Getting stuck in the upgrade cycle

As a freelancer, you probably don’t have time to keep updating your phone, tablet and computer every few months. Aside from the time, there’s the risk involved in upgrading your equipment. Sometimes, features are changed, compatibility with critical applications is broken and, from time to time, the upgrade process breaks leaving you in a lurch.

The question then becomes – how often should you upgrade your key systems? Here’s what I think.

IMG_0451.JPGYour main computer

There are three things to consider; your operating system, key applications and the hardware.
With the operating system, I think it’s a good idea to stay reasonably up to date. I’d suggest that staying either current or one release behind is about as far back as you want. Any further and future upgrades become harder.
Applications are the tools we rely on to get our work done. Again, I think it’s a good idea to stay reasonably current. But don’t get suckered into upgrading as soon as a new version is released. Wait a while as new applications may come with new features but they often also have new “undocumented features” – also known as bugs.
With hardware, it might be tempting to have the newest shiniest gizmo. The main do consideration for hardware should be based on the value of the device and your financial obligations. That includes budgets, depreciation and tax implications.

Mobile Phones

Most carriers offer mobile phones on two year contracts. That makes it easy. At the end of the two years, you can toss or sell your phone and upgraded.
My main advice is to resist upgrading to major software releases until the dust settles. And if your phone is more than two years old, I’d suggest upgrading to the latest software is probably asking for performance issues.

Productivity is Key

Technology is a means to an end. We use it to create content, interact with our clients and manage our businesses. Messing around with it can hinder our productivity.
Before undertaking any significant update,make care to back up your system so that you have a way back in case something goes wrong.
Never upgrade when you’re in the middle of a busy period, time poor or about to travel.
Finally, unless you’re courageous, don’t upgrade the most a new version of your operating system or applications is released. Wait until early adopters have taken the plunge and reported any problems.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.