You’ve invested in a Computer (or several) to help manage your business. Notice that it just may not be as fast as it used to be? Would you like to keep that new PC running like new and setup a way to keep those files neatly organized? Today, I’ll introduce you to “The PC-Freshen Up™” – a practice and system that if followed, will keep your machine running like new and keep your data easily accessible. In my consulting practice, I have a setup protocol on new Windows PC’s that I follow that helps my clients maintain like-new performance for the life span of the machine – which in business, is typically about 3-years.
Why 3-years you may ask. It is not that the machine is necessarily ready for retirement, however, manufacturer warranties tend to have expired and the state of technology for business users mandates that for optimal productivity – faster, more dependable, more secure options exist after that amount of time. In my previous article (http://therosyreport.com/small-business-owner-take-the-2-minute-pause/), I stress the importance of a multi-layer approach to keeping a machine secure. That always includes updates to existing software.
As we use our computers, we tend to accumulate unwanted temporary files, registry entries, cookies, and other “debris” that can interfere with the overall performance of our systems. Most of these are “hidden” events that we can’t recognize unless we use utility software to remove. I install a program from Piriform called CCleaner™ and recommend my clients run it daily at the end of their computing sessions. (You’ll find a link to CCleaner™ at my website referenced below. It’s “Step #2 in my “10 Ingredient Cocktail”). CCleaner™ helps to “mop the floor” so to speak of those unwanted items and keeps things running smoothly.
Another helpful tool that helps monitor your computer for outdated 3rd party programs and helps to automate the update process is Secunia PSI. This “Free for Personal Use” program runs in the background and carefully keeps track of any updates available for your installed programs. (see http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/ ).
Keeping your PC Backed Up, Updated, Secure, and Clean is “The PC-Freshen Up™” process.
Many consider hard drive defragmentation to be important; however with the advent of hybrid and solid-state drives, it is less critical and often counterproductive. For those who have older hard drive systems, a program like Piriform’s Defraggler (http://www.piriform.com/defraggler ) handles the task more effectively than the built-in Windows Defrag utility. Having a smooth running machine is only a part of the efficient computing model. The information we manage on our clean running PC is likely the most important reason we use it. Getting to that information easily and remembering where we stored it is often a difficult process. Many of us are busy, and we tend to save things directly on either the “Desktop” or in unorganized fashion in the “My Documents” or “Documents” locations. For small amounts of data, this technique is functional. As our data storage needs grow, we can easily become overwhelmed with the number of files. I liken it to a metal filing cabinet. We find that as we create new manila files and place them in a drawer, they need to be “labeled” and organized in hanging file folders to be retrieved later without undue stress. We wouldn’t stuff all the files in one drawer, nor would we put them all in the same hanging file folder. We would make room and use a system to make it easy for us to work.
So, using the same idea, we create a similar system on the computer. I’ve created a “Digital Filing Cabinet” for my clients. This is an easy way to alphabetically arrange files and subfolders so that when we think about a subject, client, or topic, we can go directly to the alphabetical letter that represents that item and drill down right to the file. This technique not only works for documents, it also is helpful for organizing e-mail as well. Within each letter, we create subfolders by client name, subject, or topic and save our files in each as appropriate. If you’d like my FREE “Filing Cabinet” template that works either on a PC or Mac, reach out to me at the e-mail address in the credits below, and I’ll gladly send it to you.
This is third in a series of weekly aSKaVIE articles devoted to your productivity, digital privacy and protection. In future articles, you can look forward to tips and tricks that you can use to make sense out of your digital investments as well as reviews of new and exciting things that will likely provide value to your home and business. I invite you to write me with your questions and feedback. We’ll also be helping and inspiring others by answering your questions and that’s what makes my job so much fun! So stay tuned. Please send your questions to TheRosyReport@askavie.com.
About Avie Uniglicht: For over 30-years, Avie Uniglicht – “Your Tech Concierge™” has provided technology support and solutions to entrepreneurs who don’t have time to worry about the details. Specializing in “White-Glove Remote Room-Service,” Avie’s concept of giving you, his client, virtual “house calls” is cited regularly as invaluable and many of Avie’s clients say they couldn’t live without him on speed dial. Avie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a BS in Business Administration. A former auditor for Price Waterhouse and past President of Ace Computer Center Inc., he is also the author of the e-Book, “Your Personal Computer Driver’s License.” Avie’s extensive business background and strong experience in accounting enhances his natural talent for helping his clients see the bigger picture regarding their business. “Your Tech Concierge” helps clients evaluate strategy so that together, they create an action plan with the end in mind. For more information or to “Ask Avie,” please call him at (888)-374-3712, and visit www.askavie.com.