Every year I tell myself that I’m going to get my shit together at the start of the year. And somehow, for reasons clearly unknown to me, it never happens. I continue on my path of non-togetherness. Sure, I keep a Google calendar and pay my bills on time, but I’ve come up with six tech(ish) tips that I can do this month that will more than likely set me up for much smoother sailing in 2015. And I imagine if you do the same thing you’ll probably be in the same boat. It’s a good boat to be in, I checked.
1. Reset All Your Passwords
You and I both know that the password gods really are out to ruin our lives. Every website has a different set of criteria for what constitutes a “secure” password. Your go-to password (I know, I know, you shouldn’t have one of these) might not work because it’s missing a capital letter or there aren’t enough characters. So you make up a new one then forget it, just kill me now. Use the new year as a time to go through ALL of your accounts and reset them: emails, banking sites, mobile apps, netflix, spotify, etc. With all the millions of security breaches that occured in 2014, this is more than likely something you should do, rather than just a helpful tip. Just make sure you write down the new passwords and keep them in a secure place. Or try using a password manager app like LastPass.
2. Get On The Cloud
If you’re like me, you probably have a couple different devices in your life. I’ve got my Macbook Air, my new MacMini, my iPhone and my Mac at work. That’s a lot of devices for one lady. And being able to access certain files and documents from any work station is a necessity for me. So I set up iCloud Drive. It let’s you access any files on any device. I just got this set up and it’s actually pretty awesome. If you’ve got devices from a different fruit, look into Google Drive or Dropbox (Apple users, this works great for you too if you’re not running Mavericks or iOS8 yet). In any event, marketplace is currently in what they’re calling a “race to zero”, which is basically a race to see who the first company will be to offer complete cloud storage options for free. Which means you should probably test out the different services and see which works best for you, rather than going strictly price based, since it’s likely your bill will be non-existent at some point.
You should also set up a space online as a secondary backup to wherever you’re currently keeping all your photos. You never know when your boyfriend will spill coffee on your laptop or when your backup hard drive decides to go AWOL. Just maybe keep those not-so-safe-for-work ones away from the cloud…you saw what happened to JLaw.
3. Sign up for Unroll.me
Awhile back I was so sick of all the bullshit emails (a lot of which I never signed up for) landing in my inbox. Then one day while perusing my news feed, my junior high locker partner (yep, you heard me correctly. Hi Justin!) posted a link about Unroll.me. Being the curious creature that I am, I checked it out, and I realized I’d happened upon a goldmine! Unroll.me allows you to unsubscribe from any emails you don’t want to receive anymore in ONE click!! F yeah! Plus you can choose to have all of the emails you DO still want to get, delivered to you in one single email, delivered at the time of your choice. Game changer!
While you’re at it, go through and delete and archive any emails you no longer need, they’re just taking up space in your inbox – believe me, a good purge feels great! Or ya know, just mark all as read and call it a day. (Don’t do that. Well, do it, but I’m not taking responsibility when you have no idea where anything is. But at least you’ll have a zero inbox!)
4. Create a Receipts Folder
Create a folder in your email called “Receipts”. By creating a folder like this, every time you receive a confirmation email from an online purchase of any sort, you can just move it over into this folder and you’ll have all your online purchases for the year in reverse chronological order. It’s helpful when looking for a specific receipt, but also comes in handy during tax season…I think? I really should figure out how to do my own taxes, huh? But that’s what dad’s are for, right?
5. Get your Phone in Order
This is a great idea to do at the start of the year, but honestly, I usually like to do this every month or so. Go through your phone and look at your apps. Do you use them all? Regularly? But seriously? Delete the apps you aren’t using at least once a month to clear up space. If you think you’ll die without it, remember Apple keeps your purchases on the cloud so it’s an easy one-tap download should you need it back. While you’re on the phone, go through your camera roll or albums and delete any photos or screenshots that you no longer deem necessary. Unlink any Spotify offline playlists that you no longer need as well. This should free up a good chunk of space for you to start the new year with, expelling the worry from your mind that you won’t have enough space to take pictures of the winter wonderland on its way.
6. Set Up Auto Bill Pay
This is something that I already have set up for some services while others I haven’t because I’m lazy, which technically doesn’t even make sense logically, but so it goes. Though really, it DOES makes sense to make use of this service if it’s offered. The only thing that I would suggest is keeping an eye on your bank account and the actual bills to make sure that what’s coming out of your account is actually what you owe. Yeah yeah, I know, if you still have to go in and look at it, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Eh, not really. It ensures that you’re paying on time, and in the unlikely event that you are overcharged, you make a phone call. The other thing to be careful of though, is over drafting your account, if you’re worried that could happen to you, I’d probably just suggest paying month to month to be safe.
Now obviously not all of these are for everyone. Some people despise the cloud and other people would rather saw off their arm than let a robot pay a bill for them. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. Or I guess in this case you can, take what you want from this post and go forth. Let’s have a regroup in about a year or so and see how this all worked out for ya! Or ya know, let me know what you think in the comments. Either way.