As you gather with family and friends, take a moment to tackle three important topics.
Thanksgiving dinner is a great time to talk about two related aspects of health that are often overlooked: what to do when you can no longer make decisions for yourself and your desires for end-of-life care.
Start by having everyone complete a health care proxy. This little document is vital to ensure that your wishes are carried out by someone who knows and loves you.
Make sure you discuss what should happen in one's final days. This is no "death panel" — it's a serious and heartfelt conversation about setting and respecting everyone's personal end-of-life care preferences.
Take this downtime to make your passwords truly secure.
I have been a user of the password manager 1Password for Mac since it was released and also use it on iOS. I was a beta tester during the recent launch of 1Password 4.
1Password (and other products) allow you to create super secure passwords for every online account and manage them with a single universal password. You only have to remember that one password — hence, the name — so make that super secure as well.
If you already use 1Password, it's easy to change all those old passwords to something long, random and secure by using the "Security Audit" feature. It will show you all of your weak passwords, duplicate passwords and those you haven't used for a while.
The holidays are built for creating memories — memories you don't want to ever lose.
So back them up!
A solid strategy means having your data in multiple places — a regular physical backup and a cloud backup.
For the physical backup with a Mac, use SuperDuper! from Shirt Pocket software. It's simple and free. Pay just $27.95 and Dave Nanian will give you super scheduling features and, so far, lifetime upgrades.
For cloud backup, I use Crash Plan, which last year had an awesome Black Friday deal. It takes a while for the initial backup, but then works seamlessly and quietly in the background.
Also consider using Dropbox to automatically sync your photos from your smartphone (requires a Pro account).
And then organize your memories — and keep important papers handy (like health care proxies) — in Evernote. Again, the "Premium" service is well worth the upgrade.
Enjoy your turkey (I'll be having steak!). But also take care of these important tasks.