friday five: smarter not harder edition

Today’s RevGal Friday Five comes from kathrynzj:

I returned to the office today after over a week of vacation. I’m not the best at re-entry, but I do find myself with a renewed interest in being a bit more stream-lined in the way I approach things. I’m also open to ideas.

What are 5 things you do or things you have bought that have made your life simpler/easier to manage?

Evidently it’s all about the tech for me. I tried to think of non-technical things, but I just kept coming up with more tech (except #5, which might be arguable).

1) Let’s remember I’m married to a techie gadget lover for this one. Universal Remote Control, the expensive one that connects to the computer. We go online, find our models of electronics, plug in the remote, and everything happens fairly automatically. The first week after the honeymoon, I called him in tears because I was home alone all day (grad school wouldn’t start until late September–it was a long summer) and I couldn’t get the blasted TV to work because he had it so technically fancy, I couldn’t just turn the darn thing on. He did not come running home to fix the TV, but eventually we got the universal remote. Amazing!!

2) GPS. I was an early adopter. I’m pretty notoriously bad at directions. The idea that I could have something in my car that would set me right when I went wrong. Wow! Her name was Gertrude Penelope Starfinder. We called her Gertie, and, though she died several years ago, she’s still the best GPS I’ve used. (She’s been replaced by the in-car one and a crossover version for the other car, not to mention ComputerGuy’s ‘Droid and my iPad, but I wouldn’t be without them.)

3) Laptop Computer. My first year teaching, I taught summer school in part to pay for a laptop. I could use it in my classroom AND at home. I could keep all my files on it. I could take attendance Right On the Computer! I could work on computer stuff wherever I wanted. I could also lend it out to friends who didn’t have home computers (This was ’95, and it was still a luxury, yet, yes, I had both laptop and desktop), which I did fairly regularly. It was a great computer, and I still miss two things: the trackball, and the little feet that turned to prop it up to a better angle for typing. (This has been replaced twice, with an iBook and a MacBook. Thanks to the iPad, I wonder whether I will replace my MacBook when it dies…?)

4) Palm Treo. It synced with the Mac, which was a pretty happy thing. I had a spreadsheet on it, and used it for in-class attendance and grades in Composition classes. I actually used the calendar. I also read texts for my Qualifying Exams and other public domain books on it. (The books are why I love the iPad/iPod. I did ebooks early and I love them. And I know it’s hard on the eyes, but I like the backlighting.) The iPad is easier to use, but the Treo pretty much did it all. The Treo had a great keyboard. Easier to write emails on that than on my iPod Touch and maybe even iPad. (When I got the iPad, I let the Treo go and got a non-“smart” phone because I didn’t want to pay for two data plans, and the iPad was much easier for the web-based stuff, but I could get there from the Treo and I miss carrying just one device.)

5) Computerguy. I don’t know that he makes my life technically easier, but he definitely makes it simpler to manage. He takes care of things I don’t. He keeps all these technology bits up and running. He takes the trash out, keeps the cars running, takes care of the lawn, fixes what breaks. He makes it possible for me to go off to evening meetings. He has health insurance for the family. And he goes to weddings with me. (This one is a keeper. No replacing it for the next iteration.)

Bonus: What’s something you wish you could manage better.

We have…
wait for it…
Too Much Stuff!!

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8 Responses to friday five: smarter not harder edition

  1. Very nice list! I am so dependent on the GPS (it’s on my phone) that I just take it for granted now.

    Let’s clone your Computerguy. He sounds wonderful!

  2. Purple says:

    Great ideas…wishing for a techie person in my house!!!

  3. Pingback: friday five: smarter not harder edition | Bookgirl | Luxury And Gadgets

  4. Amy+ says:

    I’m right in there with you on the GPS – could not find my way around otherwise. I got a palm years ago bc the calendar sync’d to my computer – loved it

  5. leah says:

    all tech, all the time–you were right! how fun; thanks for playing!

  6. I loved my Palm Treo…until I got an iPhone…which synchs automatically with my iPad via icloud…Having a techy spouse is really nice…i do too!

  7. Kim Matthews says:

    Isn’t that programmable remote one of the best pieces of technology ever? I love ours. My list is probably very much like yours.

  8. kathrynzj says:

    I honor people who use the tech instead of letting the tech use them. Thanks for playing!

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