5 Things to do in Lockdown
With the UK Government telling the British public to stay at home and slow the spread of coronavirus, we as humans will surely have more time on our hands. In our opinion, this doesn’t mean beginning a Netflix Marathon or all-day gaming on your Xbox.
Let’s face it, for some, our lives are on hold. We would like to suggest some alternatives that might finally give you the chance to get your digital life back on track. Is it time to get organised? Maybe, just maybe once we get back to some sort of normality, you could be prepared for the future?
Organise your photos
Do you have hundreds or in some case thousands of photos on your smartphone or computer? Right now, you might be shooting more and more, capturing memories. Are you sure, that they are backed up, could you find the time to orgnaise them into some new albums on your computer?
I have always used Google Photos as my back up library from most devices. If you have an iPhone/Mac/PC and are investing in monthly iCloud storage charges, then a sensible idea is to move your photos to Google Photos, which is free of paying for iCloud storage (with a slightly reduced quality of photos – only a little). Here is how you can move your images over to Google Photos for free.
A second option would be to make the occasional backup to an external hard drive. Our favourite external hard drive is design-driven, Lacie.
Protect your passwords
I hear a lot of people saying, use a Password Manager. In reality, you need to use some brain matter to understand how the recommended programs like LastPass and Dashlane operate, they take some time to configure and increase your confidence in usage.
Our suggestion is to tighten up your passwords. Replace weak passwords with more intelligent strings of numbers, capitals, symbols and punctuation. A favourite tech blog of ours, How-To Geek has a great post about Passwords if you’re new to the whole idea of change and building trust.
Secondly, put in place, where possible two-factor authentication, this adds a second layer of protection to your accounts by requiring an additional sign-in code sent to your phone. Getting secondary codes via text message is better than nothing. The website Authy has guides to setting up two-factor authentication on major services, and it also provides an authenticator app of its own. This is a great website to get your brain in motion.
Build a Raspberry Pi
What is a Raspberry Pi? I have seen young children building microcomputers – This shouldn’t be daunting but fun, be brave. Raspberry Pi has an extensive knowledge bank to help you understand how this works. A great project to get children and adults thinking. PCWorld has a helpful list of projects for beginners.
For the imaginations of DIY enthusiasts and brain-building hobbyists. Practical, interesting and developing minds, have a look and see if this grabs you for that new project?
Email Spring Clean
Are you completely overloaded with emails, in the many folders on your chosen webmail software? My three line whip (ok, sometimes it isn’t) is I keep one months of emails live, address what needs replying to or actioning, the rest I archive.
Use the software to its maximum. Too many times, I hear from clients, that my email has stopped working. After some investigation you quickly see the problem… their inbox is 20GB and their host has suspended the account until space is released. Method, organisation, to the point – suggested tips for best practice for your email inbox management.
Ergonomics and Screen Free
Try new ideas and practices, now – as humans do, we look, we are curious, we learn but that doesn’t always have to be on a screen. When you are working on machines and screens, be comfortable; get the right chair, position your keyboard/laptop within a comfortable range, if you are using a mouse, don’t overstretch to reach this hardware and listen now…. Take a break, before you ache.
This is otherwise known as the study of Ergonomics. Very importantly at this time of Lockdown – Keep your equipment clean. Research has shown that there are more germs on hardware and electronic devices than some places I really don’t want to mention…
The point is more to do with focus and a chance for you, a better you. The world is changing at the moment, we will see different ways of working on our own and together. There could be less transport on the roads and in the air in the future. Communication is changing – with video conferencing across the world, minimising travel. You get the idea.
We are conducting our responsibilities completely different in these challenging times. Be that new interest, trying a different hobby, learning a skill, it doesn’t matter as long as we think about our peers and works colleagues – time for a change, a new you and a new chapter in our lives.