As another end to a year fast approaches, it’s now a great time to not only tidy up loose ends in terms of your workload, but also to organize your data to make a fresh start when returning to work in the new year. A clear hard drive makes for a clear mind!
Archive Old Emails and Docs
It’s a good time for a clear out. Completed projects and reports that you worked on months or years ago don’t need to be stored on your computer taking up space. Back them up and then archive them, so you can get at them if you should need to, then hit that delete key – it’s very satisfying!
The same applies to emails. Most emails are irrelevant after a certain time has passed anyway, and how many of the emails in your inbox right now are total junk? A work colleague asking if you want a cup of tea, a newsletter from your favourite store? When you are purging your emails, don’t forget to think beyond your own computer. Look at shared drives, cloud storage, and your mobile devices too. I know I’ve already said this, but don’t forget to back up anything that might be even vaguely important in the future!
Now is a great time to update your contacts. Contacts can get out of date quickly, and it can be inconvenient and tedious when in the future you want to get in touch with someone at a company you dealt with in the past, only to find that your email to them bounces as the person you previously corresponded with has left the company. Delete unwanted and outdated contacts, and those that you know are no longer in date. Take some time to update the details of those you need to keep. You can always drop them a line wishing them Season’s Greetings and confirm that you still have the correct details for them.
Update software, virus scans, delete malware
If things get a little quieter in your office over Christmas, then take the time to do those tasks that you normally put off because they can be time consuming. Update your software, check out any new changes and make sure you understand any new features before work starts again with gusto in the new year. The same holds true on all your devices; mobiles and tablets. Update and run your virus scanning software and malware programs.
Clean up physical hard drive and applications
One good tool to use is Ccleaner. You can download it at https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner. You can use this to remove all the unwanted junk from your computer, it will also clear out any unwanted registry entries to keep windows run smooth.
and last but not least defrag your hard drive. This will rearrange the data on your hard drive and make your computer run faster. Think of the files on your computer like books in a library. If they’re all properly catalogued then they’re easier to find. Try Defraggler, available to download at https://www.piriform.com/defraggler.
Streamline your email system
There is no doubt that in most workplaces, emails are highly used. Staff are often inundated with mail, struggling to clear their inbox and stay on top of basic email management. This is a massive time waster and takes your staff away from their core roles. Taking a little time to set up incoming email rules by setting up folders such as spam, personal, meetings and so on can save literally hours of time in the long run. Having mail organized into separate folders for each type of mail can also prevent an important email getting lost in the myriad of junk emails that seem to flood in at an alarming rate most days.
Often we find ourselves composing emails to the same groups of people over and over again. When you add this up, over a year, the hours spent doing this can be frightening. Creating distribution lists by department or project team can increase efficiency. You’ll be able to email everyone relevant at the click of a button, and you won’t have the worry that you’ve missed out a vital contact.
Update/Change User names and passwords
As an extra security precaution, this is also a good time to change all the user names and passwords within your company. Change the passwords for each user, but also change any passwords for any online services you use. This is especially important if your business is not monitored over the festive period as any misuse of the system might not be detected until it is too late.
With the peace of mind that your system is clear and streamlined, you can put your feet up, pour yourself a drink, eat too many mince pies and enjoy the festivities. It’ll be the New Year soon enough, but at least you know you’re well prepared for it!