post written by: Marc Chernoff
15 Quick Fixes for Increased Computing Productivity
A combination of old and new, each of these quick fixes have one thing in common: They will increase your computing productivity. I personally use all of them on a regular basis. There is nothing groundbreaking about this list, it’s just a short reminder of how simple it is to increase your productivity by enhancing the tools you already use.
- Dedicated Network Storage Drive – This could be as complex as a server based shared drive or as simple as a cheap Network Area Storage device. Having access to all your important files in one centralized location on the network increases your general productivity by allowing for a more flexible computing environment.
- Social Bookmarking – Being able to access your web based bookmarks from any computer connected to the internet sets you free. No longer will one computer hold the key to your online navigation.
- Dual Monitor Setup – A dual monitor setup is said to increase computer user productivity somewhere in the range of 20% to 30%. How many times a day to you click between various levels of open applications and windows? How much time does all that clicking take up over the course of a year? I would bet more than you think.
- (Proficient) Instant Messaging – This is by far the quickest way to get a message to someone without getting involved in a long conversation filled with distractions. A couple quick points delivered, a couple quick responses, and you move on to the next task in an instant. Note: The services I list are public IM services and should not be used as a means to discuss proprietary corporate information.
- Network Printing – Believe it or not, many home users and even small businesses still have their printer confined to a specific computer. Network printing allows any computer on the network to print to the same printer. 25 computers and 1 quality network printer, now that makes more sense.
- KVM Switch – Multiple computers and only one keyboard, mouse, and monitor? No problem. Jump from one computer to the next with a flip of a switch.
- Indexed Desktop Search – Don’t wait 3 minutes for Windows to search through your hard drives for a file you misplaced. Find it in 3 seconds using one of many free desktop search tools that maintain a searchable index of your computer files.
- Multi-Account Password Management – If you use several different passwords for various computer based accounts (i.e. email, website, computer login, etc.), KeePass provides a very convenient and secure way to keep track of them all.
- Quick Fixes:
- External Hard Drive with Incremental Back-Up – No matter how much internal redundancy you have on your primary hard drives, an external back-up drive can still save you hours of if gut wrenching fear in the event of a serious computer system hardware failure.
- Free Anti-Virus and Spyware Protection – A computer infected with viruses and spyware is not a productive tool. Keep your computer running smooth with free virus and spyware scanning.
- Web-based Email – Do you remember when you could only access your email from a single desktop based email client hosting the proper email server credentials? If you weren’t at your computer, you weren’t checking your email. Thank goodness those days are long gone.
- RSS Feed Readers – Read the latest articles from all your favorite online content sources from one convenient interface. RSS readers allow you to scan through articles just about as fast as you can scan through your email inbox.
- Automated Tasks – If you find yourself repeating the same small computing tasks over and over, why not increase your productivity by eliminating the redundancy?
- Auto-sort Incoming Email – Set your email priorities on autopilot by eliminating needless distractions. Set up email filters to automatically separate important emails from emails that can wait until later (or spam).
- Browser-based Add-ons – You already use a web browser. Why not make it more efficient for free? Most browser-based add-ons will increase your productivity by saving you time.