Smart Things

April 4, 2015

There are a couple of things I wished someone had told me earlier in life. I’ve listed a few of them below.

If you buy twenty pairs of identical socks, you’ll never have to pair socks again. For the rest of your life. Never. Again.

It’s probably not a good idea to buy that ‘premium’ (loud) polo shirt. Or to pay through the roof for a little emblem on your chest. Nobody ever knocked well fitting clothes in solid colours. They minimise the chance of looking silly in photos a decade from now.

Backup your computer off-site.

If you buy something worth more than £400, you should probably check it will be covered by your contents/possessions insurance.

Watermark and redact information from ID scans before you send them off to third parties. If they are plastered with the date and purpose of identification, they’re going to be of limited use if they fall into the wrong hands.

Don’t use things that aren’t fit for purpose. Don’t use things when your interests don’t align with the vendor. E.g. Backups: pay per GB and use a backup-specific service – not generic (consumer) cloud storage.

Make a list of the applications that you use on your computer. This way, if when your computer breaks, you will be able to get back up to speed much quicker. Update this file every time you install a new program.

Use open file formats. Don’t use proprietary things, because ten years from now, you’ll be somewhere between very sad and inhospitably angry at your past self when you can’t get at a given file. Using stuff like .txt and .md also tends to be a bit more lightweight, which reduces your digital overhead.

Do your laundry when the basket is two thirds full. It’s way less stressful when you just have to pop one load in. It beats the alternative of letting it pile up until you run out of clothes and have to do it, which suddenly has dwarfed into a task that takes all day. Do it on the fly, do it before you need to.

That person that inspires you? They’re human too. Thanks to Twitter, Meerkat and Email, they’re way more reachable than you think. Be genuine and the world unfolds.

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