Tips to declutter your technology and improve productivity

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When you set up your workspace there’s a lot more to consider than just the desk and chair itself. Technology plays a vital role in how efficient and productive our workspace can be and there are plenty of techniques to keep your technology organised and clutter-free– you may want to think about implementing these new systems to your workspace to avoid clutter in the future.

Officeworks’ Tech Expert, Trevor Long has compiled his top five tips below to help people declutter and rejuvenate their technology to set them up for success.

Folder planning
Computers and laptops are necessities for the majority of workplaces and with everyone spending long hours looking at screens and working from numerous files, ensuring your desktop icons are organised will give you clarity and ensure your hard work isn’t lost.  Your computer desktop is just as important as the physical space around it.

My tips for maintaining desktop folders are:

Tip 1: Think of your computer folders as a family tree – start at the top with the client or project and then create additional separations within the main folder to separate in categories, such as “finance and admin” or “planning” and file your documents accordingly.

Tip 2: Generate fewer folders, and make them workflow based. Use clear and detailed file names and limit them to just a short word, these days technology has allowed us to add lots of information which makes filing, sorting and finding files easier.

Go wireless
Random cords and wires can create the illusion of clutter and mess; the main culprits of these are your computer desktops, laptop chargers, keyboards and the computer mouse. Though desktops will need to be plugged into a power outlet, there are numerous Bluetooth enabled wireless keyboards and mouses which will streamline your workspace – upgrade your keyboard and mouse with Wireless Bluetooth enabled devices to create a cord-free space.  

Choosing a smaller keyboard might be optimal for your own ergonomics, likewise a larger split keyboard may suit your work, so it comes down to your job and what you use your computer for. 

When it comes to your desktop and monitor cords, firstly untangle your cords, then apply cord straps to contain your cables in a tight and organised bundle – colourful straps such as hook and loop fasteners will help you organise numerous cables in the workplace.

Stand your laptop
There are many great advantages of working from a laptop, including portability and enjoying the flexibility of working remotely from a park, the beach, a café or at home. However, when you return to your desk you need to ensure you have the correct setup to suit laptop usage.  This means getting a laptop stand to elevate the laptop screen to the correct eye level height, this should also allow you to connect separate keyboards and mouse accessories – the professional sit stand desk is height adjustable to suit your needs. Try a sit stand desk that is adjustable to your needs.

Enhance your screen space
A new monitor could add additional space, or expand your on-screen real estate.  For laptop users, consider using a monitor as a higher resolution and larger screen solution for when you’re required to work from the desk.  Adding the additional screen is simple to connect straight to your laptop and will enhance your productivity.

Technology is consistently improving so consider updating your computer monitors to add new life and extend the usability time of your existing PC. For those using a PC, a second screen can lead to huge productivity gains – have your emails open on one screen while you write a research on the second.

Shred it
If paperwork comes and goes in your office, consider purchasing a shredder to sit under the desk or in the office to manage any unnecessary paper that lands on your desk and piles up.  Shred it, recycle it and manage the clutter as you go – simple and effective. 

Consider using a monitor with a higher resolution and larger screen 

Back Up!
Your digital data is often your most important tool – ensure you back up your information regularly. Some Portable Hard Drives have preinstalled ‘Back Up’ software to take the leg work out of ensuring you’re protected. Don’t leave your information at risk, it is something you will regret should the worst happen to your data!

Reach for the skies! Cloud Storage
The “Cloud” is a word often used, but many are unsure about what it is or how it can help them.

In its simplest form, it is storage system that runs over the internet rather than on a computer’s hard drive.  

It provides the same levels of security as a hard drive, but the big advantages are its reliability and accessibility – as you can access files on the go from any device providing there is an internet connection.

Regardless of the age of your computer, Cloud Storage is strongly recommended as an off-site backup, as it instils confidence and peace of mind that if there’s a computer, network failure or any other issue in your office, you have a back-up copy of all your important documents.

Protect your tech
You’ve invested in the latest and best technology, but ensuring it is protected is no doubt the biggest priority.

There are many things you can do, my top tips are:

  • Keeping your firewall turned on – a firewall is an internal security system that protects your device from hackers. Most operating systems incorporate firewall protection, though the key thing is ensuring it is switched on and stays on
  • Install and/or update your antivirus software – different to firewalls, Internet Security software detects and protects against any obscure or dangerous software programs. Norton Antivirus has a range of available depending on the number of devices you connect to the Internet – remember to protect all of your connected devices such as phones and tablets as well as computers.
  • Be careful with what you download – it goes without saying, but it is a common mistake for people to open all attachments, links and files. This can be very dangerous and lead to lethal virus and system shut downs. The key advice here is if you don’t know the person, don’t open the accompanying document.
  • Other than what’s important on the inside, remember to investigate product insurance to protect your new portable device, for 12 months from purchase, from accidental damage, loss or theft.

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