Wednesday, February 20, 2002
An article from Life Coach Lisa Kemp today on a few basic but essential
tasks for any Coach working with a computer.
Want to send email so it looks to the recipient like it's from "Your Life Coach"? You can, by using Certified CyberSkill #5. How else can your Coaching practice benefit from you becoming more cybersavvy? Let's let Lisa and the Certified CyberSkill ecourse light the way...
Let's face it
most coaches would rather spend
time coaching than on their computer.
But, as coaches
we work in a very virtual world, what with email and TeleClasses and
websites and virtual assistants. Getting this virtual world handled
is one of the keys to being able to focus more on your coaching business
Another little-known tidbit - if you actually contract a virus, and your anti-virus software detects it, you should run the virus test again! The reason is that sometimes two viruses (virii?) are sent in a piggyback mode, and when you catch the first one and think you're safe, the hidden virus is still lurking, ready to take your computer down. If you detect a virus, keep running the scan until you get two consecutive "clean" scans - better to take a few minutes of prevention than to tear your hair out trying to rebuild your data, or shell out some serious dough buying new computer parts.
2. Disk defragmentation
To run the defrag: Click on "Start" in the lower left-hand corner; place your cursor on "Programs"; the Program menu will come up, and then you'll move your cursor to "Accessories"; when the Accessories menu comes up, move your cursor to "System Tools" and when the System Tools menu appears, select "Disk Defragmenter". The defragmenter will launch, and you'll have the option to select the drive you want, so pick "Drive C" and then select OK. The defrag will start and run automatically; one important thing to remember is to NOT do anything with your computer while the defrag is running; working on the computer will cause the data to realign, and will make the defrag restart, a frustrating thing if it's already 80% finished! One mildly amusing pastime is to click on the "Show Details" icon of the defragger; it will give you a visual representation of all the bits and bytes in your computer, so you can watch the data as it realigns (of course, engaging in this more than once brands you as a geek par excellence). You should defrag anywhere from weekly to monthly, depending on how heavily you use your computer.
Back-up your critical files
You'll need a ZIP drive - you can purchase these at your local computer store, and also online. ZIPs work kind of like floppy disks, but hold a TON more data! There are different storage capacity ZIPs, so if you have multiple computers in your house, consider getting the same size ZIP drive for each one. Once your ZIP drive is installed or plugged into your computer (follow the owner's manual for that), you'll be able to copy your data from your hard drive to a ZIP. The steps are: Click on "Start" and launch Windows Explorer; find your C:\ drive in the left-hand screen; left-click once on your "My Documents" folder to highlight the folder, then right-click once to bring up the menu of options; place your cursor on the "Send to" menu option, and it will bring up a second menu; then right-click on the ZIP icon - that will send the folder's contents to your ZIP. Easy as pie.
Some suggested folders you may want to back-up include: C:\My Documents (if that's where you regularly store the files you work on), C:\Windows\Favorites (the websites you've bookmarked), and any other folder where you save important data that you'd hate to lose. Keeping a backed-up ZIP offsite (say, at your office or in a safe deposit box) is also a good idea in case the unthinkable happens to your home. Iomega (the manufacturer of ZIPs) now has a free software for setting up automatic back-ups (good for the busy and the forgetful), called QuickSync. Download it at their site at http://www.iomega.com/quiksync/index.html.
Once you're all done with your back-up, virus updates, and defragging, you should reboot (restart) your computer.
Depending on your schedule, it might make sense to book an hour a week to do all your computer maintenance at once. I like to do mine at a regular day/time each week; that way I know it's done and I don't have to worry about it the rest of the week. While it takes a bit of time and effort, it makes my day-to-day life easier by speeding up my computer's response time. Remember the car analogy we started with? Think of this stuff as a "tune-up" for your computer, so that you'll have a safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient ride on that old information superhighway.
Lisa Kemp is a life coach in the Chicago
area. She helps people have streamlined and more enjoyable lives through
developing better life strategies. Visit her website at www.lisakemp.net.
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