This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Using your computer like a racing car

Since I am a graphic designer, I have a very powerful computer. It's processing time is dazzling, it's the "5.0 Mustang" of computers. I like to go fast.

And chances are that your computer is plenty powerful, too. But are you getting everything out of it that you can? When I started teaching graphic design at The Art Institute of Phoenix, they also had state-of-the-art computers, and they still do! But, to my surprise, I was finding that a lot of people were spending a lot of time "looking for their car keys".

It doesn't do you much good if your computer can go fast if you can't get it started. If it takes you five minutes to find a file, or to find an email address, what if you need to find ten of them? You are already almost an hour behind! So, this is what I suggest: treat your computer like a racing car. In between races, find ways to make it go fast right from the start. If you say, "but I'm always running a race!", these techniques will get your speed up. To me, you are still in first gear. Pull over to the pit stop!

• Organize your files with folders and correct names. No, this isn't fun, but, compare it to a pit stop - when you need fresh tires during a race, this is no time to go looking to see if they are the right size.

• Get rid of clutter. If you haven't used something in a while, stop stepping over it. I don't throw away things, I create a folder and call it z-something (the "z" alphabetizes it to the bottom, you know).

• Sharpen up your skills on the latest software. Software developers don't just release new versions to get your money, there are a lot of cool things that have been added. Learn them, and use them!

Squeal those tires! Win some races! And wave to me as you go by!