An Efficient New Year

With the flip of a calendar page, either on your kitchen wall or digitally your smart device, a new year usually brings new goals or resolutions.
Of course, one can resolve to make positive changes at any time of the year. So, a fresh start or outlook in a few key areas can make life and business flow much more smoothly and efficiently.
Here’s a couple of areas to consider:

Update your security
Updating the credentials on your Email accounts (office and personal), online accounts (banking and other vulnerable sources), smartphones and even your home technologies, is a great idea.  Changing your passcode to your garage door opener may seem to be troublesome, but making a thief’s efforts a little harder might pay off in the long run. If you don’t already, consider enabling multifactor authentication on all of your accounts that support it. (see our previous post about multifactor authentication)
Enabling the “Find my iPhone” feature has aided owners in recovering stolen property and sent the offender away in cuffs. It’s worth the time and effort.

Try It: 
  • A good password manager like LastPass can help you keep track of all those passwords.
  • Google Authenticator is a great multifactor authentication app. Find it here for Android, or iOS. LastPass has a similar Authenticator app, too.
  • A good cross-platform lost-device recovery app for all your devices is Prey – it disguises itself as a game, so it’s less likely to be noticed and disabled by thieves.

Clear your clutter
A decade into the ultra digital age, even our grandparents have enough data to warrant a backup. It’s good practice to backup photos, remove unused apps from your phone and archive or delete old emails.
It’s been said that a “cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.” Whether it’s true or not, freeing up data will also allow for faster and more efficient work and play.
Even if your “desk” is in a coffee shop or airport.

Try It: 
  • All the major cloud storage apps offer free, easy-to-use file and photo backup features. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, or even Mega.
  • For a handy way to eliminate junk email you don’t need, try searching your inbox for the word “unsubscribe.” There’s a good chance you can safely delete every email that search turns up.
  • One of our favorite ways to reduce clutter is by uploading everything into Evernote. It’s a cloud notebook for storing and organizing everything. 
  • One of the best scanners we’ve found to make quick work of the papers cluttering up your office is the ScanSnap line from Fujitsu. You can even scan right into Evernote with them.

Seek help.
Don’t be afraid of asking for assistance.
For example, if Facebook is important to you for sharing information, be aware that the social media giant is always tweaking the way users receive information.
In January, Facebook announced it was changing the algorithm behind its News Feed. This change will limit the reach of those known to frequently spew links to clickbait stories, sensational “fake” websites disguised as reputable news sources and just general misinformation.
So the changes can and likely will affect even those sending reputable information.
In the ever-changing environment of social media, it may be a good idea to have a resource available to stay on top of it, to maximize your ability to communicate your message.


Russell Browning Group Consultants is available for consultations in a variety of areas.