But there on Productivity @ Home, I feel compelled to pause and give thanks for some of the many tools that make my life so much more simple and fruitful. So in the spirit of giving thanks, the following are my top ten tech related thank you notes this year:
10. My Amazon Kindle – This little six-inch piece of hardware has revolutionized my reading habits this year. It’s always tucked in my purse and ready to go. I love the fact that I’ve downloaded dozens of Catholic classics for free or very low prices this year.
9. Skype – Skype and I got off to a bit of a rough start, but I’ve grown to know and love it this year. I use it for podcasting, for keeping in touch with friends around the world, and even occasionally for videoconferencing with my boys.
8. Podcasts – These simple mp3 recorded files from SQPN.com and other content providers have entertained me, inspired me, and educated me – and all for free!
7. YouTube – I love learning, so naturally I love YouTube. It’s helped me out of many a pickle this year, including one “emergency” situation where we needed to learn to tie a double Windsor knot immediately. I’ve even become a video producer myself and am now creating a series of children’s videos related to the Sunday Gospel readings. Again, all for free!
6. My Solar Panels – This year, after so many years of paying exorbitant electricity bills, we were able to save up enough money to purchase a small solar system for our home. We have not been able to completely replace all of our electricity usage, but we’re making a dent! It also just feels like the right thing to be doing…
5. My MacBook Pro – I was able to upgrade my computer this year and have fallen in love with my new MacBook Pro. I’m also eternally grateful to the geniuses at the Apple Store who have trained me on how to best use this amazing tool.
4. Twitter – In 140 characters or less, I’ve vented, communicated, learned, laughed and prayed with thousands of friends around the world.
3. Facebook – My favorite social networking site helped me to write a book this year! Honestly, without my Facebook friends, I would have had a very difficult time coming up with many of the rich examples that will be shared in my upcoming book. Additionally, I love Facebook for keeping in touch with my “real world” friends who are scattered across the country.
2. My DVR – I’m not a big television watcher, but I do love being able to watch the few shows I enjoy exactly when I want to view them, and without commercials!
1. My iPhone – It’s so much more than just a telephone! My iPhone is basically a computer, an entertainment system, a camera, a prayer tool, and more. And oh yes, it makes phone calls too!
What tech tools and gadgets make your world simpler and more enjoyable? Are there any on your “wish list” this year?