Technology that will make your life easier in the New Year
No one has enough time these days. With work projects, responsibilities at home and after-school obligations, most of us are stretched so thin that things inevitably fall by the wayside -- because you've just plain overlooked them, or you're just plain tired out. These modern-day issues are a driving force for tech companies to create time-saving, stress-relieving Web and smartphone applications to help you check off items on that to-do list. Whether you're a workaholic, a stay-at-home mom or both, you'll find a bit of relief with the following tech tools that will make your life easier in the New Year.
TeamLab for project management
Consulting firms aren't the only ones that can benefit from a little bit of project management. As a full-time freelancer who works from home, it's especially hard for me to divvy up my time focusing on my myriad work projects, along with keeping up with household chores and errands. So instead of keeping a mountain of sticky notes on my desk (which I used to do), I use project management software called Teamlab to keep on top of my daily to-do lists for home and work, and track how long it takes me to do each so that I can continually manage my time more efficiently.
Siri app for personal assistance
I'll go out on a limb and say that most of us can't afford to hire a personal assistant to help us with the minutiae of our days. But who says that personal assistance has to be a living, breathing entity? The smartphone revolution has brought us almost any type of phone application you can imagine, and apparently that includes having a robot personal assistant to cater to your every whim. While a few of these types of apps are on the market, the one that's getting the best reception thus far is Siri, a free iPhone app that takes task delegation to another level. It uses speech-to-text technology to schedule meetings, call cabs, even book a restaurant reservation.
Just Thrive for money management
Does anyone still balance their checkbook by hand? We sure hope not, because the past few years have brought an onslaught of fancy new budgeting and personal finance management programs that do a whole lot more than just balance your bank account. Web programs like Thrive provide an enormous benefit to the overextended masses by managing checking, savings and investment accounts, creating budgets, sending out bill reminders, giving you an estimated credit score, and creating spending and saving goals. Just having that information all in one place is a huge boon, but having a program that whips up all your reports and budgets and classifies your expenses in a matter of minutes is surely worth the time it takes to sign up.