If your laptop computer is your primary tool during your workday, taking good care of your workhorse is one of the smartest investments you can make in your business.

Here are some easy ways to get the most out of your laptop:

Invest in a nice (but plain) bag. Protecting your mobile office from daily bumps and bruises with a quality bag is always a smart decision. Consider choosing a style that doesn’t look like a “laptop bag” to reduce the chance of having your PC become a target when you’re travelling.

Be really careful with drinks. It may sound obvious and “will never happen to you” but a spilled soda or coffee is the easiest way to destroy your machine. If you have to have your coffee when you’re working on your laptop, a coffee mug with a lid is a must-have accessory.

Dim your monitor display. Portability is still the main benefit of a laptop computer. One of the best ways to extend your battery life is to go into your settings and turn the brightness down to the lowest level you can tolerate. That awesome screen is often the biggest drain on your laptop’s battery.

Use a wireless mouse to save your hands. A nice wireless mouse is an inexpensive purchase and will make extended work sessions on your laptop more comfortable and productive.

Throw an extra AC adapter in your travel bag. Not being able to plug in to recharge a dying battery can be an early end to your workday, so toss an extra power cord in your bag for backup.

Keep the keyboard clean. Get rid of the dust and debris that inevitably falls under the keys with a can of compressed air every few months.

Be careful cleaning the screen. If you need to clean your screen, start with a dry microfiber cloth like you get with a pair of sunglasses. If you’ve got a spot that needs special attention, gentle pressure with a damp cloth should do the trick.

Shut things down when you’re done working. Sleep mode is best for when you are coming back to your work after a short break. It’s smart to save your files and officially shut things down when you are done for the day.

Following these simple guidelines should help keep your laptop in good shape and keep you more productive.

Photo credit: Blogging Fatigue by Jonas Löwgren (CC by 2.0)

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