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26 Tips to Keep Your Computer Up and Functioning

26 Tips to Keep Your Computer Up and Functioning
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    Open Loops blogger Bert Webb and I often collaborate on projects, include guesting at each others functions. At a recent presentation I did on “Effective Workplace Communication” the laptop I was using to run my PowerPoint presentation became possessed by evil juju and began a spontaneous series of automated functions ending in a system shutdown. Bert and I had different theories about why this occurred at this particular moment in the great cosmos. But, one thing we did agree on is “technology is a great thing…when it works!” And Murphy’s’ Law can be suspended.

    Based on that I have put together the following list that usually keeps me functioning.

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    When I loose productive time at work it is usually because of a problem I have encountered with my computer. And any time I have a computer problem it is usually related to one of the following items. In order to be a little proactive I have build this little checklist. I have automated as many of them as I can and if much of your livelihood depends on your technology functioning smoothly I suggest you consider doing the same.

    Computer Maintenance Checklist

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    At system setup

    1. Install a surge suppressor/emergency shutdown power strip
    2. Register your software products
    3. Schedule automated updates
    4. Read the maintenance section of your manual
    5. Set up your email to auto-archive older messages
    6. Install anti virus software
    7. Install anti-advertising software
    8. Put your software drivers in a pocket sleeve 3 ring binder

    Weekly

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    1. Run a disk scan to check for hard drive issues
    2. Run a defragmentation program
    3. Run a clean up to delete unneeded files
    4. Back up your files to a remote location
    5. Empty your recycle bin
    6. Delete your Internet files
    7. Clear your browsing history
    8. Delete your cookies
    9. Update your virus definitions
    10. Run a full virus scan

    Monthly

    1. Check for updates
    2. Delete/uninstall unneeded or unused programs

    Quarterly

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    1. Clean your keyboard
    2. Clean your monitor
    3. Clean your peripherals
    4. Rebuild your desktop
    5. Change all your passwords

    Yearly

    1. Renew your software update and anti virus subscriptions

    Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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