Same procedure as every year: New Year Digital Clean-Up & Check-Up

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January is the month of new beginnings, but also the time to make a checkup on your online marketing infrastructure, app security, settings, and other things.

Same procedure as last year? Same procedure as every year!
Same procedure as last year? Same procedure as every year!

Passwords & 2-Step Authentication

Changing passwords is important. By now everyone should now that using the same password for different services is a no-go. 123test and password123 are also not recommended.

You keep forgetting your passwords and rely on resetting via email very often? You should use a password manager. I rely on Password Safe for years now, but there are many options available.

Setting up 2-Step authentication takes about 2 minutes per service and adds an extra layer of security. I have enabled 2-Step auth for accounts for WordPress, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

I am using the Google Authenticator app, I recommend using the app instead of relying on text messages (which can be tricky when traveling).

This line is from the TV series “The Office”

Test your backups

Everything is in the cloud and that is cool. You want to be sure to have backups of your website, blog, email lists etc.

For backups of our WordPress websites, we rely on UpdraftPlus (the most used plugin for that nowadays I think). It is good practice to not only look if the backup files are there but also if you can actually re-create your site with these backups files.

Our Google Drive Folders are backed up weekly to a local hard drive in addition (Imagine you can’t log in to your cloud drive account)

Software As A Service Subscriptions

January is also the time to re-evaluate your tool-set. Are you still using the pro features of Slack, ToDoist, Trello and many other little helpers? Check your credit card statement and you might save a few bucks every month (or per user, that adds up!).

Remove unused browser extensions

Chrome extensions currently act your loading time. How many browser add-ons are active in your browser and how often are you using them? If you are unsure about it you can also de-activate extensions in Chrome instead and decide later.
For many of us, the browser is more like an operating system instead of just a web browser. You can also do a complete reset of your settings back to default to start fresh.

Remove third-party app access

Throughout a year you install many apps and test new services. Many of them rely on data from other accounts.
Take a look at which apps have access to your data and see if that is still necessary.

Apps connected to my Twitter account

Clean your To Do list

How many To Dos are from last year, not December but January? Be bold and *delete all*. The most urgent ones will stay in your head or re-appear within hours or days.

I am using ToDoist Premium. The paid plan gives you the option to forward emails to a Todoist address and turn them into tasks, which I use very often. One additional pro feature I use often is the comment function on tasks. I am using Todoist for the third year now and it is the first time that a to-do app works for me.

Bonus: Delete your email and blog post drafts.

Free up space

Screenshot “Files by Google” App – free up space

You pay for cloud storage, so caring around clutter does not make sense. Google Drive allows you to search for files taking up your space.  (and don’t forget to empty your trash folder after the clean up).
On my phone, I rely on Files by Google. This app helps to identify unused apps, duplicate files and other stuff taking up space on your phone.

Unsubscribe and Unfollow

That’s easy and done in 2 minutes. Search for “Newsletter” in your inbox and see what comes up unread multiple times. Maybe you could just unsubscribe and reduce your unread email count in the future.

The average Facebook user has 500 friends. With how many of your friends on Facebook are you interacting, or just staying “friended” to be polite? Scroll through your Facebook friend list and defriend.

Same for Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. You will re-subscribe and follow many new accounts and sites throughout the year.


Working through this list may take an hour or two but can save nerve-wracking days later! Have a good start into the new year!

 

 

 

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Rolf Mistelbacher

Rolf Mistelbacher

Hi, I am the CEO & Founder of Fresh van Root, a boutique digital agency in Vienna, Europe.I got first online in '96 and since then I am hooked on the web. Here I blog about social media, WordPress and blogging, productivity, apps and tools for digital marketers, and all things related to running a digital agency.Before starting Fresh van Root I was working at Microsoft for quite some time. Get in touch with me on LinkedIn or Twitter!

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