Have you ever been confused by your computer? Are you afraid of your phone? Many of us use powerful technology every day, but we don’t always know how to make the most of it. I write weekly tech tips to educate regular people about the technology they use. I’d like to share my love of technology with you and help you make friends with your software and devices.
When you have a baby, it can be helpful to keep track of their feedings, sleep habits, and diapers. BabyConnect is an extremely useful website and mobile app that allows you to track all of these things and more (pumping, medicines, doctor visits, weight, etc). It also has useful charts and graphs, and can be accessed by other members of the family and caregivers. You can enter data via the website, your phone, or iPad/iPod.
Is your home or work office too quiet? Do you work better with the coffee shop ambience, but want to stay home? This website has several background soundtracks you can play while you work, such as a coffee shop, lunchtime restaurant, and university cafe. You can also install the Android/iPhone or Mac app for quicker access.
Need help using your Mac or Mac software? If you have an Apple Store near you, you can take advantage of free classes for Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPhoto, iMovie, etc. If you are buying a Mac computer for the first time, you can sign up for a full year of personal training for only $99.
Do you buy music online? If not, you should. CDs are on their way out, and digital music is the future. All you need is storage space on your computer, nice speakers or headphones, and an MP3 player. The three best places to get digital music are:
Amazon: Generally the cheapest option. Plus, they will store your purchases on their servers which you can listen to via their mobile app.
iTunes: If you use iTunes already, this is the easiest option as it automatically downloads purchases into your library.
Google Play: Like Amazon, Google will store thousands of your songs on their servers so you can listen via their mobile app or website.
Writing an email at 12am but don’t want it sent until a reasonable hour? Boomerang is a free plugin for Gmail that allows you to schedule messages to be sent in the future. It can also remind you to follow-up on the email after a set amount of time.
The Amazon Kindle is a fantastic device for reading books. But did you know you can get free library books to read on it? Check with your local library to see if they offer this (usually there will be a link on their website). For example, the Chicago Public Library offers many titles for the Kindle.
The best part about reading library books on your Kindle is that you can keep them for as long as you want by using this secret tip: Your Kindle will remove your books after the loan expires—but only if it can connect to the internet. If you turn off the wireless internet, the Kindle won’t know to delete your books. If you need to transfer more books in the future, just transfer them via your USB cable instead of via wireless.