While most people approach the new year by jotting down resolutions about weight loss, living with intention, or—who knows—meditating more, we’re over here making a list of all the ways we want to be better tech users at work, and at home, in 2017.
1. Support Your Go-Tos
As tech users, we’re great, loyal consumers. We research, explore, and support useful and productive technology. Sadly, offering criticisms or complaints when our go-to-tech isn’t working properly is often our first response. This year, let’s shift the conversation and focus on relaying feedback with a positive tone. If you have helpful ideas for improving a product or program, contribute your comments in an intentional and constructive way. Help the efficiency of your go-to tech so others can see the value you enjoy.
2. Learn Something New
Technology is constantly changing and evolving and there’s always more to learn. If your marketing firm is looking to keep up with trends, sign up for a free course on marketing automation software to learn how to organize nurtures and dissect data. If you’re a developer with a passion for design, check out a tutorial on Photoshop. With the emergence of online courses and education, there are ample opportunities to explore your interests and remain curious.
3. Become a Smart Consumer
Looking to buy the latest gadget for your home or office? Before you swipe your card, take a minute to research how one product compares with another. Check out peer reviews and research the company behind the gadget to see who you’d be supporting. In the end, determine your motivation for the purchase. (For example, wanting an Amazon Echo for its daily trivia question is probably not a valid reason to buy. Unless you’re trying to boost your company’s likelihood at winning at trivia on Monday nights.)
4. Have Fun With Tech
While it’s important to conduct research before making a large tech purchase, there are so many perks that come with using technology. It’s fun and exciting to explore new devices and programs, to discover what’s out there and how technology can make your life more enjoyable. So if you’ve been eyeing a piece of software that will improve invoicing processes or a fun piece of hardware, like this smart fridge that helps you order groceries for the office or your home, make this the year you finally take the dive.
5. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Swear by PC? Maybe it’s time to try out an Apple product. Not only will you increase your exposure to the various operating systems, but you may gain hard evidence to support your claims of one program’s superiority over another. Who doesn’t like bragging rights?
6. Purge Data
Open up the Photos app on your phone or the Documents folder on your computer, and we guarantee you’ll feel like you’re on an episode of “Hoarders”. Digital hoarding is alive and well, my friend. Sift through your folders of photos, keeping only those you truly want to revisit. Organize your music and delete old documents. For items you may need to keep for tax or business purposes, utilize external hard drives to free up your bogged-down computer for relevant and wanted information. Make this the year you say goodbye to all that unneeded data and say hello to excess storage space.
7. Practice Safety
When your mobile devices and computers house vital personal information, it’s paramount to take steps to protect your data and identity. Create stronger passwords—don’t save them to your keychain. Be careful to only share payment details with secure, encrypted sites, and practice safe interaction online. Ensure your employees follow suit when using work computers for online activity or purchases and prompt each employee to change passwords for computers and important programs on a regular basis.
8. Stay Informed
Maintain an edge in the consumer and professional world by taking the time to look up new products, connectors, or software that may revolutionize technology as we know it. It’s as easy as signing up for a newsletter on technology trends.
9. Organize Your Screens
This year, evaluate what programs you most often use and determine if the items cluttering your screens are in the best spot. Simply creating a folder for all your social media apps, for example, can make room for more white space and make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Yes, you read that right. Technology, while great, can also take up a significant amount of time. Checking emails, perusing Facebook, and streaming favorite shows. Make a resolution to turn off the phone, tablet, computer, even handy smart technology to get back to the basics of human-to-human interaction.