadays we save everything from the digital age: essays from high school, retail emails with promo codes from 2011, mp3s downloaded from Napster and more. Hoarding on a digital level is growing, and can be similarly incapacitating.
Luckily, with a little housekeeping via some handy tech tools (many of which you may already have) you can reduce digital clutter and free yourself up to focus fully on the present.
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Improvements in digital photography led to larger file sizes, but those files take a mighty toll on your hard drive’s storage and can slow down your computer’s overall performance. The answer might be as simple as embracing the cloud. There are plenty of photo sharing websites out there, but stick to one service as opposed to having photos spread out all over the internet in forgotten or unused accounts. With one account you can store your full-size digital photos and in most cases even order prints, calendars and other products. Take the time to consolidate and delete pictures in your account every so often so you don’t exceed your storage limitations.
If your hard drive is bloated from an extensive library of entertainment files, consider utilizing an external hard drive for those classics you just can’t bear to part with, like the Napster-era downloads. For new releases that you’re not quite sure you want to commit to, take advantage of Spotify, Amazon Instant Video or another one of a multitude of streaming services out there.
Utilizing the tools you already have built-in to your email platform like labels and folders is a very effective way of keeping email organized and categorized just the way you want it. Create a folder for important emails and set aside a certain time each week to focus on the ones that require more thoughtful replies. Make a quick decision on whether to save or trash each email as you open and scan it, and stick to this routine. Using your email provider’s built-in spam features are also helpful for mitigating the amount of digital junk that finds its way to your inbox. However, there are also some helpful online services like unroll.me, which will remove your name from all those mailing lists you’ve signed up for over the years, as well as the ones you never signed up for in the first place.
De-cluttering your hard drive is not only good for your productivity, it’s critical for safeguarding your online identity and protecting you from identity theft. Forgetting a bank account password can involve a time-consuming reset process but don’t go so far to the other extreme and make yourself vulnerable to identity theft by choosing one weak password for multiple accounts. There are numerous programs like 1Password that are designed to host all of your passwords in one secured location, but you’ll also need firewall protection to ensure your data is secure. Again, take advantage of the tools you may already have at your disposal. Many broadband and cable Internet packages will bundle a security plan along with their services, so check with your ISP to see if you have a built-in spamware and virus protection already installed. If you’re already well on your way to becoming paperless when it comes to your bank statement and other sensitive data, it’s even more critical to make sure your computer is protected.
Utilizing these tips will help all mompreneurs boost their productivity at home and in their businesses!
To contact Rose directly, you may find her at http://rosehaywood.wordpress.com.