The promise of home tech often contains the glow of a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality. The truth is you really shouldn’t leave anything on auto pilot for too long. (Turning on ‘auto updates’ isn’t enough.) You need to check in every so often.
No machine runs flawlessly forever, even the ones without any moving parts. Over time, they need ongoing maintenance. That can also include the digital processes you create for yourself to help organize parts of your life.
Here are five ways that your tech and digital systems can use a little tuning up right now.
Clean the Lint out of your Smartphone’s Charging Port
Have you noticed that your Lightning or USB-C cable isn’t always making a solid connection with your smartphone, and sometimes you wake up to a partially charged device?
That’s because if you usually place your smartphone in your trouser pocket, the lint has slowly been building up into that tiny port. A clue that this micro invasion has occurred is when your cable no longer clicks into the port, and the connection instead feels ‘squishy.’
It’s time to take the end of a paper clip and gently pull out that mini fuzzball that’s hiding at the back end of the port. (I always turn off my iPhone first before beginning the operation.)
Hurry Up and Finish Reviewing your Photos from Last Year
If you’ve got a system set up (like me) where you review and edit your photos before you share them, you’d better set aside some time to finish all that up. Last year’s photos will only retain their value for so long. Beyond archiving and photo book creation, nobody is interested in your old photos. It’s all about what happened today or yesterday (maybe last week).
Sure, having a ‘process’ to select and polish your best photos before sharing them will ensure your audience gets to see your best work, but the downside is you may not have enough time to consistently maintain your perfectionism.
If you marvel at how fast and effortlessly some of your friends share photos, that’s because their process is stripped down to three steps across fifteen seconds.
It’s worth considering.
Buy a New Memory Card for your Camera
Do you let all of your photos pile up in your camera’s SD card without taking the time to erase them after transferring the files elsewhere? And then do you decide that’s it’s a good idea to hold onto them as yet another file back-up strategy to protect against some future disaster recovery need?
To be clear, we should simply follow our existing back-up process and then wipe the memory card to free it up for more photo fun.
But, if you have a problem (like me) doing that, the other choice is to simply buy another SD card and start fresh in the New Year. (They’re not that expensive.)
Then, you can pop the old memory card in the drawer, quickly forget about it and then eventually lose it.
When aliens uncover the tiny card in a million years, they’ll transcode its corrupted data, pixel-approximate the missing elements and reconstitute your images. Who knew that humans had three eyes and two noses? What a beautiful family you had! Your legacy is now intact.
Reorganize the Apps on your Smartphone
If you’ve been having difficulty finding certain apps on your smartphone or they’re not where you thought you left them, it’s time to take a few minutes and do a little reorganizing. That can include placing some of your apps into topic folders and perhaps pruning others you haven’t used for a while. (You can always reload them!)
Losing a few long-forgotten apps will also free up memory on your device.
Do those Software Updates
Keeping all of your digital gear current with software updates is an endless process that requires a fair amount of effort and organization. And following an auto-update strategy can sometimes lead to updates that aren’t ready for prime time. I think it’s best to have your tech remind you about the updates, and then you can manually install them. You’ve just got to find the time to do it.
The Doctor is In
Admittedly, all these easy best practices are also chores that are often delayed, sometimes indefinitely.
One way to ensure that you keep up is to set aside an hour a week to handle it all. It may not be enough, but it’ll help you know what needs more attention.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to keeping your tech and digital systems healthy.
Otherwise you may find they’ll stop working for you when you least expe