There was a time that you had to have a degree in computer sciences to get even the most rudimentary of tasks done with efficiency on a computer. While things like word processing and basic file management haven’t been above too many people heads since DOS was used, heavier tasks like designing a web site or automating computer tasks was a little too much for most of us to handle.
With the recent advent of tools to make these tasks easier however, more and more of the web and the world has been opened up to us, as long as we’re willing to find them and learn. While you could write a book on things that a computer can make easier, we’ve narrowed this down into a list of four DIY tech tasks that were once out of the reach of most of us but now are as simple as clicking the mouse. Check them out and start getting more done now.
Ah, the world of web design; where it’s easy to make a terrible website and was once nearly black magic to make an amazing one.
There was a time that you either had to know HTML and CSS as well as your first language to truly build a website or else you were relegated to tools like Geocities to get your site on the web. Today however there are quite a few options to make pretty stunning websites with minimal coding skill.
First, you have web design software that has grown by leaps and bounds, making it easier than ever to use. Adobe has always focused on the Mac, so software like Dreamweaver are easier to use than ever and with Adobe’s Creative Cloud service, more affordable than ever.
If that’s still a little too much for you, there’s the venerable WordPress. While WordPress is surprisingly simple to use, it has enough depth that entire companies are built around creating plugins and services for it. Nearly 20% of all websites currently on the web run WordPress as their Content Management System (CMS). You can use a web-hosting service to install WordPress for free, or use their hosting service and platform for free as well. With hundreds of free themes and thousands of paid ones, you can create an amazing site in less than a day.
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Computers are meant to make our lives easier and remove repetitive tasks from our day, yet we still duplicate and sometimes triplicate our work when posting images, saving contacts, or backing up our computers.
If you have multiple social media accounts that you want to post the same information to, there’s no reason why you need to do it all yourself. Instead of making a note on your iPhone to email the new contact you just added tomorrow, your phone should automatically remind you.
There are a lot of very technical ways to do this, but the web service If This Then That (IFTTT) makes cross-platform automation a snap. Instead of dragging every Gmail attachment from your browser to a folder, why not have IFTTT automatically save them to your Dropbox? How about having your iPhone or iPad email all your new iOS photos to you?
5 years ago this would have seemed crazy and would have taken some pretty smart programmers to figure out but today, you just click and it works. If that’s not amazing I don’t know what is.
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We all know that we need to back up our computers, but more often than not people are caught with a fried hard drive and no backup to save their precious data. There was a time that you needed a tape backup machine to make daily backups of all your data and either a very strong data connection or a mail-in system to save those files off-site.
It’s no wonder that people feel that backing their data up regularly is a task too big to undertake on their own. Us Mac users have a great way to get this done on-site with minimal stress thanks to Time Machine, but on-site backups won’t do you too much good if your drive is stolen of damaged with your computer.
The thought of off-site backups is tiring in it’s perceived complexity but thanks to services like Carbonite all you need to do is install the client software and they do the rest for you, automatically.
If that’s a little more than you need, services like Dropbox will store your most precious files for free and all of them for a few bucks. Google Drive has unbeatable prices for their storage, but work with less sites and services than Dropbox does. Automatically saving files to a remote server once took incredible effort and knowledge but now, it just takes downloading a free app.
SEE ALSO: How to Fix a Stuck Time Machine Backup
From web design software to off-site backup to automating everything in your online life, the tasks that were once difficult to understand at best are now at our fingertips. With all this, why not get out there are do the things you want to and should do while keeping it simple?