We're relatively simple people. We keep things uncomplicated, avoid frivolous purchases, and use shortcuts to keep our lives easy. Because of this, a lot of our friends are surprised to learn about all the high tech gadgets that we use to power the blog and our everyday lives. We actually use quite a bit of technology to manage tasks and keep everything organized, streamlining access to all our data and keeping what we need just a click away. Here are the high tech tools that help simplify the life of a blogger.
My Macbook Pro is my baby. My other baby, that is. I do all my work on it and take it to blog on the go when I'm out of town. That beautiful laptop skin of our wedding day was sent to us by A Fun Company to show off when I went to BlogHer with the baby last summer.
We use a Nextbook 8, which costs $299 (compare that to the iPad's $499 price tag). It helps provide functionality and entertainment on-the-go, and is small enough to keep in my purse for easy access. Since it connects to any public WiFi, I can use it to take advantage of those spare minutes at the doctor's office or when I'm waiting for Nate to finish lusting over the tools at Sears.
It runs on the Android platform but doesn't have access to the Android market, which I found to be a bit of a hindrance before I realized that I can easily access free Android market applications online without using the market. I simply search for APKs (the acronym for Android Package Kit) on my laptop, download them and then move them over to the Nextbook with the included USB cable. For applications like WordPress and Pandora, I Googled “WordPress APK” and “Pandora APK,” respectively, then moved the files to the Nextbook and installed them by browsing to their location in the Nextbook's Explorer application. The tablet also features a reader with lots of included books and a music player, and it has a camera that takes video as well.
I've used an iPhone for years to manage my personal and work schedule, but have also recently started using a Samsung Galaxy SII since T-Mobile sent us one to try out. I love that Android supports direct uploads to Google+, which is a function that the iPhone is notably lacking. I use the Galaxy to take pictures of recipes and crafts, and they automatically upload online to Google+ for easy editing in my Picasa account, so I hardly even have to think about photo management anymore. It's also nice to have two phones and be able to keep my work life and personal life (including pictures, emails, schedules, etc) completely separate.
Apps and Tools
Just like dinner, no device is complete without the apps! We use Hootsuite to manage our social media accounts and Cozi to sync our calendars together. Online, I rely on Picnik for photo editing(pulling my photos in from Picasa) and Boomerang for scheduling emails that I want to go out at a specific time on any given day.
To save money, we don't have cable. We subscribe to Netflix and use our Playstation 3 to stream movies and shows directly to TV over WiFi. There are no complicated wires, and since we have to purposefully choose which shows to turn on, there's no annoying “junk TV” or commercials constantly on in the background.
Are there any devices or gadgets that you use to simplify your life? I'd love to hear more ideas to simplify my life as both an at-home mom and a high tech blogger.
This post is sponsored by Nextbook. All opinions are my own.