Summer To-Do List  

June 12, 2012

The sun is shining.
Lemonade is chilling in the refrigerator.
Steaks are marinating.
Summer is a great time... to do some tech house cleaning.

I promise my list won't be too long and that I will have you back out in the sunshine in no time. But now is the time to handle a few things that will make next year a (summer) breeze.

1. Passwords
Do you have your login and passwords on a post-it note under your laptop? Does it take three attempts to get the right password entered for a site? Our lives are filled with passwords, and it gets overwhelming. One way to handle the issue is with a password manager. LastPass has a free and premium option. It is multi-platformed, and mobile. RoboForm is a paid service, starting at 10 dollars for the first year. A unique feature for Window users is the USB storage option; it is an extra feature that you can purchase. These are two options that cover all platforms, there are a number of specific browser or platform based options, too.
2. Email
OK, this step might take a while. But it is time to go through emails. The first area is email. Have you deleted the emails in the trash folder? Just like home, you have to empty the trash can. The easiest way to do this is to click on the trash icon, then select all, and then press the delete icon. You should get a warning window that asks if you want these files deleted permanently. Press "Delete." Next, check your "sent items" folder. These emails should be deleted also. They are stored on your computer/email system. If you haven't already made any, I suggest making folders to keep important emails in, this will help in finding emails later.
3. Files
It is now a good time to simply clean house on your computer. Sometimes we hold on to digital files the same way we hold onto physical things in our house. I have a junk drawer in my kitchen, and by the end of the school year many of my folders look just like a junk drawer when I open the folder. Two things to consider when looking at your files and folders: First, using the color option for folders. In the finder window, the gear icon has the color labels for folders. You can actually color label all your files, but that might be overkill. Second, use the date when you name a file. For example, if you update a study guide, instead of totally renaming it, just add the school year to the end of the name. Then it is easier to locate which version you want to use.

It is time to get back to the beautiful summer day, but if it rains tomorrow you have a to-do list to keep you busy.