A simple definition for technology is the application of science to improve our lives. So let’s see what’s available, and what steps we can take today to do just that!
Here are my top 7 recommendations for putting technology to use for you:
- An online calendar – a simple online calendar, such as those offered by Microsoft, Apple, or Google, is a powerful planning tool. The information is stored online and can be accessed on any of your devices which have a calendar app or a web browser. Calendars can be ‘shared’ by their owners to improve communication and coordination with others.
- Communication is now easier than ever with text and instant messaging, social networking, email, and even video chatting. With all these tools, however, it seems effective communication is becoming a lost art. I can remember how special it was to my mother to get a long distance phone call on Sunday morning when the charges were lowest.
- Shopping has changed dramatically. We can now sit comfortably in our own home and order just about anything we need. By first using a search engine such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo, it’s easy to perform price and description comparisons online. I often start there and make a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store where I can physically examine the item and discuss pros and cons with a knowledgeable salesperson. Of course, online purchasing and delivery is bigger than ever. The two heavy-weights are Amazon, Walmart, and ebay. But with a little bit of work, a better price may be found when purchasing direct from the producer or another outlet such Barnes and Noble, Newegg, or Target.
- Banking and bill paying has become much easier. Mobile banking apps make it easy to see current balances, pay bills, and transfer funds. Additionally, most utilities now offer the ability to automatically pay your bills using a credit card or bank account draft. Being able to take just a few minutes a week to pay bills and check finances has freed up a lot of time in my schedule.
- Entertainment choices are more numerous than ever. While television markets transition from traditional broadcast services towards online streaming. Viewers have chosen to time-shift their viewing habits as well; watching what they want, when they want. In a similar way that households shifted from broadcast to cable, viewership is now changing from cable (or satellite) bundled subscriptions, to a more personalized content subscription in which a viewer has more flexibility to choose only the content they want and stream it online. A simple online search of ‘alternatives to cable’ will show a myriad of offerings.
- Grocery and household goods shopping. Most chain grocery stores now offer online tools and services to do your shopping for you; after which you can just pick them up, already bagged (for free), or have them delivered (for a charge). Some of these use third party services such as InstaCart or Groceries to Go, or Green BEAN. If you like your food already prepared, try GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates; or search for ‘food delivery apps’.
- Health management tools are now more than just exercise trackers. In addition to smart devices that check your heartrate and number of steps you’ve taken, there are entire workout plans which you can use to plan, and maintain, an exercise routine. Some are subscription based, and some are free. Searching for ‘workout apps’ or ‘free workout apps’ will provide some really good choices ranging from beginners to dedicated enthusiast. But exercise apps are just one aspect of health management. Diet tools are also available by the score and easy to use. Most have a deep selection of food items, even those from restaurants, which the user can choose from when detailing their daily intake. This really has made the process of monitoring and tailoring your daily intake more simple than ever. Last, but not least, are the tools to track your medical information now offered by healthcare providers. Along with scheduling visits, these tools give access to your latest test results and medical records. They also offer tools for correspondence with your doctors and providers; including notifications about upcoming appointments.
All of these new tools should provide us with more free time…..right? But it often doesn’t seem that way. Here’s a simple trick for realizing the benefit of using a time-saving technology.
***Take a moment to write down what you’re going to do with the time you’re saving.***
Try it. I’ll bet this simple step will provide a feeling satisfaction with the steps you’ve taken to gain control of your time, and your life.
What are some of the tools you use to manage your household, time, and life?
As always, thanks for reading.
And remember to take the next step…