Tighten up your technology this summer!
Tighten Your Tech
While summer is “time off”, it’s a great time to get your technology “in shape” during the downtime…
You don’t need to break a sweat to stay in tech shape this summer! When you don’t have to worry about the tech at your desk, you can get your real self outside more.
Summer Fitness Do’s and Don’ts
Do keep up-to-date
Summer is generally viewed as a holiday for people who work in schools or offices. People travel, kids are on break, and the warm days are a good time to get outside. But in the tech sector, it’s the perfect time to roll out new technology! Tech companies love to release new products and new upgrades during the summer because people have time to browse and buy, and because it gives them time to work out the kinks and release the updated version by the time Fall comes around again.
So, stay up-to-date on tech trends during the summer. Check out Mashable for social media trends, Wired for front-page tech news, Tech Crunch for all your techie Op/Ed needs, and The Verge for cutting-edge technology and science updates. By the time you get back to work you’ll know what’s new and if you should be using those new products/platforms at your organization.
Don’t get spammy
If you’re not that motivated to send emails, you wouldn’t imagine other people are that motivated to receive them, either. If you have a mailing list or a group of people you’re reaching out to regularly, don’t bombard them with emails when you know they’d rather be on holiday. Schedule a few well-timed, brief emails that remind them you’re still here, but definitely don’t send one email per day.
Are you a “social” organization that communicates primarily through Social Media? Summer’s an important time to strike a balance in communicating. Post too often and you’re “spammy”. Post infrequently and you’re lost in people’s feeds. Using platforms like HootSuite or Tweetdeck can help you create and post with cross-platform scheduling that will keep your Facebook page fresh and your Twitter feed at optimum density, without having to monitor them in real-time.
Of course, extenuating circumstances occur. For instance, if you’re a summer camp, this is your boom time. Or if there’s breaking news in your field that you have to update your network about, you should obviously do so. Otherwise, keep summer light and easy, so that folks come back to you feeling refreshed and ready to hear new things from you.
Do make it easier for yourself
Try scheduling emails in advance, instead of writing them every day. Did you know that Outlook has so many neat tools built into it already, like email scheduling, Quick Steps for automating common inbox actions, and Journal for time-tracking?
Are you a Gmail user? Streak is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) for your inbox but it does so many things that keep Gmail users happy. Use it for scheduled sending, tracking whether people read your emails, for “snippets” that make writing cold outreach a breeze, and even doing a mail-merge right in your Gmail! You can add Streak to your Gmail with a click.
Goodbye desk, hello beach.
Don’t sweat it
Give yourself a break! The reason we have downtime is to make sure we renew and refresh ourselves, so that at crunch time we can perform under pressure. Your inbox and to-do lists shouldn’t be longer when you’re on a break. Take the time, and thank yourself for it later. Fitness isn’t about punishing yourself with an impossible training schedule – it’s about building good habits. Likewise, communicating isn’t about volume but about reaching out at the right time, with the right information.
Tips: Microsoft 10 Rollout is coming
Most large networked companies use Microsoft Windows as their operating system. Many non-profits do, too. Major changes to the Microsoft system are coming up. Are you ready?
Windows 2003 phased out
Microsoft is no longer providing updates or support for Windows 2003. Do you know what version of Windows you’re running? Is your networked server running an outdated operating system?
If so, you’ll be vulnerable to new threats that an old operating system can’t handle. Talk to your IT department about upgrading your server and/or the version of Windows on each of your networked computers.
Hint: We just upgraded our server. Write to us if you’d like some hard-won advice.
Windows 10 Rolling In
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 is the last-ever full-system redesign. At the end of July, Microsoft released their public version of Windows 10, after more than a year of speculation about the release date.
There were also rumors about Windows 10 not being free – upgrades are free for current Windows 7 and 8 users, for one year. That’s right: you will get Windows 10 FREE if you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 before July 2016.
Don’t upgrade just yet, especially if you’re using Windows as an office/organization network. If you have more than one computer in your office connected to an internal server, you’ll want to wait.
In many ways, Microsoft rushed to get Windows 10 to the public. That means there are going to be a lot of kinks to work out. Let others do the beta testing for you. Don’t upgrade until December or January, when there’s been time for Microsoft to roll out updates to Windows 10. You’ll want the upgraded version 10.2 instead of 10.0 right out of the gate.