Last week I was lucky enough to get a new I-Phone and the best part-it was free! Gotta love the fact your phone is so old,  you qualify for a free upgrade!

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I had more fun finding apps! As I scanned the apps I downloaded, I realized almost ever single one of them had something to do with making my life more efficient or effortless.

This of course got me thinking. Can technology really make our lives easy or does it just complicate it more?

From the first microscope to the newest telescope, technology has changed the way we learn about the world, how we problem solve, and how we relate to each other. Scientist have certainly been able to unravel the mysteries of how this world works. Although they may never have all the answers, technology is allowing them to get close.

I still remember the day in July of 1999 when our school system began running Group Wise! Suddenly we went from having conversations on the phone to only speaking to people through electronic means. That was also the year I learned how to develop a web page and systematically managed to put the VBCPS Middle School Science website up as the VBCPS website! To this day I can’t tell you what I did, but I remember when I had to call IT and let them know “VBCPS, we have a problem!” Oh well, for five fleeting minutes, my work was famous!

As I have gotten older, I find myself picking up the phone more; wanting to simply hear a voice as opposed to reading words on a screen. I often wonder what my children’s life will be like in 10 years given the rate of change with technology.

I have found in the last five years that there are some technological tools that have made my life a little easier. Here are some cool apps I found that you might like as well-although I am sure many of my friends already know about them! I tend to be behind in the technology age!

This app was downloaded after I asked my husband the question-can we find a grocery app that would allow us to have one list that updated automatically regardless of who put in the information.

What a cool little app! After downloading it, I accepted a link from my husband and bzinga! We now have the Flannagan Grocery List! Yep, when either Bill or myself go to the grocery store, we can see what needs to be purchased. Just this morning I got up and there was the new Flannagan list for the upcoming vacation week!

So what else can this little app do? It has a built in coupon section. For the categories in the grocery list, you will find coupons linked to it. The only caveat to this is the coupon may not always be for what you need to buy but rather is for something also found in the category-like produce. Once you clip a coupon, you can print directly to your printer if it is wi-fi enabled or you can email them to yourself to print.

There is also a location feature that allows you to find all the stores in your area.

This little app is free and is a fun, navigation tool! Billed as a community navigation tool, this app allows you to post traffic updates, where cops are hiding, and can even allow you to share a drive. I also love the fact you can search for the cheapest gas! If you want to, you can even put in your mood for the day while you drive. The other day I was a ninja-yep slicing and dicing my way through traffic to get home!

In the groups setting, you can share the most relevant and up-to-date information about your commute. Of course the information is from people who actually drive the route every day! The only problem I have had with this app was on a recent trip to DC. For some reason, my route kept changing all by itself. Maybe the software had become possessed, or maybe someone was trying to get me to go a different direction. Either way, I had to keep rerouting myself. But as my husband reminded me, no technology device is perfect!

While technology may not be perfect, there are some technology tools that  make life a little easier. If a simple little grocery app can make our trips to the grocery store more productive, it was worth the download!

Published by Jenny Sue