7 tech gems that make life easier and save you time
Our everyday devices make life easier, but they can be time-consuming.
Do you constantly check your phone? You are not alone. Tap or click for proven settings to break your phone addiction.
Perhaps you have been slowed down and frustrated by an old laptop or desktop computer. Before you give up and buy a new one, you can probably speed up yours and get more life out of it. Tap or click for my five-minute tech solution for a faster PC.
Doesn’t saving time feel great? Keep going. Here are seven helpful ways technology can help streamline your life.
1. Measure your heart rate with your phone
You don’t need a smartwatch to measure your heart rate. Cardiio: heart rate monitor is an iPhone app that uses your phone’s camera to measure your heart rate. Place your index finger on the rear camera and the app will measure your heart rate by detecting color changes. Make sure to hold and hold your phone still. It also works with iPads.
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For Android, heart rate monitor works the same way. Cover the back camera, keep still and you’ll get a reading.
Remember that these types of apps are not a substitute for seeing a medical professional or talking to your doctor if you are not feeling well.
For more smartphone smarts, check out this fantastic list of 10 iPhone tricks I use every day, and so should you.
2. Get more legroom on your next flight
Google Flights is great for figuring out the best and cheapest way to get from point A to point B. But wouldn’t it also be great to know if you have to sit in a small chair all the time?
Download the Chrome browser extension called Legroom for Google Flights† When using Google Flights, you’ll also see how much legroom there is per seat per flight you’ve selected. Another solid option is SeatGuru.com† Enter your airline and flight number and you’ll see a map of the best seats with the most legroom, no download required.
Going on the road soon? Here are 10 travel tips that even experienced travelers can benefit from.
3. Post to all your social media accounts at once
Social media is fun, but it can also be a lot of work. You can spend way too long creating the right tweet, the right Facebook post, an Instagram photo, and then… well, you know.
Here’s a secret influencers and marketers have known for years: Social media scheduling apps streamline the process. You can draft a message with text, images or anything else your heart desires. Then select the time you want the message to go up. You can also create different versions for each social media network.
I love Buffer because it has a free option. You can manage up to three social media channels for free. If you have a small business or need to manage more channels, paid plans start at $60 per year.
RELATED: True or False: People May See the Embarrassing Things You “Like” on Social Media
4. Track your tax refund online
Are you expecting your tax refund in the mail? Here’s a secret to getting the post office to email you photos of your mail.
Your first stop is at the USPS website, USPS.com.Here you will see an option to sign up for Informed Delivery. This free service sends grayscale images of the mail that arrives to private customers and mailbox customers. These images include the front of the envelope, so your envelope will show the IRS as the sender if it’s your tax refund. Informed Delivery also allows you to manage all packages that arrive, leave delivery instructions or reschedule a delivery.
Pro Tip: The images sent via USPS only show you the first 10 pieces of your mail for that day. To see the rest, log into your account at USPS.com or skip the email altogether and use the free USPS app. Download here for Android or download it here for iPhone†
5. Sell your stuff without meeting in a parking lot
Craigslist used to be the best way to sell your old stuff online. Today there are many more options.
You can use Decluttr to sell tech gadgets such as old phones, computers, tablets and smart home equipment. No need to list, write a description, upload photos or negotiate with buyers. Simply upload information about the devices you want to sell and you will get an offer.
No need to dig out the old charger, original box or accessories. The price offered to you is for the device only. The payout is also quite good. Tap or click for a direct link and an explanation of how to sell on Decluttr.
For local sales, skip the yard sales and quickly list your stuff on OfferUp. The app is free to use and you can message others, so you don’t need to provide your phone number or email address. If you want to expand your range, OfferUp allows you to sell nationwide. For a local sale, the money changes hands personally. For goods that are shipped, payments are made through the app.
Tap or click for download links for OfferUp, along with five other Craigslist alternatives.
6. Hide your email address
One of the best ways to stop the constant flow of email spam is to not use your primary email address for online shopping, newsletters, and information retrieval.
A hidden trick in using Gmail is to set up unique email addresses when you need one. Just use your primary Gmail email address and put a plus sign after your name and add a word where you sign up. Let’s say your email address is [email protected] When you sign up for my free email newsletter, you can instantly create an email address that is [email protected] Yahoo allows you to create a disposable address in your settings. Apple’s iCloud allows you to have three different email addresses. But if you pay for iCloud, you can hide your email wherever you want.
7. Have all your email delivered in one place
Speaking of email, yours is probably spread across multiple devices. When you send, receive, or delete an email on one device, it’s critical to keep that workflow consistent across other devices. This way you don’t miss important messages or confuse others.
To set up synchronization on all your devices, go to your Gmail site on your desktop and click:
Click the gear icon and click Settings. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Under IMAP access, Enable Pop for all mail, Enable IMAP. Scroll down and select Save changes.
In that same menu, you will find a link for configuring email retrieval from other platforms. This is important when trying to access your account through third parties such as Thunderbird or the native Mail app on an iPhone. It is much easier to set up with the official Gmail app.
If you use Microsoft Outlook at work and the mailbox you want to sync is on your company’s Exchange server, it’s best to take the devices to your IT department. They can give you the domain name and other information you need to set up the mailbox on other devices.
Inbox feeling cluttered? Here are five must-do cleanups for your email inbox, network, and gadgets.
Man, 38 years old, married, two children under five, watched a YouTube video about lawn care, visited a hardware store in the past 10 days, listened to a podcast about lawns, earns $68,000 a year in a management position and lives in a specific zip code. That’s how specific advertising can be these days. In this episode, I sit down with Freestar’s advertising CTO Premesh Purayil to learn how it works and how to opt-out of the tracking.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts from. Just search for my last name, ‘Komando’.
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