Clean Living – IT Style

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You’re probably heard of those ‘clean living’ programmes, which encourage you to ‘detox’ your body and leave you with a clean system free of toxins. Well, we don’t know anything about that – but we do know a bit about keeping computers clean. You see, slow performance, sudden crashes, overheating and difficulty operating are all really common problems that we see every day with our customers. And while some computer issues are complicated to solve – a few are as simple as taking good care of your computer. So today, we’re going to focus on 2 ways you can keep your computer clean and give it a detox for summer – inside and out.

Clean Inboxes Are Happy Inboxes

Managing your inbox might seem like a simple thing, but it really is a skill. It’s not as easy as just opening everything and hoping you’ll remember what’s in it. In fact, every year there will be an average of 1000 emails that hit your inbox that go unopened. Imagine the opportunities you’re missing! But there are a few things you can do to clean up your inbox, and keep it that way!


  1. File Or Delete Old Emails. Delete things you don’t need to keep. But don’t delete everything. If something is important, it needs to be kept, but if you leave it in your inbox it will probably get lost. Create folders for your clients, your suppliers and any other groups or people you communicate with regularly. This makes it easy for you to find things later on and leaves your inbox for the things you haven’t addressed yet. (Please note please read your company email policy before deleting)


  1. Develop An Email Routine. Get yourself into a routine when it comes to your emails. Some people will make it their first job every morning to go through and deal with their emails. Some will only check their emails at certain times of the day, or some will ensure they handle each email as soon as it comes in. Whatever your system, make sure you include checking your junk and spam filters in it, so you can be sure you don’t miss anything! If you get into a routine of doing this, you’ll never miss an email again.


  1. Respond To Emails Right Away. When you do check your emails (whenever that is), make sure you’re responding to things that need a response right away. If you think ‘oh I’ll do this later’, the odds are that you never will. So, when you read your emails, make sure you deal with any that need a response right away. This stops you having to re-read emails later on, saving time and making sure you don’t miss anything.


  1. Keep Things Short When You Can. No one likes long emails. They take time to read and often require long responses too. So, keep yours short! Trust us, it saves time for everyone, and means your point is more likely to come across clearly.


  1. Unsubscribe! Get your time and your life back by unsubscribing from the newsletters you don’t ever read. They just clog up your inbox. In the age of GDPR, this will start to become less of an issue, but right now, that unsubscribe button is your best friend! If you do this, you’ll see your inbox clear out very quickly.


Get Your Dusters Out

Of course, it’s not just the inbox that could do with a good clean out every now and then! The physical box your computer or laptop is housed in will need a good spring clean too, to make sure it’s operating at optimum efficiency and not overheating. Luckily, it’s not as difficult as you might think. All you need is some microfiber cleaning cloths, some isopropyl alcohol, a can of compressed air, some cotton buds and around an hour. When you’ve got all that, it’s time to get to work!

First things first, turn off the device and unplug it – for your own safety and the machines. Take a slightly damp (not dripping wet) microfibre cloth and scrub the outside of the machine. Be careful when going around ports, you don’t want any liquid getting in there! Wipe the screen down with a dry cloth, and then with a slightly damp one. If plain old water doesn’t work. Could try a cleaning solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water. You can do the ‘wax on wax off’ method if you want, but don’t go too mad with your scrubbing. You’re not waxing a Mustang!

With all these things, make sure your cloths are only slightly damp, and not dripping wet! It seems obvious, but water and electronics don’t mix!

If you use an external mouse, you might want to give that a little love too.  Optical mice, which use light to detect surface area, don’t need internal cleaning, but the outside can get sticky over time.  Use a little alcohol on a cloth to clean the outside of the mouse and use a cotton bud to clean the crevices. Now the fun part – your keyboard. Which is probably full of dust, crumbs and other bits of debris, just like everyone else’s. Use your can of compressed air to blow out all of that debris. Then take a cotton bud dipped in alcohol and wipe down in-between the keys. But make sure you don’t soak it – we don’t want alcohol ending up inside the keyboard!

For more information on how to take care of your computers, just get in touch with ACT systems today and book your free consultation