On the second Monday of February each year, we mark our respects to the slow-loading, mice-running, circuit boards we call computers, for ‘Clean Out Your Computer Day’. A worldwide event, initially sponsored in 2000 by The Institute for Business Technology, advancements have been made massively in the 15 years.
SO WHAT EXACTLY COULD YOU DO ON MONDAY 9TH FEB 2015?
Well as I seem to be the DigiEnable computer-fixer specialist and recently rebuilt our server I thought it would be useful to offer some tips to keeping your computer (and indeed online tools and mobile devices) clean.
Firstly if your device is full of random junk files, spam, temporary files, and programmes you don’t use, it’s going to slow things down.
For Windows, Mac or Android we’d suggest CCleaner https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
For Linux Bleachbit http://bleachbit.sourceforge.net/
For iPhone and Android AVG Cleaner http://www.avg.com/gb-en/for-mobile
FILES AND FOLDERS
A mention here about labelling your files and folders correctly so you can find anything within a minutes searching. This goes for online and offline, and any files that are sync’d with servers or clouds. A favourite website of mine Unclutterer has a great load of helpful organising tips including temporary folders, using that DELETE button, and folders mirroring life
One of the problems most people face in this digital world is being bombarded by emails, so much they feel overwhelmed if they are off for even a few days. The answer I’ve been practising for a while now, is #inboxzero a trend not particularly new, or innovative, but real down-to-earth common sense. Taking each email in your inbox at a time and making an action on it, not just leaving it in the inbox for later. Also setting up and using filters and folders to organise the mass of digital notes in your mail. Another favourite website of mine Zen Habits has further info
And a final suggestion to clean the outside of your computer or device. If it’s a big PC thing, get a cloth and a hoover out, gently wipe over surfaces and if possible with an attachment, hover into the air vents. Be careful with this though, and do it when the computer is off. You can buy little hand-held vaccums specific for this job.
Then all of you will have some sort of screen – clean it! If you don’t already do this on a regular basis, you’ll suddenly see things of your screen you never saw before. Behind all that grim and grease is a clean, bright screen.
Then finally clean your keyboard. Turn it upside down and gently tap it, you’ll be discusted at the amount of dust and dirt that comes out. Again there are now specific devices you can buy for this. My favourite tools are Pledge All-Purpose polish, a microfibre cloth and one of these
This list could go on and on. There’s online information to consider too. What accounts do you still have that are no longer active, where is that backup of your family photos, do you have multiple copies in different places, old clients contacts, etc. etc.
A great bit of inspiration is https://www.flickr.com/groups/unclutterer
Hopefully, this will at least prompt you to have a think about where all your digital stuff lives, and if it could be deleted, renamed, moved or save more clearly. We all strive for clear and clarity, don’t we?