Anyone that knows me personally knows that I am not the most technologically savvy person. I didn’t even own a smartphone until about a year ago. I’d get laughs as I pulled out my basic slide phone to take down phone numbers. I was also pretty much the only person at the preschool holiday parties taking photos with my point and shoot and not my iPhone. I was okay with it though. More than okay, I actually took a little bit of pride in the fact that I was using basic technology and wasn’t staring at my phone 24/7.
Eventually, not having access to the internet and email on the go began to get very inconvenient. I was also losing out on things like great coupons, changes in social plans (I had no access to email outside the home), easy photo sharing with friends and family, among many other things. It was finally time to upgrade to an iPhone.
I’m starting to come around in other ways as well. My family has switched from a family wall calendar to an iCloud family calendar (although I still carry a paper planner). I’ve also started to take advantage of all the great apps and websites out there for things like navigation, accounting, and even grocery shopping.
Technology is also helpful for increasing productivity and keeping you organized. Obviously, this is a big appeal for me. Here are some of my favorites that I find useful for those reasons:
Calendar Syncing– Now that I have started syncing my calendar with my husbands, managing our schedules has been a lot easier. I simply use the calendar on my iPhone and created a family calendar that is shared with my husband’s phone. I know some people prefer to do this with an app like “google calendars,” but so far using the phone calendar has worked great for us. When I add an event, I choose to add it to the family calendar so it appears on his calendar as well, or my personal calendar where only I see it. I also like that when a new calendar event is added to the family calendar he receives an event notification that has to be confirmed. So basically, he can’t claim anymore that I didn’t tell him about an event coming up.
Online/App Grocery Shopping– Honestly, I use to think people who ordered their groceries were lazy but in reality, they are smart. I don’t generally have my groceries delivered, but I do order them online and pick them up in a sort of drive through. It’s a small fee to do this, but I save so much money in the process that it makes up for this fee and some. I order my groceries the night before and pick them up the next day. This method helps me stick to my grocery list and I don’t ever have to question whether I’m out of something, because I can just look. I can sit down and meal plan with sales ads, and add my ingredients on the spot. Pickup is so easy too. I usually just grab them on the way home from picking my son up from school. Seriously, I’m never going back.
Chatbooks– While I store most of my photos online, I still love printing out some of my photos into photo books. Chatbooks is a great way to easily create photo books that area printed and sent to you. They are smaller books that don’t take up as much space, are priced great, and with their app you can easily grab photos from your phone and social media accounts. It can also sync with your social media and automatically create the books as you go. It’s not a fancy customized book that you spend hours creating, but sometimes simpler is better. http://www.Chatbooks.com
Artkive– Artkive is a great app that is use to scan and store artwork. All you have to do is take a picture of the artwork and Artkive will store is along with the child’s name and age. The art can then be printed into books or other awesome things like pillows and shower curtains. Apps like these are great for people like me who have children who create A LOT of artwork. I always save my favorites, but now I can throw the others away without as much guilt. http://www.Artkive.com
Banking Apps- I was skeptical about this one at first. I’ve used online banking for years, so I didn’t think I really needed an app for it. Plus, I was slightly worried about the security of it. I gave in one day because I didn’t feel like going to the bank and wanted to try mobile check depositing. I love it now! It’s so easy to use and no longer needing to drive to the bank to deposit a check is awesome. There are other great features of the app as well, but it’s worth it for the deposits alone.
I may tend to be a little late to the game with new technology, but I am always willing to embrace something that makes my life simpler, saves time, and my sanity. I’ve found these do just that.