Another list of favorites. This time, the technology that has simplified my life or just made things more fun.
If you have not switched, well...you just have to. The best part is that when you switch to G-mail you don't have to tell a soul. G-mail can check your old e-mail accounts for you (numerous accounts actually) and you can read it right in G-mail. The second best part is that you archive messages instead of deleting them and then all of your e-mails are SEARCHABLE! This is an amazing and wonderful thing. The third best part is hard to explain, but it's known as Inbox Heaven. You can read about it here. It has been very helpful to me.
I would not read blogs if it were not for Google Reader. I would forget which ones I wanted to look at and forget the address or forget where I saved the address. In Google Reader you can save all of the blogs that you want to follow and it will show you when there is a new entry. Pretty cool. A one stop shop.
I LOVE evernote. It is such a handy catch all. My friend Tricia's husband Steve wrote a short review about it here.
This just keeps getting better and better. For $79 per year you get free two day shipping on tons of things. For us this alone is worth the price because all of our family lives in another state. We would spend more than this just shipping birthday presents to relatives. I use it to order tons of homeschool curriculum and supplies and many times the prices are better than they are in stores. Some used items are even included in the free shipping deal. You also have access to lots of instant view movies and TV shows free. AND, they just added a lending library for your Kindle. You can "borrow" tons of books, many recent best sellers. Even if you don't have a Kindle you can get the free version on many devices.
This is a new favorite. I honestly don't love the search engine as much as I love google. But, after hearing so many stories of people getting Amazon Gift Cards free through Swagbucks, I had to try to like it. Now that I have been using it for about two months I have enough "bucks" to get $10 worth of Amazon Gift Cards. I have not been doing anything extra so this is just free money. Definitely worth it. You just sign up on the website and then click the little arrow in the corner of your search box and change the default to Swagbucks.
It is not a necessity by any means, but man I love this phone! Things I love:
*5 megapixel camera with me all the time (and can shoot video too)
*syncs all of my address book and calendar with my Mac so I also have those with me
*I use the timer all the time.
*I use the calculator when I am shopping and it is SO MUCH easier than my old phone.
*The voicemail has a window showing each message and who it is from. You can listen or delete them from there instead of having to listen to every message and wait and wait and wait to get to the right one.
*has my iTunes music on it and I don't need headphones
*I can put my audio books on it.
*apps. Let me mention a few of my favorites.
I now have my grocery list on my phone. It may (or may not :0) take a second longer to grab my phone and check the box next to the thing I need, but it is all in one place. Instead of having the list on the fridge, the scrap of paper on my desk, the back of the church bulletin, and an e-mail to myself all with things to buy...it is all together neatly organized on my phone. And, I never leave it at home. It is always with me. Also, the list stays on my phone and so once I have added things I never have to do it again. Just check the box and it is on the list and sorted by departments in the store. When you buy the item, check it off and it goes to the bottom of the list. One last benefit is that you can enter everything on the web from your desktop computer instead of having to enter it all on your phone.
We use the Topical Memory System for our family to memorize scripture. Verseminder is put out by the same people and so uses the verses that we do at home. It progressively removes words as you practice so that you are filling in more and more blanks as you recite the verse. Or you can just look at the verses as flash cards. Either way, they are all with me on my phone. This app is nothing fancy, but it is exactly what I was looking for.
I have a Kindle and love all of the free books that I can get on it. Some books are even cheaper to get on the Kindle than buying them new or used. My phone has a free Kindle app so I can access any of my Kindle books from wherever I am. Very handy when you are stuck somewhere.
This is amazing. You can scan the bar-code on something and it will tell you prices for that item at surrounding stores and online. Very handy for comparison shopping.
Stack the States
The boys love this and I do too! They are learning Geography and it is really fun. Everyone here wants to play Stack the States so it is a great reward to hand out.
Stack the Countries
Same idea, but a little harder because it has to do with countries and we are not as familiar with that info.
There is a paid version, but this one has been just fine.
This is a multiplication flash card app. Here is a review that summarizes it pretty well.