There are so many tools being offered to make out lives easier, just short of working from home, not needing a car, not having any bills, having all of your groceries delivered and no family drama, that I thought I would try some and offer ideas for the new year.
First – Many of you cannot bear to be away from your laptop, even to the point your bring your laptop to bed. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with drool hanging from your chin, the light still on and your laptop humming next to you, then you are hard-core and need help sleeping. No need for artificial light, and no need to continually take in sleep disturbing blue rays from your computer screen because now you can download a free program called f.lux. It determines your geographical location, the normal lighting in your surroundings (bedroom, bathroom, living room), and adjusts your screen brightness according to the time of day. This limits the amount of bright light your eyes and brain read helping your body’s time clock adjust to the appropriate time of day as well. http://stereopsis.com/flux/.
Second – block unwanted phone calls on yourcell phone, i.e. calls from the car salesman when you thought it was cool to test drive a Bentley!! There are lots of free applications you can download on your smart phone that will block calls and will allow you to create a black list. You don’t need to call your cell phone provider or pay extra to block unwanted sales calls. Of course, adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry to block unsolicited sales calls is also a good idea. Since 2008, when you register a telephone number, it is now on the registry permanently. You can actually verify your number is on the registry as well. https://www.donotcall.gov/.
Third – Google Calendar. I hear all the boos from you iPhone users, but I have to admit, Google Calendar rules. It is great for work and personal tracking, is easy to use, and never escapes you. You will need a gmail account if you do not already have one. The upside to an extra email account is that you can always use it when entering prize contests at the next Home and Garden show. http://www.google.com/calendar.
Fourth – Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, just like the old cork board that hung in your childhood bedroom, except now on your computer and doesn’t require scissors. It’s great if you are collecting ideas or items of interest whether you are a designer or an auto body guy, you can save ideas you have found while surfing the web. http://www.pinterest.com.