The New Year is a great time to get organized, so why not start with all the devices and technology in your life? Sure, there’s a lot of it, but that’s all the more reason to get it sorted. Whether you want to cut your cable or just get a better handle on your smartphone battery, there’s a lot you can do to make the technology in your life simpler. And best of all, most technological New Year resolutions are the kind of thing you can knock out in a weekend.
Keep Your Smartphone Battery Juiced
Is your battery icon turning red by the end of the day? Maybe it’s all the useful apps out there, maybe it’s because we’re relying on smartphones more and more—but whatever it is, you need to get a handle on it. There’s nothing more useless than a dead phone. You can follow our suggestions for making your battery last longer, and you should also invest in a little technology. Get spare cables and/or a backup battery (which are now available almost everywhere, even dollar stores) for your car, purse, backpack, gym bag, or whatever combination of conveyance and container is guaranteed to be with you all day.
Establish a Family Social Media Policy
You have rules for your home, school, the car, Grandma’s house, the hockey rink—the online world is like any other space your family inhabits, so it needs rules too. How should your children handle conflict online? What is okay to share and what isn’t? What is good etiquette and what isn’t? These are questions worth answering before they become an issue. The New Year is a perfect time to sit down with your family and sketch out a family social media policy. Need some help? We can get you started.
Make this year the year your home lowers its energy consumption—and the year you start paying less! Figure out how much energy your devices are using (by either doing some research or renting a watt meter), then figure out which of them you can replace with more energy-efficient models and which have power-saving modes for you to use. Next, figure out which devices use a lot of standby power, which accounts for 5-10% of Canadian household power usage. We have a few tips on how to crack down on standby power. Finally, consider investing in a smart thermostat. If your home is like the average Canadian home, 63% your energy bill just goes towards heating. A smart thermostat can cut down on your energy bill by 10%.
Think About Cutting the Cord
The average Canadian household is spending more and more on TV every year, this year paying about $70. Maybe that’s also why more and more Canadian homes are either reducing their cable services or cutting it out all together and watching more TV online. Well, the New Year is a good time for reflecting on the household budget, so take a look at our thoughts on cord cutting verses cord shaving. And if you decide it’s time to cut the cord entirely, we can tell you how to do it in five easy steps.
Secure the Wi-Fi Enabled Devices in Your Home
First, make a list of everything that connects to the Wi-Fi. Phones computers, and gaming consoles will be familiar faces, but be aware of all the shiny new internet-enabled devices you have like refrigerators, thermostats, cameras, baby monitors, grills, microwaves . . . you get the point. Everything connects these days. All the more reason to make a list and make sure that everything that can have a password does have a password. Even better, put your devices on a separate, hidden network. And make sure your Wi-Fi password is up to snuff! For more information on securing your home, check out our ideas on Internet-of-Things security.
The Bottom Line
There’s no better way to start the New Year than to start it organized. Luckily, most of these New Year’s resolutions are fairly simple and can be done as weekend projects. Best of luck and have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!