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.
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 Northpole.com, 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.
‘Tis the shopping season, that’s for sure. And this year’s sales are everywhere. How do you make sure you have the best price? How do you keep track of everything? Fear not… I have some apps that will help you organize and manage your holiday shopping this year with a new efficiency.
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.
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?
Bacteria. Viruses. Spores. Germs. Microorganisms. They have all sure been in the news lately. And while not all of them can make you sick but some of them can. And as we’re out and about this holiday season in contact with lots of people and places, I have three ways that tech can help you stay sanitary.
One of the neatest things about the Internet is how it makes it easy for us to do things that previously were just too hard – like making art, things like posters and graphic images. There are a host of new web services that can unleash budding artist deep inside of you.
So much to do…so little time. We all wish we could be more productive, get things done and organize our life. That’s where technology can really help and I have some favorite tools to help you get it together.
But before I share with you my three favorite productivity programs and apps, let me tell you about Getting Things Done.
In this information age, gathering up and securing the most important information – the critical passwords, user names, insurance, savings and important documents we have – is a vital task than many overlook. I have some suggestions on how to safeguard those digital assets.
Estate Assist is a powerful tool that creates a sort of online safety deposit box where you can store everything from online passwords and logins for all your accounts to offline documents like insurance policies, mortgage agreements, passports, social security cards, wills and the like. It lets you include a spouse, friend, family member or trusted professional like an accountant or lawyer to have access to your Estate Assist Safe now, or at some point in the future. It’s encrypted and totally secure, protected by a $1 million insurance guarantee on each account in the case of a data breach. Identity theft protection is also available. Free for 30 days, thereafter plans start at $5 a month.
Ever come across an article or video you want to view later and then forget where you saw it? That’s why you should have Pocket app, which lets you save articles, videos and webpages to be viewed at a later date. With 12 million registered users, Pocket is a save-it-for-later service that has been integrated into 500 apps and as an extension for most browsers. Once your items have been saved, you can access them even without an Internet connection. Free for Apple and Android devises.
If you collect online coupons and those little key fobs for discount cards, you’ll want KeyRing. It works with Apple or Android devices. Just scan your cards and when you’re at the store, just show the phone to the cashier for your discount.