Windows 7 End of Life: What does it mean for your personal computer?

Windows 7 End of Life: What does it mean for your personal computer?

OH NO! My computer keeps saying it will no longer support Windows 7 by Microsoft after January 14, 2020. What does that mean for my personal computer?

The time has come for the End of Life (EOL) support for the Windows 7 operating system by Microsoft and for a lot of people this almost constant pop up window for the last year is more than concerning. If you own a personal computer, laptop or desktop PC, with the Windows 7 operating system but use it for nominal use like checking your email or social media, you may be scratching your head about what to do next.

*This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *. This means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of my links. If you do, thank you for the support ♥

I started this article before the end of support date of Windows 7 and am now writing it to myself and the many others who may have a device older than five years that supports this beloved operating system.

Gone are the days when you could continue using outdated and unsupporeted programs like Winows Vista and those before it.  Every time you tap the keys and connect to the internet you are putting your personal data at risk.

You are probably saying, “I know Holly but all of this is going over my head! I don’t know what to do next nor do I have any money to protect or upgrade my computer!”

Let’s discuss the options available to YOU! (Remember I am here to serve you and if your computer is at risk connect with me at holly [at]



Let’s face it. Microsoft is a tech giant and software is a hot business. Over time, they have learned that to keep up with their competitors they have to keep raising the bar with their software packages. It is ultimately their choice to continue or NOT continue to support a product they developed.

You can read more about their decision here.

The wave of smartphone technology and the minimalismus categorical design of software is overtaking technology.

Ever use Netflix? Or have a Roku TV? The cards or blocks with vivid imagery is an easy and visually appealing way to convey information quickly. You can easily select your choice without having to read any information. And that approach has been utilized across almost ALL consumer technology. INSTANT GRATIFICATION with no time wasted on having to sort through useless information.

What are the differences between Windows 7 vs 10?

01  |  Account Integration

Microsoft has now introduced Account Integration which requires the user to link an account to their device for any type of functionality.

HUH? If you own an Apple iPhone then you are already familiar with inputting your Apple ID to open your phone or download any new apps. It is a way to create a seamless user experience over multiple devices and allows access to some feartures offered by Microsoft.

02  |  Start Menu

The Start menu has a new icon, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 brought back some of the things that Windows 7 users love.

The menu has items listed in Alphabetical order and different icons so do not assume a program is gone because you do not see it’s normal image associated with it because the new design is the biggest learning curve. You still have access to the normal functions like Shut Down, settings, and control panel.

TIP: If you need it larger, you can bring your mouse to the edge of the window and ENLARGE it.

03  |  Tiles (Apps)

You will notice an area to the right of your long list of programs on the Start Menu that Mircosoft calls the “tiles”. Each tile can either be a shortcut to program you use regularly, a webpage shortchut, or an application. For example, You have an option to use the “Facebook” app or just log onto the internet using your explorer (such as Edge, Google Chrome, or FireFox). If this all seems a bit much and you dislike the functionality, right click the tile and disable it.

04  |  Cortana

Your personal assistant via Mircosoft which functions just like the Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.

Ask it to jot down notes, make an alarm, find a document, etc. A new feature that I haven’t full utlized but something you should be aware of since it pops up pretty often unless you disable it which you can!

05  |  Accessibility (Control Panel, Settings, and Edge)

Mircosoft really changed up their design and flow to offer a more streamlined experince for their user but if you like continuity and maybe a little resistant to change then serarching for these areas may not come easily.

The control panel can be accessed by holding down the Windows Key + X to access the nitty gritty areas of your computer, while the all encompassing Gear Icon, which has become the universal Settings icon on everything, is where you access your settings for design, WiFi, devices, etc. The design is pleasing and straight forward but still a learning curve from Windows 7.

ALSO, you have a new Windows Internet Explorer! Edge is the new and imporved windows explorer so don’t get frustrated when you cannot find your old icons.



Gathering digital images for organization

You need to know that each day pass January 14, 2020, the more at risk you are making yourself and your precious data on the computer or laptop.

01  |  Outdated Software

The functionality of your computer will slowly depreciate. The more programs added and files downloaded the more it will slow down your computer. Like any device, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Yet, the lack of security and updates on your computer will make it more at risk of crashing or being hacked.

The outdated software means that your computer data could be lost if it ins’t back up!

Back it up!

Get an external harddrive and save all your documents, photos, videos, and music. This is just regular legacy maintenance but MOST DEFINITELY important if your hardware (computer/laptop/smartphone) is over five years old. Gone are the days when you could keep something for a lifetime with regular care.

Windows 7 will not be aided or support without an “extended care” support plan. Start looking into if your computer needs to be completely replaced or just upgraded.

02  |  Security Risks

Since you do not have Mircosoft providing security through Windows Defender, you need to have an alternative security system to keep your device afloat.

I recommend using Malwarebytes, it is a wonderful program that is available for FREE with limited security while a full license will provide full security at a reasonable price. Considering you are choosing to continue with Windows 7 against their approval I would recommend this or any other type of third party security software to protect your personal data shared online. 

We use it and love it.


A while back, Mircrosoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. According to this article by CNET, you can still get that free download and upgrade. 

UPDATE: 2/29/2020 I used the above link and it worked! I did find however that one must have already downloaded it previously and chose to revert. When Windows 10 first debut, I did use it but chose to revert because there were too many bugs.

The alternative would be to pay for the upgrade which could run you around $139.

Hope that you were able to upgrade, replace, or find the information needed. Leave a comment below if you need more assistance with Windows 10.

Six ways to organize your life with Google

Six ways to organize your life with Google

Free resources available through Google to organize YOUR life 

As a loyal PC and Android user, I am quite familiar with Google and its free products. Let’s emphasize the FREE part which is a crucial reason WHY I adore Google and it’s software products. Yes, I tend to be quite frugal and Google has been a go-to software for this reason.

Over the years, we have seen Google transform and innovate their products from a standalone search engine into a diverse company with a number of free and paid for products. Let’s review my favorites from the point of view of a mother with young children and beginner blogger.

Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google LLC, used with permission.

01  | Gmail

Gmail is the email service that is provided for free through Google. I can remember when you needed an “invitation” to join the email service provider back in 2005 and readily jumped on the bandwagon from my yahoo account. The Gmail account has transformed through the years and it now means you have a “Google Account” that opens the door to many other products. 


HOW: To sign up for Gmail, create a Google Account by going here. You can use the username and password to sign in to Gmail and other Google products like YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive. You will need to remember your username and password to sign in unless you also use the Chrome search browser, in which case, you can choose to let the browser save your information for easier login.

My top tips for Gmail

1. Open a free account today! It is easy and opens the door to the following products that are an added bonus to this service.

2. Do NOT continue to sign up for all the spammy accounts that will run your email inbox up to 1000 unread emails – again! Allow this new account to be your fresh start.

3. Organize your inbox using the Gmail provided organization system or create your own!

4. Create an email signature along with automated responses for vacation time, etc. It is easy and looks cool. (I have a couple created at the bottom of this blog post AND I created them with Google Slides.)

5. Use this service on your phone instead of the straight out of the box email app that it comes standard. You will need to download the app and connect it to your Gmail account. However, personally speaking, it will provide more usability and user friendliness.

6. Real World Use: I use Gmail for communication with doctors, school administration for my children, with my husband to schedule appointments within our shared google calendar, receive notifications from our church, and now, as a professional email account via Google Domain by making an official ”” email address.

02  | Google Drive

A Google account via Gmail provides you access to a multitude of other products. The first one you should take advantage of is their cloud service called Drive.


HOW: To sign up for Google Drive, create a Google Account from the previous review item. You can view what Drive is all about by going here. You can use the username and password to sign in to Gmail and other Google products like YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive. You will need to remember your username and password to sign in unless you also use the Chrome search browser, in which case, you can choose to let the browser save your information for easier login.

My top takeaways for Google Drive

1. Use it to store important documents, projects, and make important documents.

2. Drive can be used as your default option to download to and save items to within Gmail! Great way to instantly save important documents from your email.

3. Save images here but only ones you will probably use on a regular basis otherwise I would use Google Photos as your photo library which will be discussed below.

4. Use Drive to create documents! Google Drive is where you can access Google’s online word processor online software apps that are similar to Microsoft products such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

5. Use it on all your devices with the free 15 GB of storage for email and Drive items.

6. Real World Use: I use Drive to make cool printables for my kids and church, write blog posts, make images for this site, make shared slideshow presentations for instructional purposes, save important PDFs that I need to access frequently but DO NOT want to download to my phone’s internal memory.

03  | Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, My Maps, Sites

Create your own documents, slideshow presentations, financial spreadsheets, and much more with just a click of the “+ New” icon within Google Drive.


HOW: To use the resources within Google Drive such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. You only have to click on the “+ new” in the left-hand corner section (on Desktop) or the “+” symbol in the lower right-hand corner (mobile).  You have access to all of these resources for FREE and they automatically back up on the Drive so need to worry about it crashing or losing all your work. Offline is also available if you want to work on documents without internet. To access these apps on your mobile device you may download the apps individually or use them in a browser window.

My top takeaways for using the processing applications

1. If I need to compose a formal email and want some collaboration with others for editing purposes = Docs.

2. Track your expenses and make a family budget = Sheets.

3. Create a cool printable of Paw Patrol or Fortnite characters for your kids = Slides.

4. Create and collaborate with other moms, teachers, missionaries on a presentation = Slides.

5. Gather input via a survey or poll for your new product, classroom idea, or outreach project = Forms.

6. Drawings, My Maps, and Sites are for specific uses that I could elaborate on more if you are interested. Leave a comment to let me know if you would like a tutorial on them 🙂

7. Real World Use: I use Docs for my blog posts and Bible Journaling in the morning. I use Sheets to track blog posts, affiliate information, and store information in an ordered manner. I use Slides the most creating images (as well as Canva) and instructional presentations because I love the ability to keep everything in ONE place.

04  | Google Calendar

A Google account provides access to their calendar that is used across the internet! It is amazing!


HOW: Calendar may be accessed via the right hand side menu under your account name and picture (on desktop) and download the app for your mobile device.

My top takeaways for Google Calendar

1. Create your work schedule, home life routines, and share it with your close ones.

2. Save important dates straight from your Gmail.

3. Add tasks and reminders within Gmail or Calendar and it will save at an exact time and place perfect for you.

4. Share it! Or save your kids’ school schedule directly to your calendar! Or your church’s or whoever else may have their schedule available online.

5. Real World Use: I use it to save important appointments like doctor visits and schedule reminders for tasks or projects along with saving the local school’s calendar. My husband and I also collaborate on dates and times for events without double booking! #winning

05  | Google Keep

An app and desktop application that you can use for quick reminders, save important images, lists, etc.


HOW: Google Keep is another resource located on the right hand side corner along with Calendar that is an added bonus but not something you may realize is there from the beginning.

My top takeaways for Google Keep

1. An easy and quick to use smartphone application that allows you to jot down things you want to remember. It is very similar to Evernote.

2. I love how visually appealing it is along with how it integrates with all the above applications as well.

3. You may end up with a long note that would be better used as a document which you can easily convert with a click at the bottom of your board.

4. It is a great grocery item list maker.

5. Real World Use: Grocery items, school reminders for the kids that can be scheduled in the calendar, blog post ideas, names and pictures of cards for people I need to remember but will lose in the bottom of my purse.

06  | Google Photos

My favorite for last! Google Photos is the unlimited photo cloud storage service, at certain file sizes, along with videos. It also comes with Google Assistant which means you can create little home videos.


HOW: Google Photos is also available via the right hand side corner menu that is freely given with your Google account.

My top takeaways for Google Photos


2. The cloud service can be downloaded onto your phone and used as a backup for all your everyday photos and videos.

3. The unlimited storage and organization allow you to have peace of mind that your digital memories are safe.

4. The Google assistant puts the creative control in your hands as a total beginner! Let the artificial intelligence create home films or create them yourself.

5. Real World Use: My go-to cloud backup for my everyday digital memories. I share images with those NOT on social media like grandparents who do NOT need a Gmail address to access them. Along with SHARED albums with my husband so both of our phones are backed up. I have also used the movie maker feature that is great for TOTAL beginners.


Today’s technology isn’t going anywhere. We are very blessed to have these tools available and smartphones mean we can carry it with us everywhere. I also always encourage people to be mindful of their screen time – children and adults – but understand that it is a tool used for work and pleasure so use your judgment.

The applications are available on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Who would benefit? Parents who want to stay connected with each other and with their kids. Tracking changing schedules, updating resumes, writing school essays, or compiling a list of donors for non-profit events. Teachers who need to create things on the go. Missionaries trying to create communication pieces on the frugal. Bloggers or online creators designing content to share but do not have the ability to purchase Microsoft Office products. 

My hope is to transfer knowledge into YOUR hands. Let me know how I can help.


Dear littles, 

I hope that as you stalk this site that you will see that I never stopped learning. I pursued more knowledge that could be used effectively and efficiently for our family. Even as #4 sits in his high chair enjoying Nutella, I am seeking to further the kingdom throughout my everyday actions. 

Hi! I’m Holly, and at Knitting Our Story, I embrace the fact that you can love your new smart device while also living a full and intentional life; you do not have to choose one over the other. If you desire to use technology as a workplace resource, a fancy new toy, or want to utilize it for creative resources, I’m here to support you with why you should and how it can be done.

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