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January 27th, 2013

~Sunday~— I spent some time this weekend in the coveted (pun intended) "Quadrant II," wherein lies things that are important, but not urgent, which of course makes them great candidates for procrastination.

Here's a reminder of, or if you're not familiar with it at all, Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix, with some examples of things that fall into each quadrant:

Q1: Important & Urgent, Q2: Important & Not Urgent, Q3: Not Important & Urgent, Q4: Not Important & Not Urgent


This weekend I did three Quadrant II things that I've had on my to-do list for a while:

  1. Get my three annual, free, credit reports to check them for accuracy

  2. Back up my computers

  3. Back up my blog

Did you know? Once a year, you are entitled—by law—to a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus—TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

In a previous request of mine, I found out that a mortgage loan I had with my previous partner was still on my credit report, even though I had removed my name from the loan in our settlement when we parted. I filed a "dispute," and they took it off.

This time, I found something wrong on all three bureaus' reports:

  1. All three of the reports had my "current" employer as "IBM," even though I haven't worked there since September of 2008—and I've applied for at least one loan (for my car, which was on the report) indicating NC State University as my current employer.

  2. The TransUnion report had a "Previous Address" for me in Arden, NC, which is a city I've never even heard of.

You are able to file a "dispute" to correct any incorrect or erroneous information, and with a click of a link, that's what I did to get those things updated.

Other than that incorrect information in the "Personal Information" section, I'm happy to say that all three of my reports agreed that all of my accounts were "OK" as they indicate (done a little differently in each report, but the gist is the same) with a "green" indicator:

AN 81-month payment history all marked 'green,' which means on time and in good standing

While requesting the TransUnion report, a "Get your credit score free by signing up for a 7-day free trial of the TransUnion Credit Monitoring Service" offer popped up, which I did to see my score, and then I cancelled the service the next day.

Your credit score doesn't come as part of your credit report, and the going rate to get it appears to be $7.95, which of course I wasn't willing to pay, hence signing up (and then cancelling) the 7-day free trial monitoring service in order to get my score for free.

I was pleased with my score, which is the VantageScore as opposed to the FICO score—two different ways that credit bureaus rate you:

My credit VantageScore credit score of 908, which equals a 'A'


Anyhow, it's all very automated, and took me less than an hour, maybe even a half hour, to do all three. And then I got the reports, electronically, within minutes. If you're interested in checking your own reports, you start off here: AnnualCreditReport.com.



The next "housekeeping" I did this weekend was to back up my computers—both my PC desktop machine and my Mac laptop.

I had a little over 15 gig of files on my desktop machine, which I backed up to an external hard drive that I own.

15-gig My Documents folder on my desktop machine

On my Mac, I had over 25 gig of documents, which I backed up to my web hosting service.

25.5-gig Documents folder on my Mac

It's nice to know that all of my critical digital information, including all of my photos, are now available for restoration should it ever come to that.



The last bit of housekeeping I did was to back up my blog. As most of you know, I have a blog entry for every day of my life since January 12, 2004, and some sporadical entries for the years before that, and I'm happy to now have a back-up copy of all of them should LiveJournal ever lose it, get hacked, or go out of business.

I have saved data for each of the years for which I have entries:

Folders for years 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2002-2012 of my backed up blog entries

And inside each folder, a back-up of each month's worth of the entries in that year.

Months 1-12 of 2012 backed up blog files



Whew! Now if I could only get some house housekeeping done!

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