Category: Essentials

Ugly monster lurking in your email inbox?

Are you still reading? Just hearing the word ’email’ or ‘inbox’ will often make even the most tech savvy person cringe with embarrassment. Do you have an ugly monster lurking just inside that app you only open if you have to? (Your email inbox). So, what is the secret app to solve all your email issues? Get ready for it…There isn’t one. The secret starts with you and your approach to email.

Treat email like milk, not precious heirlooms

Here is a great start:
Treat email like milk, not precious heirlooms

Remember, step one is cleaning up your email inbox. This may take time, but will be worth all the effort if you commit to step two. Step two is deciding to deal with your inbox in a way that never allows it to get out of hand. It can be done. How?

Here are a few ideas that work for me:

  • If possible, deal with an email when you first open it. Does it need a reply? Can you reply now and archive or delete it straight away?
  • If you are not able to reply when you first open the email, can you resolve to reply or deal with the email before the workday ends?
  • Do you have a “pending” email mechanism? It might be as simple as a folder that you move any email to that can’t be dealt with today. Get it out of your inbox at least. In the Google/GMail new Inbox app, you have the option of using the snooze feature. See more about Google/GMail inbox here: www.google.com.au/inbox
  • Consider setting up simple filters that move less important (but still emails you want) to a folder outside of the inbox. GMail or Google Inbox both have features that do this automatically. I use these features extensively. See: Gmail and Google Inbox
  • Keep in mind that not dealing with an email today, means that your inbox is likely to get out of control again. Once an email is no longer “new” or at the top of your inbox, you are less likely to give it the attention you would have when it first arrived.

Inbox zero is possible

By changing your approach to your inbox and working to keep it in order, rather than viewing it as an ugly monster you need to set aside hours of time to defeat, you can reach inbox zero. Doing so will leave you feeling satisfied at the end of the day and more productive overall. Don’t let your inbox defeat you, get it under control and keep it that way. Do it today, and you’ll enjoy the benefits!

Backups are for sissies, right?

Backups are something for another time, right? Unfortunately, this viewpoint will leave you in quite a difficult situation when ‘another time’ turns out to be the downtime (system or device failure, or a system compromise) you experience due to not having a backup system in place. Just how important are backups, and how easy are they to setup? Please read on.

Did you know most computer systems and mobile devices have free backup systems already in place? Is yours enabled yet?

In the case of your mobile device, this system might be iCloud backups or Google. Many individual apps have an option to backup to these kinds of cloud storage locations. Other locations include DropBox, Amazon S3 and a host of other online storage locations. Most of these offer free storage for a decent amount of data.

For your desktop or laptop, a backup system might be OSX Timemachine, or a number of other backup and restore options available pre-installed. Whatever the case, you want a system that is easy to use and basically runs in the background. Without such a setup, you’ll only get around to being concerned with backups when it’s too late.

What might be some examples for your desktop/laptop?

  • OSX Time machine backing up your Mac each hour to an external hard disk or network location. This is a no-brainer, and if you use OSX you should set this up now. However, it’s not really enough as none of your data is being stored “offsite”.
  • Google Drive/Dropbox/One Drive. The desktop client for these services seamlessly keeps your local files backed up to a secure network location. You can access the files from your mobile device and even from another computer if needed . See, for example how to sync Google Drive and keep an entire folder backed up continuously.
  • Dedicated online backup solutions such as: www.backblaze.com (there are plenty of others to choose from as well)

What about mobile devices, how can they be easily backed up?

Have you enabled the free iCloud backups available on your phone or tablet? What about Google backups on your Android phone, or One Drive backups from your Windows phone?  If you have these enabled and your phone is stolen or broken, restoring your phone or tablet to a new device is simple.

Imagine that! Buying a new phone and having no stress at all because you know your new phone will have all your old phone’s data and settings. This is not a dream, it’s happening now for people who have automated backups enabled.
While this post is just scratching the surface, you’ll find very clear directions from the software vendors on how to set this up. For example:

How to back up your devices using iCloud or iTunes

Back up or restore data on your device

How to back up a Windows Phone: backup and restore explained

A backup that is stored on your computer or device is not a backup. A proper backup must be stored in another location. These days cloud storage makes this easy.

What are you waiting for? Set aside some time asap to get these important and most likely free services setup today.

A word of warning

Don’t let this hold you back from settings up offsite backups, but you do need to make sure the credentials you use to sign in to your backup system/Google/iCloud/Microsoft accounts are secure and protected with 2 factor authentication. That way you are assured that only someone with your password and device can login and access your files. More on 2 factor authentication and password security in another blog post.

Finally

If you need any backup advice for your own business, we are equipped to provide you a custom solution to meet your needs. Contact us for more information.
Backups are definitely not for sissies, backups are for the wise. Setup automatic backups today!

If you have any questions let us know in the comments below.

Scroll to Top