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Family-Friendly Technology for You

Use clutter-free technology to make your life easier.

I hate clutter, yet I am a cluttered person when it comes to paper. One of the great things about technology is that it helped me be better organized and clutter-free or so I thought. Is computer clutter getting you down? Are you giving yourself a headache trying to remember which device and/or application you used to make a note, save a file or bookmark a website? Are you sharing your devices with your children? Here are some free options to help:

Clouds—yeah, those things up in the sky that make rain. No, a cloud in technology terms basically means internet resourcing. It is another way of computer networking. One popular use is for storage. Just like accessing your Gmail or other internet-based email, you can also access other types of documents such as spreadsheets or word documents. Yes, obviously this would be helpful for business professionals, but how does this help the average stay-at-home mom? Do you have a teenager who gets assigned summer or holiday group projects? Setting up cloud storage for a school project is an easy and cost-free way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Instead of sorting through dozens of emails and attachments from multiple people, all the files can be placed in one centralized location that is easily accessible through the internet. This is also handy in volunteer situations, for small homeschool groups and countless other situations when several people need to be connected to the same files or someone needs to be able to access specific files from many different locations. A few popular free cloud storage options are: DropBox, SugarSync, Google Drive and SkyDrive.

What tools do you use to make your life easier? Share in the comments section below!

Love Pinterest, but wish there was a way it would let you bookmark articles? Is the “bookmark” or “save to favorites” option in your internet browser just not detailed enough? If you love to read blogs and check out websites, but just don’t have time and don’t want to forget something, try Instapaper. Hit a button to “read later” and the article is saved to a board where you can easily read it later, print it, email it to someone else, share the link via social media or download to your ereader. You can categorize your articles into folders to make it easy to read on a particular subject. Similar to Pinterest, you can also browse articles that your friends have liked or saved.

One of my favorite applications is Evernote. It has more of a learning curve than the applications listed above, but allows me to simplify by using one instead of many. Do you have a student who is working on a summer research paper and he needs an easy way to keep track of dozens or more websites, articles, videos, sound clips, notes and more related to a particular theme? Are you a volunteer and trying to get ideas and collaborate with others for Vacation Bible School or a charity benefit?

Evernote is a combination of cloud storage plus picture sharing plus bookmarking plus notes plus plus plus. Basically I can gather ideas and organize a project all in one place. I can bookmark articles, save pictures that I like, keep track of websites, view pdfs, make notes, scan and save invoices and receipts and categorize and tag to my heart’s content. I can even share it with others, all from one application which is synced to all devices that I use.

Say goodbye to internet and desktop clutter, and hello technology OCD!

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