Bluetooth. Twitter. Blackberry. Ipod. SMS. GPS. IM. Help!! As a parent it is pretty hard to keep track. On a recent visit with some Torontonians, I realized that even I was out of touch. Technology can intimidate me, but it should exist to make our lives easier. So get out the PVR manual, create a Twitter handle and use technology to your advantage. We need all the extra time we can get, and sometimes a text or an email received on a wireless device can decrease stress in our hectic lives. Here are some ideas:
- Sign up for iGoogle, and subscribe to SMS feeds for the news, blogs you like (UrbanMommies, perhaps?), and the weather. If you make it your homepage you see your world at a glance each time your computer boots. As a busy mom, I certainly find it hard to read the paper or watch the news.
- If there are topics you have tons of interest in, you can sign up for Google alerts – so that you are always up to date on the latest breastfeeding research or news from Dr. Sears.
- Phones are expensive, but if you’re like me, you are never far away from it. Make sure your phone’s features work for you. Evaluate your needs – photos, music, texting, email, internet, or, well, phoning. My husband feels like he’s talking into a calculator while using his Blackberry, but I couldn’t live without mine, as text and email are crucial.
- GPS. They have come down in price, and they will find the nearest pizza joint or playgroup, as well as getting you un-lost. Ah-hem.
- PVR. No more rushing to the store for another Dora video. Program your PVR to record them all (and for you? You no longer have to make sure the kids are actually asleep during Grey’s Anatomy). No more lost DVDs or old VCR tapes to worry about either – congratulations – you’re saving the environment.
- Applications: if you are lucky enough to have a Blackberry or an Iphone, get informed. Hundreds of cool applications are available – many of them free – that will help you get organized (and keep you going when you’re waiting for your H1N1 vaccine). See our articles on Ovulation predictor tools and household cleaners.
- Get off the phone in the car. And if you can’t, get a Bluetooth. This is a wireless earpiece that allows you to talk hands-free. And makes you look like you work at the GAP.
- Podcasts. The news, the latest CBC Radio 1 thing. Make every moment count. You don’t get many.
- ipods: If you get the video one you can download Barney and avoid having to lug a DVD player on the airplane.
- Disorganized? Google has a free calendar feature that you can access from your phone. You can send yourself reminders, and other people – like your nanny or your husband – can check your schedule and add their own profiles too.
Jill Amery is starting to get hooked on technology.