Friday, March 16, 2012

Gadgets and Aps that Make My Life Easier

Being a self-proclaimed Mom-Engineer-Nerd (momginerd), I am often asked for advice on technological items that I would recommend.  Although I am not really an expert on gadgets and tech, I LOVE them.  So, I thought I'd share some of the items/aps that make my life easier or more enjoyable and hope that you will add a comment at the end of the Blog on some of the things you like too!

These will be in no particular order, but I like lists ;)

1.  iPhone
 I used to be a die-hard BlackBerry Girl.  I would look down my nose at iPhone or Droid users and think that those are TOYS whereas I have a real workhorse in my crackberry.  I liked the blackberry because I could get my work email and calendar delivered directly to the phone.  This was HUGE as a working mom with 3 kids, as it gave me the ability to stay in touch with work, while still taking the kids to the doctor, going on field trips, etc.  When my company announced they were going to start supporting iPhones with Good to do the same thing and simultaneously my Bold started acting up (for the 3rd time in a year), I took the plunge and ordered my iPhone.  And let me tell you, it has been a double edged sword.  Whereas before my phone was used as, well a phone, for email and calendar and texting, that was about it.  Now, my iPhone is like an umbilical cord attached to all aspects of my life. Without it I wouldn't remember to take my meds, read the news, or check FaceBook.  Because of this flexibility I also have become entrenched in the Curse phenomena known as Words With Friends.  I also check FaceBook a lot more since I can now do it on my phone more easily. 

2.  Evernote

This is an Ap that is available for all smartphones, PC's, and Tablets.  It is basically a "get yo' shit organized" Ap that is FREE!  In order for me to maintain any semblance or sanity and not lose my schmidt on a daily basis I do a lot of list making, note taking, calendar planning.  Evernote works in that I can do this and COMMUNICATE the lists I have made to Hottie Husband seamlessly.  For example,  HH was grocery shopping (yes, he does this, NO you can't have him), and I remembered I forgot to add kale to the shopping list.  I simply went to the Evernote Ap and added it to the list.  Meanwhile HH was shopping from his Evernote Ap and didn't even know that I had added this item.  This also works for adding things I want but am too guilty to buy (Ice Cream).  *Ahem*

3.  Say Mmmm

This is a website that allows you to plan menus, store recipes and create and organize grocery lists.  It has made menu planning SO much easier for me.  I religiously plan the weekly menus every Sunday.  the BEST part about Say Mmmm is that it LINKS TO EVERNOTE!!!!!  So I can create my menu, look up recipes and then send the weekly menu, recipes and grocery list all to Evernote.  I also send it to my kids Evernote accounts and I no longer hear 100 times per day, "what's for dinner." Bonus, bonus, bonus!

4. Kindle

This is version of Kindle I currently own.  It is my second Kindle. I read voraciously, probably 3 - 4 books per month.  I also like to read 2 - 3 books simultaneously.  An eReader is a great invention for me, because I don't have to carry around multiple books, just the light and compact reader!  Of course now I am drooling over the newest version the Kindle Fire.  AND here is the thing, I will still be keeping my old one for reading during lunch breaks, taking to kids sporting practices etc.  I just need want the Fire for the backlit screen, ability to watch movies, play games, and for magazines.  Why not an iPad, I have been asked.  And for me, it is mostly a matter of cost.  Why spend $500 for an iPad when I can spend less than half that on a Fire and have all the things an iPad does?  I already have an iPhone, so I just am (for right now) not interested in investing more money into an iPad which is an overgrown iPhone, without the phone.  We are already avid supporters of, so streaming movies from their Prime site is very appealing.  That is, of course, not to say I would not accept an iPad if it were offered, feel free to let me know if you'd like to donate one to me ;).

5. Waze
This is a navigation application for SmartPhones.  It is a unique approach to navigation because it crosses navigation with social media.  As you are driving, if you see an accident, traffic jam, etc you simply push a simple icon on the screen and it sends your report to all other drivers near you.  Every time you stop, it will flash the local traffic  issues on your screen.  When you use the navigation portion of the application, it will look at your route and suggest alternative routes to save time if there are reported traffic issues.  I commute 40 miles each way to work on the busiest roads.  This application has saved me countless lost minutes and episodes of road rage already.  Waze is a must, in my opinion for commuters!  I also found this neat dash pad mat for my iPhone that allows it to stick to the dashboard without doing any permanent damage.  I have been using it for 2 months and it has never allowed My Precious (iPhone's nickname) to fall! 

What are some of your favorite Aps and Gadgets?  Any I need to add to my (ever growing) list?


1 comment:

  1. Hey Nic, I'm an evernote fan too! Also here's a few others of my favorites:

    I can't get Waze to run without eating up my battery something fierce - neat app but I can't bear to see the power drain.


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