Use your library to avoid binge shopping, at least for physical books, ebooks, audiobooks, music, films and periodicals. It might seem like a game, but “ordering” things to download or physically pick up can scratch that itch to get something new—and it’s free. And your “shopping” will help increase circulation numbers, maybe leading to more purchases by the library.
Scanning files for malware sounds great for safety, but scanning password-protected zipped files for malware makes you realize that password-protecting files doesn’t limit all forms of access. Microsoft seems to now scan zipped files stored in their cloud system for malware, even those files you have put a password on. So far, Google doesn’t do that, though they may flag them in Gmail as something they couldn’t scan.
Some people make a variety of personal Google accounts and different Gmail addresses for different functions. Now, Google will start deleting inactive accounts, or accounts that have not been logged into for more than two years. If you have such sleeping accounts, you may want to “wake” them up again. This does not apply to organizational accounts, like those for schools, businesses or non-profits.
Microsoft is finally retiring Cortana, the search and answer helper that not many liked. It will be replaced by Bing Chat and Copilot. Who remembers the infamous Office Clippy from 20+ years ago? That type of assistant is back as Copilot in Office products to help you create documents, but with the promise of AI-powered help. Likely, you will still have to review and edit whatever the assistant creates, but hopefully editing is faster than starting from scratch.
Wintoys is a Windows-tweaking tool to access and use otherwise hidden or hard- to-find features. It also includes options to improve boot-up time, and easier access to many privacy-oriented features that Microsoft hides in Windows 10 and 11. It is free and doesn’t seem to collect much,
if any, marketing information. You can get it through the Microsoft Store (apps.microsoft.com) by searching for “Wintoys.”
Emails always seem to build up in the inbox, so it can be useful to try to “touch” each message once. Open it and respond immediately, then delete it or archive it if you think you will need it later. For those who have many emails to actually respond to, respond immediately to those you can quickly answer and flag or snooze other emails for later when you have time to reply. The real goal is to never feel intimidated by your inbox.