4 Spring Cleaning Tips For All Your Devices
It started small: You saved a document to your computer’s desktop and left it there instead of filing it properly. In small businesses, disorganization tends to quickly snowball. When a third friend just happened to loan you a copy of the popular workflow manual Getting Things Done, you took the hint. After spending a week cleaning your out-of-control workspace and organizing your data and files, you feel strangely calm.
For small business owners, maintaining their information structure is critical. The following four spring cleaning tasks can help keep your computers in top operating condition, protecting your technology investments as well as your most valuable business asset: your data. For the best results, be sure to set up calendar reminders to tackle these tasks on a regular basis.
- Update your operating system and software: The only thing more annoying than updating your machines is the major headaches that result from not updating them. When it comes to upgrading legacy software that manufacturers are no longer supporting, such as Windows XP, you should complete these tasks on your own terms and time frame, rather than delay and be forced to do them after the company support expires.
- Clean up your working files: Depending on your company’s internal policies and broader industry regulations, you may be able to delete or archive inactive documents currently clogging up your project folders. If you need to follow specific guidelines, adhere to them with no exceptions. Otherwise, you might try this rule of thumb: If you haven’t needed to access a file for a year, archive it. When storing digital archives, try splitting them up into manageable file sizes: It’s a lot easier to restore and run a 5 GB file than a 20 GB file.
- Verify the status of your data backups: If you’re using an automatic cloud-based data backup, it’s quick and easy to periodically log in to your dashboard and review the status of your backups. Depending on your service, you may also be able to receive alerts in case a problem arises.
- And don’t forget your smartphones and tablets: If you frequently use mobile devices for work, you can end up with a device that’s bursting with inactive files and barely used apps. Every three to six months take some time to review your apps, noting what you have and which ones you use frequently. The rest are probably safe to delete.
After a major cleaning like this, people often promise to keep their system organized, but quickly fall behind again. Organization is an ongoing process. It works best if you review your information weekly, or even daily, making sure to file what you need and discard what you don’t.
We’d love to hear your tips for cleaning out your devices and organizing your data. What strategies have you found most successful? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
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