Some suggestions for technical resolutions for the New Year

In 2015, I asked if you had any resolutions for the new technological year and I made a few suggestions:

  • Make the transition to a paperless life
  • Have a digital clearance
  • Engage in Inbox Zero
  • Protect your digital life properly
  • Treat yourself to a new toy

All of these are still relevant today, but I thought I would make new suggestions this year…


Go on an application and notifications regime

I did it myself last year, and it is one of the best things I have done to ensure that my technology meets my needs rather than the other way around. Especially when it comes to rationing notifications.

I adopted the approach “in case of doubt, deactivate the notifications”. For example, no Twitter alerts. I mainly use it for work, when I sit in front of my Mac with TweetDeck in front of me, so there is no reason for alerts on my phone. No podcast alerts – there are always things to listen to when I’m in the mood, I don’t need to be alerted when new episodes are coming. No Dark Sky – I check the weather when I care. No eBay even when I sell items – I only want to know when they are sold, not live auction updates. Etc.

I have also disabled badges on most applications. Especially those who annoyed me anyway. I kept them for several things, like Facebook (that’s my only weakness on social media), but I disabled them for the vast majority of the apps left on my phone.

The result of all this? My phone seems to be a quieter part of my world. The alerts do not flash constantly. I don’t have a long stream of notifications to scroll through on the lock screen when I take it out of my pocket. I do not have a mass of applications with these small red dots demanding all that I look at them. I feel like this is what it should be now: a device that is there to serve me, rather than the other way around.

New Years Technical Resolutions - Gift

Offer old technology

I suspect that most of us have older devices lying around that we no longer use. Make 2020 the year of your good use.

There is probably a friend or family member who will appreciate it. Perhaps there is a youth club or other charity that would accept a gadget that you never use? Or just bring things to your local charity store.

Cleaning old gadgets eliminates clutter in your life and brings pleasure to someone else.

Be a better citizen online

We’ve all done it: we’re engaged in a stupid online chat with someone. It starts as a simple disagreement, then gradually descends into insults or simply unnecessary back and forth. Let 2020 be the year you decide to stay away from stupid arguments. If someone annoys you online, block them.

Also be responsible when you share links. Especially with political questions, check the facts before ing. And if you see disinformation online, just a link to an authoritative source of correct information. We can all play a role in fighting false information, whether it is unintentional or deliberate.

New Years Technical Resolutions - Safety

Take better care of your safety

If you have passwords …

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