yearly tech cleanup tasks

As one year comes to an end and another begins, it’s a great time to perform some routine yearly tech cleanup tasks. Nowadays, we rely on technology for almost everything. As with all things, routine maintenance can make a big difference, allowing you to operate more effectively and efficiently. So, this year, take a little time to complete these important tasks.

Archive Old Emails

If you use a program like Outlook and download your emails from a server via POP3, then your email history is stored locally on your computer. Whether a copy remains on the server depends on your settings. Over time, that email file becomes very large and cumbersome. Once a year, it’s a good idea to archive old email messages. Outlook has an archive feature that can do this for you based on emails received/sent before a specific date. Archiving essentially moves those older emails into a separate Outlook file. You can still access that file as needed.¬†Technically, you could create an archive for each year. This way, you can access old emails when needed but they don’t bog down your current file.

If you don’t use POP3, then you likely use IMAP instead. This synchronizes your local email view with that of the actual server. In this case, you won’t need to archive. However, you should consider organizing your emails as part of your yearly tech cleanup tasks, which we will cover next.

Organize Emails into Folders

Are there 10,000 emails in your inbox? As you can imagine, this is probably not the most efficient way to manage your email. You may have a hard time finding messages or have a lot of scrolling to do. Plus, the clutter can make it difficult to detect and address new messages. Here’s a new strategy to try for 2018.

  1. Use your inbox only for messages that you have not seen/read.
  2. Once you read a message, file it into a subfolder. For example, a to-do folder may contain emails that you need to address. If you deal with major accounts, perhaps you create a folder for each account. For internal emails, you can organize them by team member, subject, project, etc.

Organize Computer Files

Computer files easily get disorganized over time. Every year, take some time to look through your files and organize them into folders and subfolders. It’s also a good time to delete any files that you no longer need. Remember that deleting files normally places them into a trash bin. Eventually, you’ll want to empty that bin to permanently delete them.

Defragment Computer

If you have a PC, be sure to defragment it as part of your yearly tech cleanup tasks. Actually, this task should be completed more regularly than that, but yearly should be the absolute minimum timeframe. If you haven’t done it in awhile, it could be a long process. Defragmenting files will allow your computer to run more quickly.

Backup Files

One of the most important yearly tech tasks is to backup your files. This isn’t really a cleanup task, but it just makes good sense while you’re doing everything else. Consider backing up files to the cloud. This is a good precaution in case your hardware gets stolen or damaged. Many file backup services, like Nomadesk, will backup continuously as you are using and saving files. In that case, you should verify backups yearly by logging in directly to the cloud. If certain folders are not syncing properly, it’s better to realize that now.

Summary of Yearly Tech Cleanup Tasks

By spending time to complete the above yearly tech cleanup tasks, you can prevent future headaches and stay more organized. Don’t forget to think about other things that you can do to work more effectively and efficiently in this age of technology. Follow us on Facebook for more tech tips!