Technology is supposed to make our lives easier….but sometimes it just adds to our stress and frustration. Here are some tips to help keep that from happening:
- Pre-Shabbos hiding drawer
We keep one drawer in our home for all devices over Shabbos. A few minutes before Shabbos, we power everything off and put them away together. This helps us avoid scrambling to find everything after we make havdala and keeps technology out of sight over Shabbos.
- Label the wires on a power strip:
If your home is like mine, you have a lot of wires and devices that get tangled and confused. Here is an idea that has helped me stay organized and avoid frustration.I took the clips that come on potato bags and labeled them with a sharpie. I differentiated between usb wire types as well as laptop, lamp, and other charging cables. I am thinking of getting colored glow in the dark stickers to attach to each end of each wire, with matching colors for each type. I’ll let you know how that works when I get around to it!
- Set up a kids account on a tablet:
I have a tablet, an Asus Zenui, that comes with a Kids Mode. When I first set it up, I selected a pin and a few apps which I allow my daughter to use – mostly educational, and our family photo gallery. Now, when I give my tablet to my daughter, I shut the wifi and put on Kids Mode. That way, no ads can pop up, and the available apps are of my choosing. I have only one child old enough to use a device, but my relatives who have multiple children set a timer for each child to take their turn, which I think is a good idea.
- Get an all-in-one charging station:
Many homes have tons of different devices and tablets to constantly charge and plug in, why not get a station that holds many devises at once with both USB and electric capability. There are lots out there, we have this one.
- Travelling with wires?
The last thing you need when unpacking after a long drive somewhere is to discover your various wires are all tangles. This is what we use this to keep them from tangling.
It is worth setting some time aside to create file structures on your computer. I recommend having one for photos, one for music, one for documents.
- For photos, I suggest dividing by year and then event/month.
- Music divides best by singer.
- For documents, there are several approaches that work well. If you have a lot of users, you may want to start by making a folder for each person. You may then wish to subdivide by year, topic, importance level, etc.
- Back up your files regularly! I suggest using both a web service such as Google drive and a physical hard drive.
- If you are going to save your passwords in a file, name it something that sounds boring and won’t stand out, like “Tale of Two Cities Essay”, and save it with similar files
What technology hacks and computer tips do you do in your home? What other ones have you seen or heard of? Please comment below so we can add to the this list!