When it comes to spring cleaning, everything from exterior landscapes to garages to closets to pantry cabinets get the full purification treatment in this household.
There’s just something about cleaning that is absolutely freeing and remedying.
So what about your tech life?
You’ve got your home and office covered but we neglect to forget we are living in the year 2016 and what our society needs every now and then is frequent tech sweeping.
Or in words we may better understand: control, alt, delete.
With some helpful insight courtesy of TELUS Learning Centre Expert, Peter Boshart, I was able to conjure up some very helpful tips to help you get started on your Tech Spring Cleaning.
Remember, if you ever require any assistance or help with your device, TELUS offers free individual in-store or group sessions with their TELUS Learning Centre.
Whether it’s properly cleaning your smartphone (inside and out) or your digital footprint or simply refreshing any bad tech habits and “resetting” your ways, here are some great tips to get you started!
1) Make Room for Storage and Prolong Battery Life
- Use your laptop or home computer to back up pictures and videos!
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve lost precious memories because I neglected to do this. Once you have them copied, delete from your device to make room for new pictures and videos
- Turn down screen brightness when possible
- Use notifications instead of turning on phone to see what’s new all the time
- Turn off WiFi /GPS/Bluetooth when not needed
TELUS has a large selection of back up batteries and cases that include extra battery built into the case to keep you connected all day long.
If you’ve got an Apple:
- Enable iCloud photo library and select “optimize phone storage”
This saves the full resolution of your pictures to your iCloud account and sends a smaller sized version of the picture back to your phone to free up space for new pictures
- Delete old apps and games you no longer use
Double click home button and swipe up to close apps
- Go to Settings / Battery / low power mode if you’re running low on battery.
Make sure to turn it off once you plug your device in. This mode stops syncing email contacts and other online services to save power but should not be left on.
- Look at what you do on your phone and the % the apps use
If you’ve got an Android:
- Setup the Google Photos app to back up your pics and videos online 15GB free
Many Android devices have the ability to add external memory SD cards. You can direct the camera settings to save new pictures to the SD card
- Close apps often using the tool bar button
- View your battery consumption on in the menu Settings / Battery to see what is using the most battery.
2) Protect and Back It Up!
- Doing regular back-ups using online cloud storage or to home computer/laptop is important as well as deleting old media and data no longer needed on the phone.
- Protect your investment in your device with a quality case and Screen protector.
- Uninstall old apps and games to free up device memory
You can also use your device to keep you performing at your best! The TELUS Learning Centre Health Solutions Experts can help you pick a Fitness tracking solution that suits your lifestyle. They can also help set up online accounts for your devices and get you up and running in no time! (Pun intended)
3) Get Rid of Old Tech The Ecological Way
For mobile phones, you can drop them off at any TELUS location and they will then have the phones recycled. If you aren’t already aware, TELUS takes great pride in their green initiatives. This is yet another reason why I’m a big fan!
For other electronics, you can take them to Reuse centres, and you can also look into many other major retail companies that typically offer recycling programs. Check out recycleyourelectronics.ca to help you find a drop-off location.
4) Wipe Down Your Devices
Did you know that sixteen percent of phones have feces on them, while home keyboards hold 60 times more germs than a public toilet seat? Ugh, gross, right? Remove the case and make a habit of cleaning your tech once a day, or even once a week with proper cleaning agents to cut down on viruses and bacteria that could make you sick.
Clean your Monitor with water (or diluted white vinegar). In most cases, you can simply gently wipe your screen with a microfibre cloth. If you have a more hearty build-up of spots or gunk, resist the urge to press hard and wet the cloth with a 50-50 mix of water and white vinegar. You can use a special monitor cleaner if you desire, but the vinegar/water mix should work just fine. If you can, use distilled water instead of tap water, since tap water is likely to leave white spots on your screen from salt or other deposits.
Touch screens are a bit more resilient than LCD monitors, due to the fact that they’re meant to be touched, so you can press a bit harder if you have a particularly stubborn spot (don’t go overboard, though).
Just like everything else, use a microfiber cloth and spray the cloth, not the screen, with a small amount of liquid (50/50 of water & white vinegar or tech cleaner) before wiping it down. The last thing you need is to get your phone wet, void your warranty, and break something important (like the charging socket).
Spray on the cloth and not the device!
If your keyboard is only mildly dirty, you should be able to get by with two things: blowing some compressed air in between the keys (to blow out dust) and cleaning dirty keys with a swab of rubbing alcohol to remove oil, grime, and germs.
I love the Mr. Clean Magic eraser, and it’ll do wonders for a grimy keyboard, especially if it’s noticeably oily.
5) Get TELUS Wise and Clean Your Digital Footprint
This goes out to the parents of tween’s and teens (or almost tween’s that want to be tween’s…).
Just like real life, in our digital world, there are things we need to know when it comes to respecting and protect ourselves and others — it’s all about keeping our digital footprint clean. If you google your name or your child’s, you’ll see what I mean!
TELUS Wise offers some really helpful tools and tips in a fun and engaging way for Canadian tweens and teens to explore how to keep their digital footprint clean.
Check out TELUS Wise footprint online here.
6) Clean Up Your Desktop
Organize your desktop folders by creating frequent program folders for often-used subjects like downloads, photos, and documents. Also create folders for those in-between needs like bills or silly online photos, then actually use said folders. Remove those software shortcuts and clear out your Trash Can at the end of each week.
7) Declutter Your Desk
Cluttered desktops can be a huge distraction, especially those pesky cable cords! After discarding unnecessary papers and misc items lying around your desk, doing a quick dust sweep, clear up those cords! I love these colourful CableDrops from Bluelounge for better cable management and organization. You can pick these up among other great organization products at the TELUS concept store in Eaton Centre. Check out TELUS’ great Cable Management Life Hack on their blog here.
8) Social Media Refresh
I’ve you’re like me, you’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and probably a few others.
It’s great to be socially connected to the world around you, especially when it’s your family and friends or even just brands you love or business prospects.
However, part of spring cleaning your tech life, is also refreshing your social life.
Mind your P’s and Q’s (posts and quotes)!
Stop sharing bogus info and spreading misinformation. Far too often I am seeing wrong (and viral) posts being shared. Don’t fall prey to this — research before you post!
Make Your Posts Pertinent
On Facebook, categorize people into various groups like coworkers, high school friends, hockey moms, close family, etc. and share to the appropriate groups. There are some things you don’t need to share to everyone. Trust me, you don’t want your boss seeing how much fun you had last night with your girlfriends (tipsy karaoke photo included) or sharing your sons first #2 story (including graphic image) with everyone (actually, I don’t think your sister or mom would want to see that image either…). You get the picture! 😉
On Twitter, create groups to keep up to date on specific handles so you don’t miss anything from specific people. Also, clean your follow list. I don’t remember the last time I did that, but many are inactive and just sitting there being taken over my spambots.
On Instagram, remove any photos you don’t love looking at or no longer relevant (like those awkward and random 100’s of unnecessary selfies when selfies were all the rage and using hashtags like #celfie or #butfirstletmetakeaselfie — are they even still?).
And remember, as bad as you think you may look, feel free to delete “friends” or accounts you follow on any social site that are completely disengaged with you and you really and truly just don’t care for what they have to share. It’s your social life, do what you please.
Deleting someone from a social account, doesn’t equal deleting them from your life or thoughts. You can be friends or acquaint with someone without having to follow them.
Geez people, don’t get those two confused.
9) Take Your TV Out Of Your Bedroom
This is a given. As much as I love binge-watching Scandal from the comfort of my bed, it’s not the best thing to keep in your room if you have a hard time sleeping. Keep the bedroom a quiet and peaceful sanctuary.
10) Store Your Loyalty Cards in One Place
You know the scenario, you’re running errands and stopping off at the drug store and then Chapters to pick up some stationary and books and then Starbucks for a green tea latte, and almost always, you are hastily looking through every inch of your wallet looking for your loyalty card. After all, you can’t miss out on that free movie or those hundreds of points. Get digital and store all your loyalty cards on your smartphone using the plethora of great apps available like Stocard or Key Ring.