New Year’s Tech Resolutions

Happy 2018 Everyone!

I hope everyone had a happy and joyous holiday season.  As 2018 begins, I’m reminded of how different things are with each passing year.  Technology has aided us with new innovations to make everyday tasks much quicker and more seamless than ever before.

We all have probably made our New Year’s resolutions to stop doing “this” and do more of “that” in 2018.  Have you already failed?  Hopefully not.  As your resident techie here at Tidelines, I thought I would share with you some helpful New Year’s “Tech” Resolutions that you can commit to for the coming year.

Embrace This Tech Stuff

So, as I have come to meet many of my Seabrook clients, many are set in the ways of doing things the way they’ve always done them.  With some things, that’s fine, but in my world, this technology changes too fast – fast enough that if you don’t commit to trying to learn and understand it (even if it’s a partial understanding), it will pass you by.  What are some ideas we can come up with that indicate we are embracing technology?

Tidy Up Your E-mail: Use the new year to commit to keeping a clean and organized Inbox.  Creating folders for common email such as Receipts/Order Confirmations, Coupons, Jokes, etc., is a nice way to quickly find emails later on when you need them.  Many times, we think we need to hold on to that particular email, only to realize we never opened it more than once.  Here’s a quick tip, go to your Inbox (usually sorted chronologically from new to old) and scroll down to the very last email.  For some, that might be an email dated from many years ago.  If you haven’t needed it thus far, you probably won’t ever need it.  Go ahead and Trash it.  Another tip – create a generic email folder called “Keepers” and throw those emails you still want to keep but don’t really fit in a specific category (like Order Receipts, Jokes, etc.) in this folder.  A keeper folder is a nice way to achieve  “Inbox Zero,” a rigorous approach of having an empty email Inbox. The idea here is that you deal with (by trashing or organizing) an email as soon as it comes in.  It’s a nice concept, in theory, that takes a committed effort to keep.

Tech Fitness:  The most common New Year’s resolution is usually something related to personal fitness.  The world of technology and fitness have intertwined for a while now.  Use technology to assist you in achieving those goals.  Maybe it will be to use your smartphones to listen to an informative podcast or some upbeat music while jogging or working out to keep you motivated.  Maybe someone gifted you with a fitness tracker (https://www.fitbit.com is the most popular) or an inexpensive app (MapMyRide http://www.mapmyride.com/ compatible with all smartphones is a great way to track your walks, bike rides, and more).  No matter what, find creative ways to use technology to motivate and get healthy!

A Paperless Environment:  In the new year, commit to using less paper.  Maybe that means converting paper bills to electronic bills.  How about reducing clutter and digitizing that old filing cabinet and scanning in paper documents that you want to keep.  Scanners are cheap and easy to use.  You don’t even need a computer anymore and can do the job with just a simple scanner (such as HP, Epson, Brother) and a smartphone or tablet with the corresponding app.

Speaking of paperless, think about that old shoebox of old photographs.  As time goes by, those old photos start becoming more fragile, they get more faded, their quality deteriorates.  Scan in those old photos in a similar fashion.  Future generations will appreciate it years later!  When they are scanned in, it’s one step closer to producing a nice coffee-table style photo book from companies like Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.  Keep these out during family gatherings and you’ll be amazed how many people are more likely to pick it up and look at years gone by.

Partake More in Social Media:  Always the touchiest subject to discuss with my clients.  It’s not just younger folks who are interacting on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.- businesses and organizations have established presences on these mediums to inform and interact with their customers.  If you are older and want to see what your children and grandchildren are up to, create a Facebook account and find them on there.  You’ll see a world full of selfies, hashtags, memes, and viral videos to keep you occupied for hours!  Haha.  Ok, it’s a bit more than that – you’ll even see photos of what people are eating for dinner!

All kidding aside, maybe you need an “attitude adjustment” when it comes to social media.  If you have been completely closed-minded about things like Facebook and Twitter, maybe you can commit to being more open to this type of communication.  Of course, like I always say, you don’t have to contribute to social media – you can be a complete passive user – just looking and obtaining information rather than contributing information.  If you think about recent weather events such as Hurricane Irma and the recent Charleston snowstorm (#Snowpocalypse2018), how great is it to go on social media to see things like road conditions and business/school closings.

What are your tech resolutions?  Send comments to me at chad@compu-experts.com or come by and let’s discuss up at my office in Freshfields.

Here’s to a great 2018!

Chad Droze
Post & Computer Center – Freshfields Village
chad@compu-experts.com
843-768-2626
http://www.twitter.com/c0mpuexperts

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