Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

January Housekeeping On The Computer

Monday, January 9, 2017

January means 

Housekeeping On The Computer

All things need upkeep, maintenance, repair, sprucing-up, and overall general cleaning. January is the month when many Americans' thoughts turn to goals, resolutions, fresh starts, and decluttering. Catalogs arrive with white sales, organization supplies, monthly/yearly planners, and cleaning materials. 


As I began to ponder what things to do to make 2017 a good year with a sparkly clean beginning and a focused direction, I thought of ways to keep Botanic Bleu running efficiently. Then I realized anyone with a computer might want to think about the same things. Here is my list of suggestions for anyone who uses a computer and what to do for 

H O U S E K E E P I N G  

o n  t h e  C O M P U T E R   

Suggestion # 1  Update the copyright year to 2017

For those of us who publish our work, we need to update the copyright year to 2017.

For a general overview of copyright information,


Suggestion # 2  Back up your computer hard drive 

Backing up your computer hard drive should be a routine action, but I am guilty of going too long between back ups. The new year is a good time to back up your hard drive, and to make a plan for routinely backing up your hard drive. Software exists that will automatically back up hard drives periodically by day, week, month, etc... I have an external hard drive that connects to my computer, and Time Machine on my MacBook Pro laptop that saves my hard drive information to the external hard drive. 

Now is a good time to make a plan... before a computer crash, before losing all your files, or before losing all your irreplaceable family photos.

Not to mention all those incredible photos 
of greenery in a clear ribbed vase... 


Suggestion # 3  Back up your website template 

Website templates usually reside on the web, not on our computer hard drives. A website template can be compromised or lost. Before anyone (you or a blog designer) works on your blog site's template, back up your template. This is another action that should be done routinely as insurance against technical problems, not just when someone is scheduled to work on your website.

For Google bloggers, it is easy to back up your blog's template. 
  • Open your blog's dashboard.
  • Select Template from the left-hand column.
  • Click on Back-up/Restore in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Save to your computer's hard drive.


Suggestion # 4  Back up your website content 

Once again, before anyone works on your website, back up your work. Backing up work should be another routine action, not just when someone works on your website. This time, back up your site's CONTENT.

How could I ever reproduce all those posts about a Moment in France?

For Google bloggers, it is easy to back up your blog's content.
  • Open your blog's dashboard.
  • Select Settings from the left-hand column.
  • Click on Other.
  • Import & back up is the first option.
  • Under Content (pages, posts & comments), click on Back up Content.
  • Save to your computer's hard drive.


Suggestion # 5   Update virus protection  

Now, I think not all Russians are viewing my site for illegal reasons. Surely some of the 24,000 page views last month from Russia included lovers of French-inspired garden and home decorating ideas, but I'm fairly sure that most were looking for ways to take advantage of my readers and me. 

Virus protection is a MUST.


Suggestion # 6  Change passwords

While you are updating virus protection, take some time to update your passwords. Remember to keep track of your new passwords.

I keep a very small notebook to list all my user names and passwords. 

Technology has taken over my world, and I cannot remember all the user names and passwords by memory. 


Suggestion # 7  General computer tune-up

A reminder for the required annual inspection of my car came in the mail this week. Car inspections include checking the brakes, windshield wipers, tires, bulbs... to make sure the car is in good repair and street safe.

Computer tune-ups are not legally required, but are prudent. Have a reputable computer hardware specialist check out your computer to prevent future problems. While inspecting the hardware, the specialist can also check your computer for hidden malware that may have gotten past your virus protection software.

Keep your computer in good repair.


Suggestion # 8  Organize photos 

During the first week of January, I reviewed, culled, and organized my photos, but still have more photo organization to do. As a blogger, I take hundreds of photos every week. Only after seeing them on my computer do I choose about 10-20 to use on a blog post. Those hundreds of unused photos accumulate.

I think they multiply on their own. You know, like coat hangers in a dark closet. 

January is a good time to delete all those unused, lop-sided, blurry photos.

Let go of the ten variations of the same vase 
of greenery that did not make the blog post. 

Over four thousand photos went into the Trash last week, but more are destined to join them in the down-time winter months ahead. 

I will be brutal, strong-willed, and hit DELETE.


Suggestion # 9  Organize files 

Consolidate documents for taxes, insurance, pet records, home improvements... by creating folders and moving all documents of the same category into the new folders. While you're at it, review folders, and delete things no longer needed. 

I've been collecting electronic files from bank statements and credit card bills that are needed for filing income taxes.

I created a Taxes 2016 folder in which to save them. 
My CPA is going to love me for being organized. 


Suggestion # 10  Review online profile

While I will not promise changes to my online profile will occur, I do plan to review mine. Have your goals for your blog changed? Does your contact information need updating with a new email address? January is a good time to tweak information about yourself and your blog. 


Suggestion # 11  Clear browsing history

After weeks of shopping online for Christmas, January is a good time to clear your browsing history. A fresh start... no more pop-up ads for all the things you checked out on Amazon, Pottery Barn, Overstock...

Now you know why there was only one new blog post this past week.


In addition to all the housekeeping on the computer, I outlined nine new posts and/or series for 2017. 

A new year, 
a sparkly clean beginning, and 
a focused direction.

Hope you join me in 2017... 

for a French-inspired garden and home... 

and for joy of living...