There’s nothing quite like the slow death of your beloved laptop.
Little by little, the wheels grind to a halt and you’re left to unleash a volley of abuse usually reserved for a poor Springbok performance.
For some, it’s no worries because it’s about this time that they buy a new one and life is good. For the rest of us, however, it’s about finding ways to restore our machine to its past glories.
TIME has put together a list of tips to do just that, claiming that you can do a fair bit with a few simple tasks:
The Five-Minute Fix
If you’re overwhelmed (and who isn’t?) but only have a few minutes, start by tackling the easy-to-see spots on your computer. For starters clean off your system’s desktop. “Your desktop is not a storage area,” says [owner of a Toronto-based productivity consulting firm Valeri] Little.
By organizing [sic] (or deleting) those files, you may already begin to feel less overwhelmed. Move onto other easy-to-clean areas by emptying your trash or recycling bin and clearing out your documents and downloads folder.
Zap Your Apps
“We only use 20 percent of our apps 80 percent of the time,” she says. If you haven’t used a program within the last year, she recommends deleting them from your system.
Of course, you should assess each app individually, but don’t let unimportant programs bloat your machine. That photo editing software you never use that came with your expensive camera? It’s worthless unless you actually put it to use.
Go Hardcore on Your Hardware
If you’ve got a drawer or a box full of old phones and cords, now is the time to unload them. “I’m a big proponent of recycling electronics,” says Little, who recommends wiping the devices clean, matching them to their cables, and bringing them to either a local electronics shop (many have drop boxes) or community recycling program.
As for the rat nest of cables that remains, “get out that label maker and label those cords,” says Little. Not only will this give you peace of mind when you’re looking for something, but labeling cords helps to make sure they don’t wander off, as they are prone to do.
If you yank out one of those cables and all hell breaks loose, rest easy in the fact that you can always reach out for help.
Don’t Fear Your Photos
Little recommends organizing your images on an ongoing basis, not once a year. And whether you use a desktop program like Apple’s iPhoto or a cloud-based service like Google Photo, be sure to use the tagging features like facial recognition and GPS location data. “That makes them very searchable,” says Little.
Don’t Detail Your Email
Little subscribes to Graham Allcott’s Think Productive method, which promotes keeping your inbox as free from clutter as possible.
One way to achieve this “Inbox Zero” state, recommends Little, is to make a folder each year and stuff all your emails in it. So, name it 2015, select all your messages from last year, and file away.
How is this being organized? Well, its more about managing time than managing messages. “You are going to spend countless hours trying to organize it,” says Little. Instead, use your email program’s search functionality to find what you need, when you need it. These programs are always improving their search skills.
Tune It Up Before It Tunes Out
This last suggestion may seem old school, but its alternative — a total computer meltdown — is a timeless problem. “If you’ve noticed that your computer is glitchy or is slowing down, it might be time to take it in for a little tune-up,” says Little.
Whatever your specific issue is, it’s best to not let it linger, because it could suddenly break, says Little: “With computers, it’s either working or it’s corrupted and it’s done — get it checked out.”
Who better to check it out than the experts over at Dial A Nerd – my laptop needed some TLC, and when it arrived back she was purring like a kitten.
(Sorry about that internet history, though – all for research purposes).
Whether it’s personal or business assistance you need, check out the complete solutions package the Nerds are offering over HERE.[source:time]