The turkey sandwiches have gone, the decorations are down, all that’s left of the chocolates are those chewy toffees. We’re thinking about New Year’s resolutions, diets, how to save a bit of cash. A fresh start. So, why not give your tech a detox, as well as your body? Trust us, it’s far easier than making green smoothies and trying yoga. We’ve got some really easy little changes you can make that’ll back-up, de-clutter and organise your technology.
- Choose cloud storage
If you have a laptop that’s full of documents, programs, photos and music, you might want to consider looking into cloud storage. By moving all your files and apps into the cloud, you’re freeing up the physical space on your device. Services like DropBox keep all your stuff safe and secure without clogging up your hard drive. There’s an option to pay for huge amounts of space, but you might be fine to use the free version, provided you don’t have large amounts of 4K movies and albums in high definition sound.
2. Switch to Google photos
Photos from the work’s Christmas do? Dog in front of the fire? The new tree lights? Babies first Christmas? The festive season lends itself very well to everything from selfies to family photos. Unfortunately, these will very quickly clog up a phone. But, help is at hand. Google photos keeps your snaps categorised by date, and even lets you search their content. All while taking up no space at all on your device. It’ll automatically back everything up, so you don’t need to think about it once it’s set up.
3. Clear out your apps
Apparently, we delete 70% of the apps we download within 72 hours of installing them. But what about those apps we leave to clutter up our devices? The apps for managing budgets, the games, the food ordering apps. Get rid of anything you haven’t been into for a month or so. Make room for those run trackers and calorie counters!
4. Unsubscribe from your junk emails
It’s likely that over Black Friday and Christmas, you’ve signed up to several offers, deals, one-off sales and newsletters… So, why not put your feet up for ten minutes and unsubscribe from anything you feel might be clogging up your inbox? While you’re there, clear your junk folder, wipe your sent box and check you’ve got nothing in outgoing. Then, bask in the glory of your notificationless email app.
5. Clear out your desktop
We’ve all done it, quickly saved that image onto our desktops for fast access. Or maybe you have hundreds of shortcuts on there? How many documents are hovering around and blocking your desktop background? Drag and drop anything you don’t need straight into the recycle bin/trash and organise everything else into their corrent files.
6. Invest in a portable hard drive
Need some extra back-up? Running out of room on your Mac or PC? Portable hard drives are getting smaller and smaller in size, but bigger and bigger in capacity. So actually, they’re perfect for packing into a laptop bag for work. You can get 1TB of space for a reasonable price these days, so there’s no excuse for having a full, clunky internal hard drive.
7. Do a restart
If you’re anything like us, you’ll leave your laptop plugged in all day at work, then close it up and trundle it home in the evening. This can go on for days at a time – and our poor laptops never gets a moment. Trust us, this is a bigger problem than you might think. Essentially, when you restart your computer you clear out your software’s temporary memory and start a fresh. Rebooting will often also trigger important updates. Try and restart every night if you can remember, for faster, smoother-running devices.
8. Use music streaming
Got a phone full of music files? Ever considered using a streaming service? The likes of Spotify and Deezer offer an enormous selection of genres and are cloud based. Or, if you want to listen to your music without a Wi-Fi connection, you can download selected songs, albums or playlists. It’s worth noting that most services offer a free version, but if you want to full functionality like skipping tracks freely and avoiding adverts, then opt for a monthly subscription.
9. Clear out your planner on your Smart TV or set top box
Most TVs are Smart nowadays, giving us access to a wealth of entertainment. Pair this with what our TV providers offer, and we’ve millions of channels, box-sets and movies to enjoy, all at our fingertips. How’s your planner looking these days? Got a series saved up from months ago? Already watched something to death, but keep it saved just in case? Give it a detox, and you might find you have enough room to download some great new stuff.
10. Get a smart calendar
This one might just help remove all the ‘productivity’ apps in your phone, along with the multiple accounts you might have on your laptop or tablet. It might help re-align your home life and organise your work life too. Why not centralise everything you’ve got going on, with a single smart calendar? Connect everything from your email, work calendar, and home appliances with a Google Home account. Google Home will help you with everything from your first meeting at work to your commute home. It can set timers, remind you about birthdays and wake you up on time each morning. You can pop in your appointments on the Google calendar app, and have your Google Home device tell you about them each morning when you wake up.