Tech Tool Thursday: A Traveling We Will Go …

I was thinking about tech tools I use that might be useful for you … and thinking … and thinking.

You see, I’m posting this late because I’m in Atlanta for my Walden job.  I travelled all day yesterday, had meetings last night, and then all day today.  So it hit me — share some of the apps I use when I travel.  So here we go … drum roll!!

NOTE:  These are all iPhone apps — Android users, let me know if you can get them, too.

iPhone Apps

YouVersion Bible — Great app for many versions of the Bible and for some awesome devotions.  I actually use it all the time, but it’s a must-have when I leave home.

Southwest Airlines — Pretty much the only airlines I fly.  I can check my flight, have notifications sent, access my boarding pass, and even make reservations.

Weather Channel and MyRadar — I have to know what the weather is like so I can pack the right clothes. When I arrived in Atlanta yesterday it was 39° — when I fly home next Wednesday it will be 85°.  Needless to say I had to pack smart.  MyRadar shows me what the current radar looks like and what’s coming toward me.

Google Maps — Helps me find stores, restaurants, and shops.

Altimeter — I like knowing the altitude … what can I say?

Waze — Put in my destination and it charts the course.  Includes speed limits, road hazards, and more.

Uber and Lyft — I don’t take taxis or shuttles any more.  These are cheaper and usually cleaner because the drivers use their own cars.

iPhone Apps

FitBit — I’ve got to keep exercising and get enough sleep, especially when I’m traveling.  I can also record my food and water intake.

Music — Gotta have my tunes!!

Kindle — Gotta have my books!!

Netflix — Gotta have my movies!!

Yelp! — Helps me find restaurants in my area and then lets me know how good or bad they are.  When the restaurant website is included I can see what they sell that I like to eat.

Vegman — Locates vegetarian and vegan restaurants.  I don’t eat meat (only fish), dairy, sugar, or bread, so the choices can be slim.  This helps me see the restaurants that have pescatarian options.


I hope this gives you some ideas for apps … the choices are boundless!

What apps to do use when you travel?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I’d love to learn from you!!

 

 

 

Tech Tool Thursday: FireFox, Chrome, and Opera Add-ons

Last week I shared about choosing web browsers.  Now that you’ve downloaded Firefox, Chrome, and even Opera, there are some add-ons that will help you take shortcuts and give you access to items for later.

So how do you find and download add-ons in each of these browsers?  Here are some screen shots for each

Firefox

  • Open Firefox and click on Tools
  • When the menu drops down, click on Add-ons

  • A new tab or window will open
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on See more add-ons!
  • Search for add-ons using the search box

Chrome

  • Open Chrome and click on Chrome
  • When the menu drops down, click on Preferences

  • A new tab or window will open
  • Click on Extensions
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on Get more extensions
  • You are now in the Chrome Web Store where you can search for add-ons using the search box

Opera

  • Open Opera and click on Opera
  • When the menu drops down, click on Preferences
  • A new tab or window will open
  • Click on the puzzle piece

  • In the Extensions page, click on Get more extensions >
  • You search for add-ons using the search box

Ok, now you know how to add extensions to these browsers, here are some ideas of add-ons:

  1. Evernote
  2. Video download
  3. Audio download
  4. URL shortener (bit.ly)
  5. Eye Dropper
  6. Clear browsing data (cache) – very helpful if you run a lot of videos or games
  7. eBates
  8. Dropbox
  9. Google Drive and Google Docs
  10. Pinterest
  11. Toolbars (Diigo, Google)
  12. Themes – change the look of your browser

As you get used to adding software to your browsers, you’ll be able to add and delete them very easily.  Sometimes you never know if they work for you until you try them.


IMPORTANT NOTE: 

Pay attention to the rating systems and notes that are next to each add-on (extension).  This will clue you into the usefulness, compatibility, effectiveness of each add-on.

Leave a comment to let me know how this process is working for you.  By the way, once you go through these steps with one browser, you’ll be able to do it with any browser – even IE or Safari.

 

Tech Tool Thursday: Choosing a Browser + a Bonus

I was thinking about some of the tools that we use that are never explained and I came up with web browsers — so here’s a quick tutorial about how to choose the best ones.

First of all … what’s a browser?  Well, when you’re reading through posts on your Facebook page OR looking for a good deal on Amazon … you’re using a browser.  When you bought your computer it came with a browser — Safari on a Mac and Internet Explorer (IE) on a PC.

If you’re still using those default browsers, it might be time to step out and try a new one.  Why change if it’s working? Because other browsers provide better interactions for your online adventures, increased security, better extensions and more.

The best thing to do is download some different browsers and experiment.  If you’re not sure what browser you’re using, click on this link to What Browser Am I Using?  This page will give you some good information:

  1. What version of the browser and how to update it – be sure to use the latest version
  2. Links to other browsers

Here’s a quick over of my top 3 browsers:

  1. Google Chrome
    1. One of the fastest
    2. Easy interface
    3. Extensions and Add-ons to customize the browser for your needs
    4. Sync with other computers and mobile devices
  2. Firefox
    1. Fast and secure – I’ve had some issues with it on my Mac; it really bogs down
    2. Thousands of add-ons for customization
    3. Sync with other computers and mobile devices
  3. Opera
    1. The fastest of all three of these browsers
    2. Limited add-ons

I’ve been using Firefox for years.  I have my favorite theme, got my tabs where I want them, and all my shortcut links below those tabs … BUT … more and more I’m getting the spinning circle of death when I use that browser.  So, I downloaded Opera and am using it again after 8-10 years.  I love it … it’s so quick loading pages — especially my email pages.

I run Chrome at the same time.  I’ve found that browsers perform better for certain pages — I haven’t used Firefox for Facebook in a long time — I always use Chrome.  Now I’m using Opera for my email.

That’s why you need to experiment and figure out which browser you like best for your most trafficked pages.


BONUS

Last week I shared all about color palettes and using Pictaculous to match the colors of your images.

One of the coolest add-ons for Chrome is the Color Picker.  Once you’ve downloaded and installed Chrome

  1. Go to Settings (upper right corner you’ll see three vertical dots – click on them)
  2. Click on Extensions
  3. Now click on Get More Extensions and you’ll be at the Web Store.
  4. Type in Eye Dropper and it will come up with some others — click Add to Chrome.

You’ll now see the little eye dropper to the right of the address bar at the top of the browser.

Click on the eye dropper and this window will come up.  Now click on Pick color from web page.  This pop-up window will disappear and you’ll see an arrow with a little box.  As you scroll over the different colors of a page you’ll see the color in the box change.  When you see the color you want, click once.

To get the color number, click on the eye dropper again and you’ll see the color, like above, and all you have to do is copy and paste the color number in the top left corner of the colored box.  I use this tool with Canva, WordPress (where you are right now), and Aweber so I can make sure my branding is consistent.

Time to go have some fun!!  If you need help, leave a comment below and we can spend some time together helping you master these tools.

 

 

Tech Tool Thursday — Creating Color Palettes for Your Images

I saw this great post on Facebook this week and thought it might be a good tool to share with you.  Have you ever wondered what colors go with an image?  Have you taken a really cool picture — or found one on Pixabay (free pictures) — that you want to use for an inspirational post, but you’re not sure what color font or background to use?

Well that’s what came up for me when I saw that FB post by Sarah Hackman.  She said, “Google an image for your favorite thing and add the words color palette.”  Go ahead, try it.  I put in “surfing color palette” and here’s what I got:

Take a minute and go try it.  Pretty cool, huh?


But I wanted MORE!  These are great pictures to look at, but I can’t use them for anything.

So I did a quick search, “find color palette from image” and found this even cooler tool, Pictaculous.

Now you can create a color palette for your images.  Here’s what it brought up from a picture of me in Hawaii.


Next, I went to Canva, uploaded my picture, and copied the number under the color swatches and used it for the font color.

Each of the color swatches is a live link that will take you to a new webpage with the color numbers.

I ended up using the pink, but I didn’t like how dark it was, so I lightened it and here’s the result:

There are so many ways to use these tools — take some time and play.  If you need help, send me a note and we can spend some time together.

Have fun!!

 

 

 

Tech Tool Thursday, November 5

Google Docs

In the first Tech Tool Thursday, I shared how to access the Google Suite, which is made up of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.  So I thought I’d share a few more specifics about Google Docs today.
Google Docs
Once you’ve logged into your Google account, click on the 3×3 squares in the upper right hand corner of your Gmail page.
Google docs 2
Now click on the Google Drive icon.
Google docs 3
Next, click on the NEW button and then choose Google Docs.
Google docs 4

You should see a blank word processing document.  So before you go to far, give your document a name.  Click on the Untitled document and begin typing.  You can change it at any time, so don’t worry about coming up with the perfect name.
Take a look at all the items below your title in the image above.  If you’ve used other word processing programs you probably recognize File, Edit, View, Insert, etc.  Click and experiment with them so you become familiar with how Google sets everything up.
In the image below you’ll see a row of icons and drop-down menus that give you even more choices.
Remember, you can share your Google documents with anyone.  Also, as shown below, you can download your document in a variety of file types: Word, PDF, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The formatting doesn’t always transfer, so if you download it as a Word document, you will probably have to redo the formatting.
At any time you can go back to your Google Drive to create or delete documents.

Bonus Feature

Remember that time you were cranking on a document … you came up with the best ideas and were on a roll and then all of a sudden your screen froze … or went black … or your computer ran out of juice?
Well worry no more …
  • Google automatically saves your work every few seconds.
  • To see all the changes that you’ve made,
    • click on File
    • then click on See revision history.
This is a great feature especially when you’re working on a document with other people …
Oh, did I forget to tell you that?
Yep, you can work simultaneously with at least 100 people … in the same document.
Great way to brainstorm or work on a project without the hassle of emailing documents back and forth.

So how did you do with Google Docs?

  • What feature surprised you?
  • What did you like best about using Google Docs?
  • What will you use Google Docs for in the future?

Please let me know if you have any questions.