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 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.

Going paperless: 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?

Gardening apps for 2014

With warm weather and spring now in full bloom, it’s time to get serious about our gardens. Growing fresh vegetables is fun and healthy and I have some apps for smartphones and tablets that will help your garden grow like you really have a green thumb.

gardening

My favorite app this year is the Organic Gardening Planting Planner for the iPhone. It starts with a calendar to maximize your planning and time your planting for your region of the country. This free guide covers vegetable, fruits and flowers, from artichokes to zucchini. This is a great resource app for new and experienced gardeners alike.

gardeningThe Burpee Seed people have a great app for Android and Apple devices called the Garden Time Planner. The app also tells you the best times to plant and it has an impressive database of plants, local weather, and links to how-to gardening videos. There’s also a calendar that tells what you should be doing by what dates.

Then there’s Plant Link. This puts a wireless sensor in your garden to monitor moisture. It connects to the Internet and then alerts you when your plants are too dry. You can even connect a hose to the system so your garden is automatically watered… no mater where in the world you happen to be. The cost? $79. The Plant link system works indoors or outdoors and you can add extra sensors.