You know, just because our laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones are inanimate objects, doesn’t mean we can’t show them some love this Valentine’s Day. Rather than do too much for your human beloved, spend some quality time with the gadgets that you hold dear.
Devices now-a-days are pretty darn robust. Even ones that use Windows (holds for laughter). Regardless, you can show your devices and OS’s some love by doing some maintenance to them.
For desktops/laptops check to see if the items that are running at startup are needed as too many of them could potentially slow you down.
- For Windows click Start > type msconfig and hit enter > click on the Startup tab > uncheck stuff you don’t want and restart.
- For Mac click on System Preferences > click Users and Groups > under your user profile click Login Items > adjust them there.
You can also defragment your hard drive with tools like Defraggler (the same company that makes the awesome cleanup app CCleaner) for Windows and iDefrag for Mac. You don’t really need to defragment a Mac as Apple has created routines in the background of OS X to take care of this, but every so often won’t hurt.
Phones and tablets don’t require as much maintenance, but it can’t hurt to offload some pictures and videos, remove unneeded and unwanted apps, restart your OS every few days, and even give a good cleaning to those nasty touch screens.
Treat yourself – I mean, your gadgets – to some new apps
After you have deleted some of those apps from you device, how about get some more that you really like? I mean, you love your device enough don’t you? We talk a lot about tools around here and there are some great ones for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and others. Here are some of the best that work on almost all platforms:
- Evernote – I think we have told you enough. Just go get it.
- Toodledo – Great web, iOS, and mobile app for getting things done.
- Remember The Milk – Another favorite that has a great iOS and Android counterpart to the web app.
- AwayFind– This could easily help keep you out of your inbox, essentially giving your devices a much needed email break.
- Dropbox syncing text editing app – There are some good ones including, Elements (iOS), Notesey (iOS), Epistle (Android), Notational Velocity (Mac), WriteMonkey (Windows), MyNotes (Android).
- Mindmapping – MindManager (Mac, Windows), iThoughts (iOS), MindNode (Mac), Mindjet (Android, iPhone, iPad).
Organize and tidy up
There is nothing worse than a device that is lacking organization of files and programs. Of course, there are a host of new ways to not have to worry about organizing your devices files because of smarter and faster search utilities (like LaunchBar for Mac or SkyLight for Windows), but it’s always good to have some method to your madness.
One good role of thumb is to have a folder in your ‘Documents’ folder for each Area of Focus in your life. One for personal, professional, side projects and businesses, your blog, etc. Inside of these folders you can take the focus even deeper, like finances, receipts (for bills and such), articles, TPS reports, etc.
Also, try to treat your desktop like a real desktop. Keep things that you are actively working on or need reminded of on your desktop and use efficient folder hierarchies and search for everything else.
When it comes to your tablet and phone types of devices you are somewhat limited to the organization of files and placement of things on the desktop (that is of course if you are not on Android). Try to organize your apps in a natural way that you use them, like all of the important ones “docked” to the bottom of the screen (Android and iOS both support this). Then you could even organize your apps in folders like Entertainment, Games, Productivity, Photography, etc. Just remember to try to give everything its own place.
I’m a bit of a “all natural” kind of guy, not having too much excess added to my devices like cases and contraptions. But, there are some great additions that can be added to your beloved like new bluetooth keyboards, a pair of quality headphones (I can’t recommend Sennheiser HD 280 Pros or Klipsch Image S4 enough), or even a nice new bag for your laptop and gear.
A cheap way to show your devices some love is to purchase chargers for home, the car, and, your bag, and the office so you don’t get close to running out of juice throughout the day.
It isn’t hard to show your lovely gadgets true love this Valentine’s Day. But, keep in mind; you should follow our other Love Hacks before treating your gadget better than your significant others.
(Photo credit: Smartphone and love hearts via Shutterstock)