Get it Write: Non-Word Writing Tools and Apps

The one thing we all use our computers for is word processing. But don’t think Microsoft Word is the final word on this. I’ve been trying out several alternate word processors and am delighted by what I am finding. You may not want to ditch Word just yet, but if you have some specialized writing needs, I just may have a better solution.

Alternatives to Word: Writing tools and apps

Three Apps to Help Keep 2015 New Year’s Weight-Loss Resolutions

It’s a new year and at the top of just about everyone’s resolution list is losing weight and getting in shape. I have three apps that will help you with both tasks.

Apps to help keep your 2015 New Year’s weight loss resolutions

The secret to losing weight is doing the math — counting calories through food and burning them through exercise and the My Fitness Pal app for the iPhone and Android platform makes that pretty simple. Log what you eat and what exercise you do and, based on the profile you set with your current weight and how many pounds you want to get rid of, the app will tell you how many calories you can take in each day as it also calculates the calories you burn through working out.

A similar app is called LoseIt. Like MyFitness Pal, it’s free and meant to be a bite-by-bite journal. It has a massive food and nutrition database, plus you can take a photo of a products barcode and get the data entered that way. You can connect with others on the same quest to eat healthy and work out daily and the app interfaces with all Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

If you are looking  for more specific food and diet help, try the Diet Assistant app. It gives you suggested meals you can have to meet your weight-loss goals and even a shopping list on what you need to get from the supermarket. And, of course, you can log your weight, add notes, and follow how you progress towards your goals through charts and measurement displays. Free for Apple and Android.

Santa Apps for Christmas 2014

Christmas is right around the corner and if you have young ones, chances are the excitement is at a fever pitch. You can tap into that and have a lot of fun watching the sparkle in your children’s eyes through some fun apps and holiday websites. I have some suggestions.

Santa apps for Christmas 2014

The perennial favorite Christmas site is NORAD’s Santa Tracker, an all-platform app and website that lets kids check up on Christmas Eve planning before the deliveries start, then track and monitor Santa’s global travels.

To keep the kids amused for hours, check out, a site that has all sorts of games and places to visit at the North Pole – from the weather station and mailroom (where kids can send a letter and receive a card back from Santa) to the reindeer barn to check up on on preparations for Christmas Eve.

And… there are a bunch of apps to talk to Santa. Parents Calling Santa for the iPhone has three different messages you can select for your child to hear. There’s also a bunch of similar apps for Android smartphones. Most of the calling apps cost a buck or two.

Break Your Paper Addiction: The Best in Scanners

The dream for many is to go paperless and thanks to advances in scanner technology, it’s a lot closer to reality now than ever before. I have some recommendations that can help you digitize that mountain of paper that surrounds you.

Going paperless: The best in scanners

There’s always something in real life that we want to bring into our digital life and that’s the reason there are scanners – but wait – aren’t scanners just a funny kind of cameras and don’t we already have a camera in the smart phone? So why not just use the smart phone to grab a snapshot of the page or whatever – why bother with a scanner at all?