In addition to eating too much food and watching as much football as possible (not always an easy task with three young children) I find Thanksgiving to be a great time to reflect. I have a lot in my life to be thankful for, especially the aforementioned three children. But, for this Thanksgiving, I am focusing my list on technology tools that are worthy of thanks:
- Google: It started with search, but now it’s so much more. From Google Docs, to Google Maps to Google Drive (which I use mostly for pictures because of the facial recognition), I don’t go a day without using their web-based applications. While they might know more about me than I do at this point, I don’t mind as Google is making my life easier to navigate in more ways than one.
- Waze: Speaking of ways, this amazing app tells me how to get where I need to go the fastest. In 2013, it won the Best Overall Mobile App award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, and I couldn’t agree more. Using GPS and user feedback, there’s no other map or traffic app that comes close. Founded in Israel in 2008, it was purchased by Google for $1.3 billion in 2013.
- Dropbox: While I am starting to migrate to Google Drive, I still use Dropbox for my work-related documents and it allows me easily access files from my computer, smart phone, etc.
- The Blogosphere: I really enjoy so much of the content that’s out there, created by people (like me) who aren’t professional writers. Whether it’s The News Funnel founder Michael Beckerman and his Second Time Around blog, Duke Long and his ranting, and so many others, there’s always something to read and something to learn.
- CamScanner: I use this app to scan all of my receipts.
- AccuWeather: The “minutecast” feature is amazing as it tells you by the minute whether or not it will rain.
- Nest Thermostat: I live in a pretty old house, but upgrading my thermostat to this device allows me to control my thermostat from anywhere in world. Co-founded by two former Apple engineers, guess who bought this company earlier this year for $3.2 billion? Yes, it was Google.
- Vudu: This movie service allows me to log in and stream movies over the Internet. This is a great tool to keep the kids entertained, either at home or on the go.
What tools and technology are you happy for on this Thanksgiving? One thing is for sure, this list will continue to change and the challenge is keeping up with the latest.