It helps to know that the desktop functions in layers. Once things are put on the desk top they don’t disappear, but they can be covered with other things and seem to disappear. Apple compounds that issue by having five desktops (yes, five). There is a point to their madness, but if that point doesn’t make your life easier, then it can make your computer experience a bit more difficult.
A big help in using the computer effectively is being organized. Easy to say, but it can be hard to do if you don’t pay attention. The computer does things very quickly, sometimes, so if you don’t pay attention, then a process can finish even before you realize you are in one, and back tracking can be daunting or near impossible. Slow down and watch what your computer does. When you want to save something pay attention to all the little windows to make sure you are putting it what you can find it again. Thank heavens we have moved past having a limited number of characters in titles, so now you can name folder and documents names that make sense and that you can remember.
The computer can surprise you with its behavior, but it is actually really hard to ‘break.’ With that in mind be willing to play with it. Pull down menus and go there – see where it takes you. Click on things and explore. Mostly the set up is intuitive, but there are times when it takes a bit of thinking like a programmer before things make sense, so dedicate some time to just exploring.
Practice, practice, practice. No one remembers things after the first exposure. It takes repeating the experience to commit things to memory and using the computer is no exception. If you only use it for email once a month, then you should be gentile with yourself and know that you won’t remember much – so write things down. Write in enough detail that you will understand your notes.
Having a computer buddy, someone you can talk to about your frustration and someone who can help you remember is useful. Having someone who has patience and who is willing to teach you the next steps is great. When I work with people who are frustrated by their computer, I like to work with them on a project because that gives both meaning and context to the learning, making it easier to remember things.
I love making life easier for people, so give me a call (303-818-4147) or submit your email below..