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5 Tech Resolutions to Tackle in 2021

There's never been a better time to start doing all the things you know you should have been doing already.

grovemade laptop stand
Grovemade

Welcome to Product Support, a column devoted to helping you get the most out of the gadgets and software you already use.

A new year is a great time to start doing some things you know, deep down, that you should already be doing. Best of luck on attempts to run everyday or do 1,o00 pullups, but if you need a rest there are some very important cyber-resolutions you can -- and should -- do from the comfort of your couch.

Back up all your files

how to clean up your laptop gear patrol lead full
Gear Patrol

Are you backing up your important files. Your entire phone? Your entire computer? You should be. Devices get lost, drives fail. Everything that's important to you should exist in two different places, minimum. Even the photos and files that feel so safe up in the cloud are in danger of being lost forever if you somehow lose access to your account. Set some time aside this year to take an index of your important files and double or triple them. Here's where to start

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Start using a password manager

password managers gear patrol lead full
LastPass

You're going to have to have about 2,239,403,048 passwords and they should all be unique and strong. There's no two ways about it. That's where password managers come in, collecting all your passwords into one protected database, automatically filling them in when you're logging into applications, and helping you make sure each is strong and unique. Make no mistake: getting started with a password manager is a Project that will require a lot of manual labor from you in terms of logging and changing your passwords. But the trouble it will save you down the line is so so so so so worth it.

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Spend less time on your phone

digital hygiene apps gear patrol lead full
Google

If you're spending a lot of time at home, it can prove more challenging than you'd expect to avoid sinking into your phone for hours at a time. The trick is to take some small but concerted measures to make the easy easy slide just a little more difficult. Here's where you can start.

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Get your email under control

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Gmail

Inbox zero might be an unrealistic goal, but odds are you could be reigning in your inbox a little better than you currently are. A few little tricks like using filter settings and pre-written responses can go a long way to helping you reclaim a little of the time you normally spend in your inbox

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Make your old laptop feel like new again

macbook air review gear patrol inline 6
Chandler Bondurant

Every laptop eventually gets a little too geriatric to keep up with modern day tasks, but long before that happens it will probably get so packed with cybercruft that you'll think that day has come years early than it already has. Take some time this year to do a deep clean: defragment the hard drive, remove the apps you're not using anymore, maybe even reinstall the whole operating system. Yes, it takes a little cyber-elbow grease but there's no time like the present.

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