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Keep Up-to-Date With Business Tech

Consider these four tips when trying to stay current with today's ever-changing tech.

Q:Computers, mobile phones and other technologies seem to be improving by the minute. How do I stay current with today's ever-changing technology?

A: The first step is to decide which technologies are most important to your company. Take a quick inventory of your needs and the technologies you use most around the office, why you use them and how you use them. This step will focus your research so you're no longer trying to keep up with every piece of technology that hits the market. Some other tips:

Read up. Technology and trade magazines, blogs and newsletters can keep you informed. Many trade magazines offer a technology section targeted to your industry. Sites like www.technorati.com also include product blogs and articles for business owners.

Talk to a techie friend. Most of us know someone who works in the technology field or simply loves technology and is hip to new products. Ask this person to have coffee or lunch with you occasionally to catch up on technology trends.

Ask other entrepreneurs. When you're networking at events, bring up the topic of technology to learn what other entrepreneurs in similar industries are using at their companies.

Another thing to consider is how current you really need to stay. In general, if the technology you have still works for you, you may not need to upgrade just yet.

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Chris Penttila is a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist who covers workplace issues on her blog, Workplacediva.blogspot.com.

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