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new year's resolutionsAs the year comes to close and a new one begins, it’s a good time to make fresh goals or carry out tasks we have put off for quite some time.

The following list is my personal recommendations for tech related tasks—from the vitally important, backing up your computer hard drive, to the most difficult challenge of spending a whole day without getting on your computer. My list includes links to MUO articles that provide ideas for how to carry out specified tasks, but you’re also encouraged to of course research other ideas and solutions. I also welcome your recommendations for tech related tasks I didn’t include in this list.

1. Backup Your Computer Hard Drive

Technicians who repair computers say that, still less than half of computer users back up their hard drive. While with most newer computers, hard drive failures may occur less, it only takes one for it to happen and loss of all your data.

Justine’s article on Redo Backup Back Up Your Entire Hard Drive With Redo Backup & Recovery Back Up Your Entire Hard Drive With Redo Backup & Recovery Easily make a copy of your entire hard drive . Don't just back up your data: back up all of your software, your settings and everything else by cloning your entire hard drive. Redo Backup... Read More is a good one for PC users, while the default Time Machine and Super Duper The Ultimate Triple Backup Solution For Your Mac [Mac OSX] The Ultimate Triple Backup Solution For Your Mac [Mac OSX] As the developer here at MakeUseOf and as someone who earns their entire income from working online, it's fair to say my computer and data are quite important. They’re set up perfectly for productivity with... Read More are good programs for Mac users. A full backup of your system requires an external hard drive that is larger than the memory of your computer’s internal drive. Create an automatic system so backups can be done and checked on a regular basis.

new year's resolutions

2. Backup Media Files

If you are storing photos, music, and other important media files on your computer, these files should be a part of your backup system, but I suggest you also keep a special off-site backup of photo files that are most important to you. Precious photo files can’t be replaced, so copying them to an external drive, such as a thumb drive, can be serious insurance against loss of most your important photos.

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If you have enough room on a Google, Dropbox,or any other cloud storage account, backing up precious media files to a dedicated storage is another data recovery solution. It’s simply a matter of dragging and copying important files to another location.

3. Change Passwords

Change the password How To Create A Good Password That You Will Not Forget How To Create A Good Password That You Will Not Forget Read More of your financial and administrative accounts, your router, and other sensitive accounts or pieces of hardware 3 Default Passwords You Must Change & Why 3 Default Passwords You Must Change & Why Passwords are inconvenient, but necessary. Many people tend to avoid passwords wherever possible and are happy to use default settings or the same password for all their accounts. This behavior can make your data and... Read More . I know it’s a mental challenge to memorize new passwords, but for the accounts you access on a regular basis, it’s well worth the effort.

new year resolutions

4. Clean Out The Hard Drive

Take an hour and clean out your computer’s hard drive of files and applications you no longer use. Especially look for those files How to Visualize Disk Usage in Windows with Scanner How to Visualize Disk Usage in Windows with Scanner Read More that are over a few hundred megabytes Memory Sizes Explained - Gigabytes, Terabytes & Petabytes in Layman's Terms Memory Sizes Explained - Gigabytes, Terabytes & Petabytes in Layman's Terms It’s easy to see that 500 gigabytes is more than 100 gigabytes. It’s also easy to see that 1 terabyte is larger than 1 gigabyte and that is larger than 1 megabyte. But these are... Read More and determine if you still need them.

5. Create a Photo Book

After you have backed up all your photos, create a book How To Create A Photo Book With Photoshop Elements How To Create A Photo Book With Photoshop Elements Since the invention of the camera, people have sought ways to preserve memories in the best way possible. First, we merely had the daguerreotypes, and then we decided framing better-quality photos might be a good... Read More of the year’s most memorable photos. Sure, it’s great to have your photos stored on Facebook or Flickr.com, but a printed book is still more tangible and attractive for viewing your precious memories.

new year resolutions
Even if you have lots of low-resolution photos,  How To Create An iPhoto Book Using Low-Res Phone Images How To Create An iPhoto Book Using Low-Res Phone Images Read More on your smart phone for instance, they can still be published in a photo book. In the U.S., stores like Wallgreens and Costco have fairly easy online ways to layout and order printed photo books.

6. Budget Your Money

If you’re not doing a good job of keeping track of your finances and budgeting your money, sign up for a free Mint.com account How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online Read More . Allowing Mint to download your financial accounts is one of the best ways to monitor and budget your spending. It’s like the old envelope budgeting system, but it’s all digital.

new year resolutions

7. Cook New Meals

If your typical dinner meals are becoming a little stale, subscribe to one or more online recipe sites 7 Good Online Cooking Guides For The Beginner Cook 7 Good Online Cooking Guides For The Beginner Cook Read More , and commit to cooking at least 5-10 new dinners next year.

new year

I use the Paprika iPhone app to download recipes and keep track of favorite meals.

8. Cancel Subscriptions

Go through your email client and unsubscribe to newsletters Mass Unsubscribe From Nuisance Email Newsletters With Unsubscribr Mass Unsubscribe From Nuisance Email Newsletters With Unsubscribr Do you get more email than you know what to do with? You're not alone. I get multiple, daily emails that I routinely delete without so much as opening. Or, at least, I did, until... Read More and social website notifications Mass Unsubscribe From Nuisance Email Newsletters With Unsubscribr Mass Unsubscribe From Nuisance Email Newsletters With Unsubscribr Do you get more email than you know what to do with? You're not alone. I get multiple, daily emails that I routinely delete without so much as opening. Or, at least, I did, until... Read More you haven’t been responding to. Reducing email clutter can reduce the amount of time you spend reading and managing emails, and thus help you make time for other things.

9. Automate Computer Tasks

If you haven’t been using automation workflows and keyboard shortcuts, you’re probably not being as productive on your computer as you could be. There are ways to automate tasks on a PC Schedule Your Applications For Worry-Free Productivity Schedule Your Applications For Worry-Free Productivity How many people really make good use of scheduling tasks? I used to be obsessed with finding different PC automation applications that could time the launch of all of my critical applications throughout the day,... Read More , Mac 10 Automator Hacks You Can Create & Use Today [Mac] 10 Automator Hacks You Can Create & Use Today [Mac] Read More , and Ubuntu Cuttlefish: Set Up Actions And Reactions To Automate Ubuntu Cuttlefish: Set Up Actions And Reactions To Automate Ubuntu Automate things you're currently doing yourself. Cuttlefish is a new Ubuntu program that allows you to set simple rules that can save you time. It's kind of like ifttt, which automates your web apps, but... Read More without knowing a single word of code. There are even ways to automate online tasks, using tools like ifttt 10 Great ifttt Recipes To Automate Your Web Life 10 Great ifttt Recipes To Automate Your Web Life We’ve already introduced you to ifttt in a previous post and there have been several improvements made and new channels added to the web application since then. Automation and synchronization are two points that have... Read More . Make a goal of creating a few automation hacks. Once you do a few, you’ll no doubt want to do more.

new year's resolutions

 

10. No Computer Day

Choose one day a week in which you avoid getting on the computer. As much as the computer is a part of our daily routine, it can cause us to become detached from other important responsibilities and social interactions. I try to avoid getting my computer either on Saturday or Sunday, unless it’s related to work.

Well, these are my ten recommendations. What are yours? Start today and make a list of the tech related tasks you need to get done.

Image Credit: 3d Robot Image Via Shutterstock

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