Innovative technology is making it easier and faster for most people to take care of daily tasks. Here are a few examples that are pretty simple for most people to employ.
1. Automatic or online bill-paying: Years ago, when I started teaching people how to better manage their lives and bills – and save hundreds of dollars in late fees – there were piles of paper to deal with, including the filing of the bill once it was paid. No more! Now you can have most of your bills (think utilities) deducted directly from your bank or credit-card account and never worry about a late fee or, worse, service shut-off. You can have your credit-card statements emailed to you, and you can transfer funds, pay your bills, and manage your balances any time from the privacy of your computer or device. Take a screen shot of the statement, or download it completely and store it in a “receipt file” on your computer. Paperless and paid!
2. There’s an ap for that: Basically, you can find an ap for anything you want to be able to do easier, better, faster, and paperless. Be warned: having too many aps, or spending hours searching for the optimal tool, can end up costing you more time and frustration than the sought-after ap can compensate you for. But if you are having a challenge with a particular task in your life – chances are, there’s an ap for that.
3. Calendar: The days of carrying around a heavy planner are over for most with any sort of a smartphone. The secret to having a calendar work for you, however, is still to actually look at it.
4. Coupon-clipping: Newspapers, circulars, magazines … I think not. You can get deals emailed to you or sent to your phone, or simply Google what you want and see if there is a coupon you can use when shopping online or at a brick-and-mortar. You can print your own coupons and only get the one you want, for what you plan to purchase. Besides reducing paper piles, another potential benefit is reduced impulse-buying.
5. Video calling: I remember when there was talk of how someday we would be able to talk live and face-to-face with people all over the world! Wow! It seemed so miraculous. Well, it’s daily practice for most of us these days. Live far away from the kids? Just jump on Skype, ooVoo, or Google Hangout and voila, instant visiting time!
There are hundreds of ways technology has impacted the productivity of our lives. This is just a very small sample of technology you can employ easily and many of you probably already do. If you are reading this, you already make reading the paper simpler and more eco-friendly. Reading books, magazines, and newspapers in electronic format has forever changed the way the written word is delivered, and that’s okay. The messages are still there. The delivery system is just keeping up with the speed of life.