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Tech control: Tips to declutter your digital life

Tips and tricks to improve your technology skills. 

Advances in technology have made our everyday lives easier.

But ability to connect and communicate across multiple devices and online channels also means heaps of data and information that could get challenging to keep on top of.

Here are couple of tips and tricks that will help declutter your digital life and, in the process, improve your technological prowess.

Transferring data from your smartphone to computer

The smartphone has opened the world to us, allowing us to essentially carry around a computer in our pocket. The gadget has enabled us to:

• Document our lives with the video and camera
• Use the calendar and phone to work from anywhere
• Keep important documents and emails on hand

While this is great a step forward in our digital evolution, the problem for a lot of people is that many of these important photos and documents usually stay on their phone. They sometimes even lose them when a phone is lost or damaged.

There are many options for transferring information and the specifics will change from manufacturer to manufacturer. Here are a couple of different options:

Wired: The quickest and simplest way to transfer your photos is to make use of the USB cable that came with your phone.

Once connected you can often make use of your operating system explorer to find your files. 

Some devices come with software designed to help you sync your files and data. This is usually the easiest way for your computer to recognise your phone.

Using a wired connection tends to be the fastest way to send data from your device to your PC.

Wireless network and Bluetooth: Depending on your phone, you can also sync files, contacts and photos via a wireless network. 

Some phones will need to rely on additional software or apps to connect via wireless.

Another option is Bluetooth. 

Many computers now come with Bluetooth adapters or alternatively you can buy an external adapter. 

Using Bluetooth, you can select the files to transfer from your phone and send them directly to the computer.

Wireless and Bluetooth are usually slower methods for transferring data than using a wired connection but they don’t require you to physically sit next to your computer.

Websites: Cloud storage sites have come up in a big way over the last couple of years. Sites like Dropbox and flickr offer the ability to store massive amounts of information online for free.

Apple, Google and Microsoft have also released their own cloud services. Apple iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage and Microsoft One Drive and Google Drive both offer 15 GB for free. 

Microsoft even offers 1TB free if you subscribe to Office 365. If you are looking for a great way to backup your photos, Google Photos offers unlimited upload of photos.

Cloud services are extremely versatile as they allow you to transfer data using an internet connection, across all your devices.  

Take control of your social media

Social media has allowed us to stay in touch like never before - whether it's with friends, workmates or a long-lost classmate from 20 years ago, forging connections is just a click away.

However, more connections mean more noise. With the volume of messages that come in daily, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. How do you then reduce some of this noise and optimise your newsfeeds to see only the content you want to see?  

Curating your Facebook newsfeed:  Facebook recently released an upgrade that allows you to prioritise who you see most in your newsfeed. 

If you go into your settings you can now find a section called “News Feed Preferences”. This section will allow you to prioritise the people you see first in your newsfeed. You can also choose to hide posts from people you want to see less of.

Mute people you follow on Twitter: Twitter have also gone out of their way to help you see exactly what you want in your feed. 

You can make use of the mute feature to remove tweets from your timeline without the need to unfollow or block them. This can be a great way to ensure you can still get notifications and messages from them, without their posts appearing in your feed.

These tips can hopefully help you be more productive and savvy in the ever-changing technology world.

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