Get on Top of Your Tech in 2021

Senior man using laptop, close-up

Getting organized has become trendy during these stuck-at-home pandemic days.  People are busy going through closets and drawers to toss the junk.   But how about your phone and computer? Chances are those have collected lots of junk as well.

Here’s how to make 2021 the year you put your electronic house in order. 

  1. Clean out the cache on your computer and browser to make them run faster. (The cache is where your browser saves copies of previously visited Web pages.) Never fear, you can just delete history not cookies, so you don’t lose your passwords.   How to do it: Use the Windows 10 disk cleanup utility.    Follow the steps in this article to clean the cache on Chrome as well as Windows or get instructions for your Mac in this article.  While you’re at it do the same for your phone by purging old texts and clearing your phone’s cache.  
  1. Unsubscribe from email lists and paid subscriptions. You’re probably getting tons of unwanted emails.   Every day pick a few out and scroll all the way to the bottom looking for the hard-to-find unsubscribe link.  While you’re at it here’s how to cancel paid subscriptions you don’t want anymore.    
  1. Put your emails in folders.  If you often forget to answer emails, you’re not on top of your inbox.   Use a label system such as the one Gmail offers. The same FAST system recommended for snail mail works with emails.  File, Assign (or forward), Store, or Trash.    This article will help.
  1. Put your photos in albums.  First, get in the habit of deleting duplicate photos as you take them.   Google photos will organize photos and screenshots on your Android phone. iCloud photos will to the same on your iPhone.  For photo organizing on your computer check out this YouTube tutorial for step by step instructions.
  1. Back up your files.  There’s a techie joke that there are two types of people: Those who have lost data, and those who are about to.    If you’re not in the first group, you will eventually be in the second.   If you have anything on your computer or phone you don’t want to lose, back it up, preferably in the cloud.  Recommended:   Dropbox Basic or Google Drive for free backup.  Google will back up your phone as well.
  1. Organize your hard drive.  If you’re feeling truly ambitious check out this tutorial on how to create a useful system for your email, hard drive, and the files and folders within it.   

That’s it!  Six simple steps  – call it housekeeping for your tech – that will make 2021 a sleeker, faster, more organized year for your personal technology.


11 responses to “Get on Top of Your Tech in 2021

  1. Thank you! I am technically knowledgeable but didn’t know that I could clean my phones cache. Thank you for the easy step by step instructions. I also discovered several documents that I thought were deleted hidden here. I will save this article to delve deeper into some of the tagged articles when I have time.

  2. I keep loosing my emails, from my mail box, on my I pad #6 , I would like to save important Emails. The info sometimes goes into All Mail, I send it to important, but very little gets saved. Do you have any suggestions? I tried to send info, but it did not go thru at first

  3. I keep loosing my emails, from my mail box, on my I pad #6 , I would like to save important Emails. The info sometimes goes into All Mail, I send it to important, but very little gets saved. Do you have any suggestions?

      1. I am so very thankful for this bit of advice…I will take care of this asap…I am hoping for more tech classes in 21. Need to buy a computer, but clueless what to look for..over the holidays bot 4 printers to connect to my chromebook. Had no luck, so returned them and bot 3 laptops that I didn’t know how to use and took them back too. Couldn’t get anything hooked up together. I am so seniorly-frustrated !

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