Monday, September 27, 2010

Keeping Up With Technology

Over the past few years I have discovered some pretty cool and free resources; just over the past month I have found and started using some of these features.

As you know, Pamm's House has it's own Facebook page.  I also have a personal Facebook page that has allowed me to connect with old friends and distant family.  It's nice to be a part of their daily lives, look at photos, and get reconnected.

If you have a cell phone you might have an application that connects you with Facebook.  My mobile phone is only set up for calls and texting and until recently I assumed I could not connect my phone to my Facebook, but that is not true.  You can set up to update Facebook by text messages. You are able to choose which updates you want via text messages (or none).  You can also set up to update your status via a text message.

You can set Facebook up to accept status updates and photos as well as get notifications via email.

As you know, I use Google Calendar to keep parents updated about their child's day.  What I found recently is that I can text items to the Google Calendar via my cell phone.  To set that up, you go to "calendar settings" and look for "mobile settings" and set it up from there.

The calender figures out phrases like "next Tuesday at noon" and places your item at the right time on the right day!  The only thing is that it puts these items on your main calendar, I haven't figured out how to put items on specific calendars.  I still use this feature, though, and just move items to whatever calendar I need at a later time.

You can have reminders sent by text to your phone and/or email reminders sent.  I don't use Outlook (email program) but I have heard you can integrate Google Calendar with your Outlook or other calendar, sync it up, then update by text.  You can also integrate some mobile calendars with Google Calendar for ease of use between a computer and cell phone.

It's hard to know where to start with this one because there are so many things you can do with this!  The best way to understand it is to watch the short videos at Google Voice Help.

You can make US calls for free from your computer; you can consolidate all you numbers (home, cell, work, etc.) into one number and tell it where to ring or ring all your phones; you can use Google Voice's voice mail for any or all your phones and have it transcribed and sent to you as a text and/or email; you can screen calls on any or all of your phones; you can set it to give one group of contacts one voice greeting, and another group of contacts another voice greeting; and so much more.

I'm sure there are many more services I have not discovered yet, or are not of interest to me at this time.

Everything I mentioned above can be used for free, as long as you have a cell phone plan with unlimited texting and an internet connection.

In my next post will be how we reduced our cable bill......


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