One of my goals for 2020 is to take better care of my computer. That might sound silly, but my computer is the source of my livelihood. A temporary crash or buying a replacement would really throw a wrench in my tight weekly schedule and could potentially put me behind on deadlines, not to mention the financial aspect. Something with that much power in your business deserves a little extra attention.
In case you’re guilty (like most of us) of abusing your computer, I’ve compiled a checklist to help you maintain the function of your most overworked employee.
Bluetooth, printers, cloud-based services, etc. run in the background nearly constantly and eat up precious RAM, slowing down your computer and wearing it down quicker. Try to cut back by deleting any of these that you can. To check and see if you have tasks running in the background, see the right top of your navigation bar where your battery and wi-fi icons are. The more icons there, the more background apps you have.
This might seem like common sense, but so many people don’t do it. The best thing to do is to choose a day—like the first of the month—and make a habit of it. Go through folders and applications and get rid of anything that you don’t need. You should have 10% of disc space free at a minimum for proper function.
I know keeping frequently-used applications at your fingertips seems harmless, but displaying those icons on the desktop home page actually uses RAM. The fewer, the better. For extra credit, empty your trash daily.
Don’t stress out your computer with tons of applications running at the same time. Shut down each as you are finished with it so that your computer can run more efficiently.
Apple releases updates frequently (as do most major software developers). Keeping your machine updated helps it run to the best of its ability. However, when an update comes out, we recommend waiting just a few days to make sure there won’t be any major bugs found.
Turning your computer off helps it reset and temporarily clear out the system. By leaving it running, you’re continually cramming things into RAM and slowing things down. Try to aim for shutting it off at least once per week, and avoid leaving it plugged into the charger when it is fully charged, this actually eats away at the long-term life of your battery.
Nothing makes me cringe like seeing a browser with tons of tiny tabs. What could you possibly be using them ALL for? Paring those down reduces CPU load and cleans up RAM, so do it.
You can use the Disk Utility function to see if your hard disk is healthy. You can find it in the Utilities folder. Additionally, determine your battery cycle count. Each operating system has an estimated battery cycle limit, which you can find here. Find your cycle count by holding down the Option key as you click the Apple icon on the upper LH corner. Select System Information > Power (under the Hardware tab) and find your cycle count under Health Information. This should give you a heads up when it’s getting close to the time for a new battery.
While we hope these tips prolong your beloved computer’s life, don’t neglect backing everything up regularly so that you don’t lose any data during an unexpected crash. If you’re like me and your computer is your lifeline, treat it with the respect it deserves and dedicate a few hours each month to maintain. Here’s to being better computer owners in the new year!
For more information on creative business strategy, check out these posts:
IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.