Survive Daylight Savings With These Tech Tools

Daylight savings, why do we do daylight savings, technology, time saving apps, social media for business

Only 74 More Clocks to ChangeSometime long ago, a group of government officials decided they would mess with people’s natural sleeping patterns and throw them off for weeks by telling everyone in most of the United States (except for people who live in Arizona and Hawaii) that suddenly in the middle of fall (used to be the last week in October, but it’s now the first week in November), the overworked citizens would be given an extra hour to sleep, or use however they would like.   But it isn’t a real gift, it is more of a loaner, because five months later (used to be in March but is now in April), that hour will be taken back, and the fine citizens of 48 states and a few US Territories will once again be out of whack!

Not only do we walk around for weeks completely off kilter, but the day after this magical time change takes place, people have to go around their homes searching for every clock they own to either make it fall back or spring forward, thus wasting the very hour they were just given.

So as you begin to take inventory of all your time pieces this week, I decided I would share some fun apps and tips to either save you time, or fill the time you will have after missing your flights and appointments.  Perhaps you should just throw all clocks away and start your own time zone!  I’d love to hear about the apps and tools you are using to save (or make up lost) time.

  1. Glympse (available on Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows7) This app is for those of us who will be at least an hour late for every appointment because we set our clocks back an hour after our spouses had already set them.  Open the app and send a link via email or text message to the person you are meeting with and let them track you on the map.  It’s like watching Santa fly over Kansas on his way to your house via NORAD tracking.  Very cool.
  2.  GateGuru (available on both Android and iOS) This app will save you time while traveling especially when you have that one hour layover and need to find a quick bite to eat but you are hankerin’ for a Quizno’s sub.  Open up Gate Guru and the GPS will show you what exactly is available in that concourse and it includes reviews by other travelers!
  3. AutoPark (on iOS only) This is the app that will save you time and money.  As you walk around for the next few weeks not paying attention to where you are parking your car, AutoPark will help you find your parked car, tell you how much time is left on your parking meter, and will show you nearby services such as banks, car-washes, parking lots and more!
  4. Banking Apps (Wells Fargo; Chase; BofA and more) This is not our grandma’s Savings and Loan anymore!  We can save loads of time by taking our tasks on the road and it is safe.  Most banks today have mobile banking features that allow you to pay bills, transfer money and even find nearby ATMs all with your mobile device, and now we are seeing apps for many banks that are taking it further allowing you to even deposit your checks by taking a picture of the check with your phone!  WOW- you can get your banking done and go back to bed for another hour!

So as you FALL BACK on November 6th, be aware that you will probably spend the next few weeks recovering from the confusion that comes from not knowing if you really gain an hour or if you have you spent more time telling yourself “It’s really 5 o’clock right now, not 6.”  Remember when people tell you that time is your enemy, you can tell them that fortunately technology is your friend and together you have made peace with daylight and night time.  They won’t understand what you are talking about and you can just walk away…saving MORE TIME!

Gina Schreck, Shreck, Social Media for Business, Social marketing, technology

The Time Challenged, Gina Schreck

Gina Schreck is the President and Chief Hooligan at SynapseConnecting.  If you have time this week and need to chat with someone about your social marketing needs, give her a call…She’s got TIME!
This blog post has been sponsored by CLEAR, the service that speeds you through airport security. CLEAR members save so much time at the airport, it’s like having Daylight Savings every time you travel! CLEAR, the (self-proclaimed) Official Sponsor of Daylight Saving Time, is celebrating the extra hour we get on Nov 6th with a series of travel and time-savings posts on their blog – and here, on my blog too.
Time saving technology, Daylight savings, Clear, airport travel
To help you see what CLEAR is all about, they are offering my readers a special 3-month FREE trial! Don’t settle for just one extra hour this Daylight Savings. No need to deal with unpredictable security lines, the stress of rushing to your gate, or the time you waste getting to DEN extra early. Click here to get your pass and try CLEAR’s enhanced travel experience for yourself. Just enter my code (CMNDST09) in the promo code field on the payment page.

Steve Jobs Thought DIFFERENT To Leave His Mark…Will You?

Steve Jobs dies at age 56, ipad, apple computer

Steve Jobs with iPad

This afternoon we learned that Steve Jobs, who had been battling pancreatic cancer for several years, lost the fight.  As I sat, reading about it, with my Macbook Pro in my lap and my iPad sitting next to me, I looked over and noticed my husband was reading WIRED magazine on his iPad.  What an impact Steve Jobs had on the world.   He made computers cool, music truly portable, gave phones an education, challenged us to “Think Different” and then even helped the non-computer user catch up with it all using a very different portable touch screen tablet, called the iPad.  He was an innovator and a visionary.  He not only created innovative technology, but he created a way for people to connect with people. He created a cool kid’s club that everyone was invited to.

With all of the tech tools in our lives and all of the connections we make using some of the new technology, we must ask ourselves, “Are we creating ways for people to connect with people?”  We may never create a magical device that brings rainbows and unicorns dancing in it each day (My iPad still does that), but we can leave a legacy as great as Steve Jobs if we use the tech tools to reach out to our customers, our friends and yes, even that family member you hesitated for months on connecting with before you accepted their friend request.

Do something to connect today~ Give a kind word in a comment section of a blog (hypathetical example), write on the wall of someone you haven’t talked to in a while telling them you are thinking of them, or just send a tweet to let a customer know you appreciate their business.

Here’s to living a life as sweet as an APPLE!

Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs passes away, technology tools

May We ALL Think Different

Over 100 Apps Worth Checking Out for Your iPad or Tablet

[This post was updated on July 22, 2017 with new apps and some of the original apps have been removed because they are either no longer available or something better has taken their place here on the list.]best business apps for ipad or tablet

This could be the longest blog post ever recorded! But with so many people getting iPads and tablets, and so few knowing how to use them for anything but expensive email readers, we have pulled together our favorite business and creative apps that help us stay productive on the go here at SocialKNX.  In social media management, we live online and we are not tethered to our desks anymore, because of so many wonderful apps.  We use lots of photo apps for creating visual content and content curation apps for staying up on the latest news in many industries.  I update this list every few months, so if you are checking back, you may see some new apps and you may notice a few got their pink slips. Please let us all know what apps you love or post your questions in the comment section.  We love hearing about new apps to check out.  Okay, here we go…The BIG App Round Up for November 2013.


NEWS & SOCIAL MEDIA content curation app for social media management

Flipboard:  If you reminisce about the good old days when you got a daily paper delivered to your door, this app is for you. A customizable magazine that curates content from around the web FRESH every time you open it.  Flipboard also allows you to share the content you find helpful with friends on Twitter, Facebook, or email. COST: Free

Hootsuite: If you are using Hootsuite on your desktop, this app mirrors most of the features and columns you have set up and allows you to schedule and post to all of your social networks- LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter and even Instagram.  COST: Free

Pocket: This is the best research tool for saving web pages to read later. Create your POCKET account on your computers, and then load the app on your iPad, iPhone or Android devices so when you are reading a blog post that you want to read later or save for research, simply click on the “POCKET” link in your browser or “ADD TO POCKET” on your app, and then like magic it is in your Pocket and available on all of your devices to read on the go. COST: Free

WordPress: This allows you to blog on the go. Log into your blog and throw out those excuses that you have to be at your desk to blog. Load photos, tag the post, and many other features of the full featured WordPress. COST: Free

USA TODAY: Be sure to download your FREE newspaper each day and especially if you are about to hop on a plane.  All the same features and articles as the paper version.   COST: FREE


Find My iPhone: THE MOST IMPORTANT APP ON ANY iOS DEVICE!  This should be the FIRST app you add to your iPad, iPhone, iTouch and any Apple laptop.  It will track down your missing device and show you on a map where it is.  Great if you leave your iPad in the back of an airplane seat or your phone in the back seat of a taxi (hypothetically of course!) COST: Free

Android Device Manager: THE MOST IMPORTANT APP ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICE!  This app allows you to have an alarm go off loudly, even when the volume is turned all the way down.  You can track it via GPS by logging into Device Manager on your computer, wipe the data from the device and much more. COST: Free

Square: An AMAZING app for those who take credit cards for payments of products or services. The Square plugs into your phone, or ipad headset port and then with this app, you type in the sales amount, swipe the card and email the customer their receipt. (You must first sign up and be approved by Square) You can almost hear the cha-ching of money going into your bank account! App COST: Free

Stripe: Another great tool to take payments from clients or customers. This works in person or through your website. Like Square, you have to get signed up before simply using the app.  App COST: Free

Analytics HD: This Google Analytics app helps you keep tabs on your web traffic on the go and in REAL TIME. Instantly showing you where your web traffic comes from, the demographics and how long visitors stayed and so much more. Of course it puts your data in colorful charts and graphs that are easy to read and share in meetings. COST: $6.99

SoundNote: This is one of my favorite note taking apps for client meetings where I don’t want to forget a word. Turn on the recorder as you take notes (typed or written with your finger or a stylus) and like the Livescribe Pen, you can go back later to the exact place you need in the audio by touching the page of your notes. COST: $4.99

Noteshelf: This app is for those of you who love writing, mindmapping your notes or just creating notebooks for each topic. Like iBooks, you get a bookshelf to fill with custom notebooks. You hand write or use a stylus to take the notes. COST: $4.00

Evernote: This is a FABULOUS Superhero note-taking, remember everything, project management tool, allowing you to keep notes, pictures (iPad2 or later users can snap and add in), audio files and more. It syncs with your computers, iPhones, Androids or Blackberry as well. The more you use this app, the more you will LOVE this app. COST: Free

Evernote app


DocuSign: A definite MUST HAVE app for anyone who needs to sign documents or annotate a PDF document.  No need to print out a document, sign it and rescan it to email back.  DocuSign allows you to simply sign with your finger or stylus and email to anyone that needs it.  This app is available on iOS, Android and Windows.  COST: Free

Sign-N-Send: Another app if you have pdf documents that need your signature and you are no where near a printer or scanner to do so. You simply open the document that was sent to you using Sign-N-Send and sign with your finger or stylus before emailing it back. Very similar features to DocuSign.  COST: $1.99

Dragon Dictation: Voice recognition has finally come of age and this is a great app that will allow you to get that book started or write your blog post with your voice. Yes there are a few typos when you are finished, but just a little clean up work and you are good to go. COST: Free

DocsToGo: This Office Suite brings Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF into your iPad (with limited functionality). This app allows you to edit, create and view Word or Excel files, and view PowerPoint or PDF files. COST: $9.99

QuickVoice: Need a quick digital recorder? This is the app for you! Want to record your own ring tone or dictate a note to yourself? Press record and you are in business! COST: Free

Dropbox: Most people are familiar with Dropbox and its wonderful cloud storage for your important documents, and now you can add this app to your iPad and access anything you have stored or that someone sends you via Dropbox. COST: Free

Keynote: Create your slides and present your ideas straight from your iPad. COST: $9.99

Calculator (MobArts): A basic, but great calculator.  COST: Free

Whiteboard: This whiteboard has the added feature of collaborating in real-time with another person on the whiteboard if you are using the same wifi network. (We have only used it for kids who want to draw) Erases like an etch-a-sketch and if you have a stylus you can make likes skinnier than your fat fingers. COST: Free

E*Trade Mobile Pro:  Pretty straight forward. Mobile trading and research.   COST: Free

Keynote Remote: If you present using Apples Keynote, this is a great app for you. You can use it as a small viewer of your slide presentation as well as operate your deck with a swipe of your finger! Cost: $0.99

PrompterPro: This is a great app for anyone who gives presentations. Type out your presentation, use the timer to time out each piece. Record yourself for practice and self-feedback and use as a teleprompter, slowly scrolling, during the presentation. A wonderful rehearsal tool. Cost: $3.99

Giant Timer: Great for activities or presentations that require a timekeeper. This can be seen from miles away! COST: Free

Writing Prompts:  To inspire the writer in you, this fun app throws out a prompt and you start writing!  COST: $1.99

Cozi Calendar

Cozi Calendar

Cozi: For some reason GREAT calendar apps are hard to come by and of course they are very personal.  If you are juggling a “home” calendar as well as a “business schedule” calendar, you might just find EVERYTHING you need in Cozi.  You sign up online at and then download the app on any and all mobile devices.  Keep your calendar, shopping lists, birthday reminders, ToDo list, and more.  COST: Free

Pocket Informant HD: If you still long for that big tab-filled Day Planner with its color-coded pages, bulky address book, calendar and task lists, you will drool when you see this great organizational app.  Fully customizable and syncs with your online calendar system.  One of my favs.  COST: $4.99 ++ (many add-ons–like the old Dayplanners)

Innovate: Looking to spark some creativity or need some inspiration for a new idea? Scroll through the app to connect with some of the world’s best innovation articles, videos (including TED talks), and news reports. All information is updated in real-time as the information is published.  COST: $0.99



Skype: The Skype app offers full screen video using your front facing camera along with regular calls and text messages. Your only challenge? Placing your iPad in a place where your caller isn’t looking up your nose!  COST: Free

GoToMeeting:  No longer are you tethered to your desk for conference calls.  With this iOS, Android or Windows app, you can join, host or schedule a meeting on your mobile device!   COST: Free

Join.Me:  Another great conferencing app that allows you to share your screen and even take control of the presenter’s computer from your tablet for support or collaboration.  Additional features for ProAccount users.  COST: Free

Hey Tell: This is a cool Walkie-Talkie like app.  You are using voice to send instant messages (we have used it as an intercom in our house) and if the person is not online, it will save like a voicemail message.  COST: Free

Messages: This comes on your ipads (iOS 5 or later) and will allow you to send a text message (including messages with the all important Emojis) to anyone using an iPhone or iTouch.  COST: FREE





YouTube: This pre-installed app makes viewing YouTube videos as easy as pushing a button. Since many videos will not play on the iPad because of the Flash/iOS battle, this app is very helpful.  Open the app and you are in your YouTube account. Select your videos, your favorite, featured, and more.

Pandora: How anyone can survive without this fabulous app loaded on every computer, mobile device, digital reader, and in some cases, your car, is beyond me! Type in the name of a song, artist or genre and Pandora will customize a radio station just for you. Commercial free is under $20/year or you can put up with a commercial every few songs for free. COST: Free

Spotify: Like Pandora with, what some say, a better selection of music.  Spotify allows you to listen to the radio (in the US), and then tap to save a song that you like and build playlists.  You can also save or share custom playlists.  The app is free and you can purchase Spoitfy premium for $9.99 a month.  COST: free

Instagram: One of the hottest social networks out there today, Instagram is available on iOS, Android and Windows.  Snap a pic, apply a filter for cool-factor and load it up. Although Facebook owns Instagram, it also integrates with Twitter for those sharing shutter-bugs. COST: Free

TweeGram: This is a very cool app for Instagram users.  It allows you to turn text into a visual art piece for your Instagram timeline.  You might post a narrative for a series of pictures or just a deep thought that needs to be displayed beautifully–after all, a picture is worth a thousand words so a text is worth at least 10!  COST: Free

postagram app for sending real postcards from mobile phone


PostAGram:  Take any picture you snapped and turn it into a REAL post card that gets sent to your recipient for only $0.99 each.  FABULOUS marketing tool to send thank you notes to clients or use for vacations shots!  COST for app: Free

TouchReTouch: This app is MAGIC!! You might snap a great poto and then discover there is a person walking by in the background you don’t want there or a trashcan in the corner that just ruins the shot.  With TouchReTouch, you can truly ERASE the object and the app fills in the background leaving you with a perfect shot! Android and iOS.  COST: Free

A Beautiful Mess:  This is a fabulous app that allows you to add fun doodles and text to photos before sharing.  A bit more creative feeling than the standard text on photo app.  iOS only.  COST: $0.99

Over: This is a beautiful app that allows you to add text to your photos before sharing them.  Add a quote or your company name to a pic. Whatever you’d like. iOS only.   COST: $1.99

Fotodanz:  Create a photo that has a piece moving…also called a cinemagraph.  This is a fun app that allows you to snap several frames and then choose which part you want to be moving in the photo.

PicCollage:  Why just share one photos from your event or day, when you can create a fun collage of several photos and add some fun text before loading it to your social media sites. Android or iOS.   COST: Free

100 Cameras: One of my favorite photo magic apps. Take your average photo taken with your iPhone, iPad2 OR Android and flip through 100 different filters that turn any average photo into a dream photo! Cost: Free

PicSayPro: This is a FABULOUS photo editing app that blends fun elements like cutting out and pasting different parts of a photo (think head swap), with wonderful filters, red-eye removal and more. Android.  COST: Free

photo editing apps for social marketing

Swift: This is a MUST HAVE app for anyone who has missed a video opp because it too long to open your camera, switch the video on and begin recording.  You touch the app button and you are recording!  COST: $4.99

Videolicious: Create and send short video messages that blend your video message with photos and background music.  COST: Free

ClipCam:  This is a great app for taking several short snippets of video and then stitching them together with the greatest of ease!  With your finger you can reorder the clips and then share on social media sites or upload to youtube when you are ready.  So simple even a 50-year-old can do it! (I would have said easy enough a child could do it, but that is obvious!)  COST: Free

Incredibooth: This is like carrying an old fashioned photobooth around with you. With the iPad 2 you can select 1 of 4 filters and then press the big red button, wait for the 3-2-1 countdown and then it snaps 4 photos and puts them into the familiar strip that you can share via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Keep them in your photo album for later use as well. COST: $0.99

Photogene: This app is allows you to take any photo in your album and do some fun edits including cropping, red-eye reduction, rotating, adding chat or thought bubbles. COST: $2.99

Cut Me In: Loads of fun background images to play with or use your own.  Cut yourself or someone else from one picture and paste into the backgrounds.  Stand at the great pyramids or on the back of a shark.  COST: Free (limited version) or $1.99 (full version)

StripDesign: Another fun photo app that allows you to make a film strip of 2 or 3 photos and add cartoon “POW!” statements on them. Great for creating scrapbooks from pics on your ipad….does anyone really do that? COST: $2.99

Photopedia Heritage: If you need a photo-vacation, open up this beautiful app that houses 25,000 photographs of some of the most stunning places in the world and set it to Slideshow mode. COST: Free

Moquu: This is a combination of photography and video!  Create stop action film shorts with this amazing app. COST: Free

ComicStrip: Create your own comic book page with all of your own photos. COST: $0.99

ColorBlast: This app allows you to create stunning blak and white photos with a blast of color where you place it.  COST: $0.99

iSupr8: Create unique and vintage looking film with this great app. Great to add a unique twist to some of your videos. COST: $1.99

MyScrapLife: This is a GREAT app for those of you who wish you could scrapbook your photos but either don’t know how or don’t have the time. Take your photos, drag them onto the digital page, change the paper, add borders, buttons, words & quotes and VIOLA! You can save each page as a picture and once you have several send off to your local photo printing store and have them made into a book! The perfect cheater version of scrap booking! COST: $0.99

audio books for iPad and Android




IMDb: If you are a movie or TV buff, this app is for you.  Find information about your favorite celebrities, movie and television trivia, find showtimes, watch movie trailers and even get your tickets online! COST: Free

FlixterWatch movie trailers, find showtimes at your favorite theaters, get critics ratings or share your own with friends. COST: Free

Audible: If you like audio books, this is a wonderful service. For $14 a month you get 1 credits to purchase an audio book each month. You can purchase additional books for discount prices as well. The platinum level allows you to purchase 2 books per month for $24 a month. App Cost: Free

Kindle: This pulls your Kindle libraby into your iPad for easy transport and reading. Cost: Free

iCatcher: Search for and listen to your favorite podcasts, as well as discover more to learn than your brain can hold.  This is a must have app for those who love to learn or just listen to interesting information! For iPhone and iPad.  COST: $1.99

TWIT touch: If you are a TWIT podcast network (tech podcasts for true geeks!) This app organizes the channels and allows you to watch LIVE or on demand. Cost: $0.99

TED: Like the YouTube app, when you open the TED app you are immediately on their channel allowing you to select from Featured, Themes, Tags, or Saved videos. Cost: Free

Vevo HD: This music app is fabulous for those of you music-lovers who want to have a concert in your pocket…or purse (if your iPad wont fit in that back pocket) Search for an artist (not all are on here) and let the video concert begin, or check out their featured artists for a fresh sound! COST: Free

Xfinity: (Comcast) Forget to set the recorder on your television, or are you just too lazy to get up to fetch the remote across the room? This app allows you to control your television from anywhere you can get online. You can log on and watch some movies and shows on your iPad like having a Slingbox without the additional $300. App Cost: Free

DISH Anywhere: (DishNetwork) Watch your favorite shows on the go, set your DVR, and get your TV listings.  COST: Free


Expedia: Obviously this syncs up all flight information that you have booked through their website. Helpful when stranded somewhere and needing to change or add flights. COST: Free

The Weather Channel: Another no brainer for travelers or those who just don’t want to turn on the news, or step outside to find out what the forecast is where you live.  This app provides lots of helpful information but can be more than you really need. COST: Free

AccuWeather: Since you can never have too many weather apps, this one provides the information you need to decide whether to throw that sweater in the car or bring out the snow boots! I like the larger font and graphic layout of this app better than the Weather Channel app.  COST: Free

GasBuddy: If you aren’t familiar with this great money saving app, you need to download this on every mobile device you own. Great while traveling to find the nearest gas station and it will show you the price per gallon for that moment. COST: Free

Waze: Discover where those traffic snags are located so you can adjust your route, or report a traffic problem yourself on this great crowd sourced traffic app.  COST: Free

Maps: This comes on your iPad and comes in handy whenever you need a map!

Trover:  This is a fun social networking app that lets you share places and discoveries around you.  It’s part photo sharing app , part location based adventure app. If you like geo-caching and Instagram, this is worth checking out.  COST: Free

Trails Lite: Get outside! With this GPS enabled app you can record your hike, bike trip or jogs (a bit awkward jogging with your iPad, but works on all smart phones). Imports maps to popular trails as well. COST: Free

OpenTable: Great app for finding a restaurant and making reservations right from your app. No need to call or get there and wait. COST: Free

UrbanSpoon: Select where you are, type of food you want and budget range to see restaurants to check out.  Great when you are not in your neck of the woods! COST: Free

Scvngr: A fun geocaching game that uses your GPS and sends you on hunts created by others. It will get you out of the office or the house and playing in your own city! Great for teams and events. Android and iOS.  COST: Free

Auto Trip  BINGO: Great for road trips with the family!  Choose road signs, Car Models, Gas/Food/Lodging signs, or Mixed and see if you can get a BINGO before the timer hits your goal time!  Get each family member their own iPad and you can compete!  HA!  COST: $0.99





Houzz: If you are remodeling a home or just dreaming, this house design app lets you browse through rooms, furniture and home accessories and save items or pictures in your personal scrapbooks.  A great way to waste a Sunday afternoon! COST: Free

Pinterest: This app is like holding a stack of great magazines in your lap to browse through ALL DAY LONG!  Part StumbledUpon, and part Facebook, you can LIKE objects you see or “pin” them into your albums to share or save for later.  You may not want to log in before 8pm, it is addicting and you may never come out!   COST: Free

Amazon: This app allows you to quickly search, shop and compare prices on all things Amazon! COST: Free

Grocery IQ: One of apps I use regularly to create a running grocery list at home. With the iPad 2 or mobile device with a camera, you can use the barcode scanner to scan item you are low on and have it automatically added to your list. Email or send your list to someone else or bring it with you and cross things off as you go. COST: Free

mGifts: Used throughout the year to track gift ideas and the stores they are found in. This app was invaluable to me over the holidays when I was out shopping and wanted to remember what to actually look for. Keep lists of people, stores, event dates etc. Spot a gift idea for a later date–log it and forget about it. COST: $4.99

Boutiques: This is an interesting project by Google. Someone there must be a fashion-designer wanna-be. This allows you to browse the world’s largest collection of boutiques and you can do so by designer, by style, or by celebrity. Click on an item and it takes you to the store to purchase it. Interesting! COST: Free …. Cost of that Ann Demeulemeester seamed cardigan…PRICELESS!

Zappos: Browse and buy shoes! Need I say more? Well you can also get clothes, accessories and probably a pizza. Just bypassing the need to search from browser. COST: Free


AccelaStudy Spanish


Accelastudy (Spanish): Study with flashcards, audio prompts, quizes and more.  A great basic Spanish language app. COST: Free

Jibbigo: A great language translation app. You can speak in English your statement or question, it will type it out so you can verify that it heard you correctly and then it translates on the other side of the screen into the language you have downloaded. Press the play button and let the app tell the person what you wanted in their language. COST: BIG PRICE DROP in March 2011 – from $24.00 to $4.99 (I should have waited)

Conversational Spanish: A simple app that has hundreds of phrases that you can read or hit the play button to play the audio.  COST: $0.99

Word Lens: COOL concept, but needs a bit of work. Open this app on your iPad 2 and it will use your camera to look at any sign and translate on the screen what it says. The free app comes with a BACKWARDS filter that turns backwards words around (Not really sure why you would need this) or pay $9.99 to translate Spanish to English and another $9.99 from English to Spanish. Another problem is you are using your data plan when you open this app in a foreign country which is VERY expensive and can get you into trouble. Initial App Cost: Free


Epicurious: If you love to cook, or just want people to think you do, this app is fabulous. Type in ingredients you have around and it will suggest recipes for you, or select a recipe and read the feedback from others and the app will build a grocery list for you out of your favorited dishes! COST: Free

Urbanspoon:  Find restaurants near by and read what others have said about them before you take a chance!   COST: Free

All Recipes:  Another cookbook app with thousands of dinner ideas!  COST: Free

Food and Wine: More great recipes from your iPad! COST: Free I love the look and interactive features of this app. Enter your virtual wine cave, track your favorites, search for new treasures or order a case.  You can also find deals or read the latest Wine Notes.  COST:  Free

GAMES and SILLINESS Max And The Magic Marker

TableTopics HD: Great for discussion starters at the dinner table, in the car, or at a dinner party.  Different sets available such as: Happy Hour, First Date, In Flight (don’t sit next to me), Gourmet, WAter Cooler & More. You can also post a question straight to your Facebook Page to start conversations there! COST: $2.99

Heads Up: This hilarious game will have you and your party guests crying with laughter.  Ellen Degenerous plays this on her show.  Guess the word on your head from your friends’ clues before your time runs out.  COST: $0.99 (option to purchase additional categories in app

Words With Friends HD: This popular Scrabble game is sweeping the nation and now integrates with Facebook and Twitter to allow you to wage word war on your friends on their mobile devices. COST $2.99  (Free version available with ads)

Max & the Magic Marker: One of the coolest physics and problem solving games I have ever seen for older kids (probably best for ages 7 to late teens because of difficulty). This game has won all kinds of awards and like Harold and his magic crayon, Max can draw things to life and the objects he draws help him solve problems, collect ink for his marker and have wondrous adventures along the way!  I have played this with my teen-aged daughter and it is truly MAGICAL! The link shows a short video of the game in action. COST: $2.99

Etch A Sketch: Just like you remember as a kid, turn the dials and create masterpieces.  Yes, you even shake the iPad to erase (be careful not to drop it!) COST: Free

Flight of the Hamsters: While I have never played most of these games, including this one, they have all been mother viewed and kid approved!  This one is a favorite and it is similar to Angry birds in that you fling these hamsters into the air (for no violent reason though) and try to keep them gaining altitude as they collect balls, skateboards and other random objects that can save them from falling flat on the ground. COST: $0.99

Bookworm:  This addictive spelling game is one of my favorites!  Kindo f like Scrabble or Boggle where you have to make words from the letter tiles, this game adds a sense of urgency to each move.  you must collect high point words before letters burst into flames. Great educational game for older children and adults!  COST: $2.99

Bebot: After seeing this incredible performance by the North Point’s iBand I had to have this cute little robot synthesizer! COST: $1.99

DJ SoundBox: This is much more complex sound-mixing board than I had thought. A professional DJs dream! COST: $0.99

Jib Jab Jr: Let your kids create a custom story book and place them right inside!  Fun for kids and adults.  COST: Free

Koi Pond: A totally useless, but relaxing app if you need time to just sit and stare at giant Koi fish swimming across your iPad. Many have played with this time sucker for quite ahwile on their iPhones. Cost: (embarrassed to admit) $1.99

Fireworks Arcade: While you are sitting in your Koi Pond zen-like state, why not start some fireworks? Touch your screen to create a beautiful explosion. No purpose other than to put yourself or any young child into a trance! (hmmm – this could be BIG)  COST: Free

Cozy Fireplace: This is purely for fun or for phycological purposes. If you want to go to sleep by the fire and you do not have a fireplace around, simply open this app and listen to the crackling sounds see the glow of the flames. You can set the timer for your fire to die down after an hour so you don’t catch your iPad on fire! Cost: $0.99

In Style Hairstyle Try-On: Want to know what you’d look like as a red head?  Wonder if it’s time to cut those locks?  Try it on your face first.  Load a photo and start exploring!  COST: Free

Power napping app




Lifelike Alarm Clock: My FAVORITE nightstand clock and alarm.  See the time, the weather, set unique alarms, play music from your library before bedtime, and even pull the virtual shade down on the clock’s lighted screen when you are ready to go to sleep.  COST: $3.99

iSoundBite: Simply a goofy voice changer app that will end up driving you insane if your kids get ahold of it! Record your voice and then press one of the many options including: Max Headroom, Robot, Schizophrenic Mix, and Poltergeist COST: Free (therapy not included)

Bucket List: Put your own bucket list into this app, prioritize them, share with others or read and get ideas from others.  Mark each one when completed!

Backyard Birds: This is great if you are a crazy bird person like me. Peterson is the authority in bird watching and this app allows you to search birds by zip code, type of bird and then has a checklist so you know when you can say your life is complete! Hey I might be a crazy bird lady but at least I’m not the crazy cat lady!  Cost: $2.99

Pzizz: The Power-Napping aid I cannot live without. For those of us who are sleep deprived and need to snag that 20 min nap every once in awhile without oversleeping and waking up groggy. I discovered this miracle app over 10 years ago when it was an MP3 device preloaded with this program. You press start and lie down. It sends you into a deep relaxed nap in minutes and wakes you at the end of 20 min. COST: $5.99

ReQall: If you need reminders like, where you parked your car at the airport, what time you need to pick up your son from football practice, what you had for lunch in case someone asks you later, this app will allow you to record a message and it will convert to text and send it to you or someone else. ReQall is very similar to Jott,com which just closed their doors this month. COST: Free

WhiteNoisePro: This app is a must-have for anyone who has trouble going to sleep anywhere! Not only does it play white noise, but it allows you to customize your own white noise, choosing 5 different sounds from the 40 available, to send you into la la land in minutes! COST: $2.99

TextHog: This app has a misleading name because it has nothing to do with text messaging or HOGS! It is an expense reporting and finance app. Take pics of your receipts, track business or personal expenses and stay financially organized. They say the service is free but I read many reviews stating it is a TRIAL offer and they will start charging you. I have never been charged, but… there are too many out there to have to worry about it. COST: Free

TourWrist: This is one of those AWESOME apps and is great for checking out wonderful travel locations.  Take a 360 tour to exotic locations around the world with a click of a link.  COST: Free

MyFitnessPal: Great tool for shedding that “layer.” Keep track of fitness goals, food you consume, exercise you were thinking about doing (just kidding…exercise you DID), and more! Syncs with online program as well.  COST: Free

BIGGER Words: This has come in handy when you want to hold up a sign in a crowded room to tell the person on the other side “IT’S TIME TO GO!” Or how often have you wished you had a sign to hold up to the person driving next to you to tell them “BLINKER IS ON!”? This fun app turns your message into not just BIG words, but BIGGER words! COST: $0.99

Discover (Visual Wikipedia): A wonderful way to research something without just seeing pages of text. This app pulls in photos and graphics that accompany your research topic. Now if only schools would allow kids to use this. COST: Free

Bizarre Holidays: How do you know when National Ice Cream Sundae Day is? How can you find out if it is Defy Superstition Day?  Download this app and it will show you each day’s National Holiday!  COST: $0.99

Garden HD: A wonderful garden reference guide with over 2000 speices.  Get garden help right on your iPad! COST $2.99

Hunting Call:  I find this to be a hysterical app.  You can select animal calls such as deer, coyotes, elk and birds and call them in the wild (or your living room).  I believe it is a serious app for hunters to use and even incorporates the use of a second device like a cell phone where you can place one in the bushes and control the sounds from the hand held (not sure how wise that is to lay your phone or iPad in bushes near running bear or deer).I have used it to scare my kids on a hike and other kids climbing the rocks in our backyard.  When they hear a bear growl, they take off!  COST: $2.99  Scaring kids…PRICELESS!

Star Walk: One of the coolest apps for stargazers. Incorporates your camera and GPS allow you to point your iPad to the sky to discover what stars, planets or satellites you are looking at. Moon calendar and loads of educational information. A must for anyone studying astronomy. COST: $4.99

Now it’s your turn…what are the apps you can’t do without–on any mobile device?

How to use Facebook for business, Social media for business, Gina Schreck


The Magic Continues: My Top 10 iPad Apps in 2010

This past June, after owning my iPad for only a couple months, I wasn’t sure if it was really worth all the hype. I did an early review of my “magical” device on a Gettin’ Geeky show, saying it really was not going to keep me from toting my laptop around.  I mean it was really just an oversized iPod, and while it made it much easier on my eyes to find songs or tweet from the beautifully large screen, it didn’t fit in my back pocket or purse…well okay, it did fit in a couple of my humongoid bags.

But it has been 10 months of living with my “magical” device, and while the unicorns and cotton candy only come a few times a week, I have found that I rarely leave home without my iPad.

Why the change in heart? It’s all about the apps.  I have almost a hundred different apps loaded on my iPad and have had several others come and go after testing them. Keep in mind when purchasing an iPad that apps range from FREE to $30 so budget another $50-$100 for apps to really make the magic happen.   I have also learned a few things along the way, like we shouldn’t have been naïve to think we didn’t need the 3G service.  You don’t always have wifi available and too many of the “magical” features require connectivity.  (That new iPad is scheduled to come out early 2011!)  So here is a run down of my top 10 FAVORITE apps and why I think YOU need them:

  1. Flipboard has not only been MY favorite, but the favorite of millions (Apple named Flipboard app of the year).  Flipboard turns your social media favorites into a personalized magazine.   Pulling from Twitter, Facebook and even some specialty feeds from Flip such as FlipTech or FlipDesign.  I love “flipping” through the pages like reading a real magazine. (This app is FREE and I feel guilty since it is so wonderful!)
  2. Osfoora is the Twitter app that I have found to do everything I want it to do all while looking great.  ($3.99 but so good it’s worth it)
  3. Pandora is the must have music app to bring your custom radio stations with you anywhere. (FREE for the version with commercials or you can pay $36 per year for commercial-free higher quality audio)
  4. Instapaper is the app that saved my computers. I typically have 28 tabs open on my browser because there are so many links that I click on and want to read but don’t have time at that moment.  Now with Instapaper you can clip and save part or all of an article and it saves it in an online folder to read when you have time…from any device. ($4.99 instead of a new laptop…worth every penny)
  5. Evernote is the must have app for all projects you are juggling. Take some notes, load some photos, even record an audio file to throw into your Evernote project file.  (A wonderful app for FREE)
  6. SoundNote was an amazing discovery just as I was about to plunk down a hundred dollars for a Livescribe pen.  This great app lets you record audio as you type notes or write with a stylus.  Later you can simply play back the audio. ($4.99 and worth at least twice as much!)
  7. Night Stand is a great travel companion and all around great alarm clock.  Not only does it display some beautiful clocks, but you can wake to birds chirping, glass breaking, or a woman screaming…and who wouldn’t want to wake to that soothing sound?  (There is a FREE limited version or the full version for $1.99)
  8. WhiteNoisePro is a wonderful app for those who have a hard time falling asleep or just love the soothing white noise of waterfalls, crickets, chimes, or a selection of 40 other sounds that you customize to lull the stress away.  (Well worth the $2.99)
  9. Jibbigo is the perfect travel companion to help you translate what that cab driver just said or to tell the hotel concierge that you are wanting to visit the pickle museum that is down town.  You type or speak a statement and it will first translate in text and then in voice.  (Not a cheap app at $25)

  10. Epicurious is a wonderful online cookbook with special features that build your shopping list and save your favorite recipes for that repeat performance.  This app can get any geek cooking!  (FREE!  You can upgrade within the app for $1.99 which builds your recipe box in the cloud to access from any device)

I didn’t list any of the great games (Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Word Worm, and Doodle Jump have been some of the favorites in our house) or the fantastic photography and music apps.  I may have to just do a post on each genre to start to scratch the surface.

So what will 2011 bring for the iPad aside from competition in the tablet market? More great apps for sure.  If I left off your favorite, tell us about it here in the comments.  After all, I need a few more.  It’s been at least 24-hours since I downloaded a batch!

We help organizations use today’s technology to build their business.  If we can help you be sure to give us a hollar!

Happy Geeky New Year!


Tech Trends for 2010: What Had Us All Talkin’?

In the world of social media and technology this year, there were many tools that stood out, or commanded lots of our attention, but we took on the top 5 that we felt really impacted business or had many of us trying to figure out how to be more strategic and effective with them.

Donna Gilliland, of MOST Training, and I managed to keep our chat under an hour.  (Hard to do if you know either one of us)  We broke it down into 5 segments with each under 10 minutes.


Sometimes referred to as the THIRD SCREEN, our mobile phones, and now tablets and other mobile devices, have made it easier than ever to work from ANYWHERE.



Facebook made headlines, it seems like, every day!  From ever-changing privacy settings, to the movie, The Social Network, Facebook became more than simply a virtual high-school reunion.  From the annoying Farmville gamers to every news station and retail store telling us to connect with them on Facebook.  We end the year with a move that just may be the end of email as we know it.



While most people still do not know what this term actually means, cloud computing and the apps that many of us use without realizing they are cloud based, have begun to change the way we do business.  From storing our photos and slideshows, to sharing and collaborating on documents in the cloud, these tools are saving us time, money and lots of frustration.



The pocket video camera and the 5-year-anniversary of the launch of YouTube have changed the way we search for and share information.  We no longer need expensive video production crews to create and share content.  This trend is great for business!



2010 was truly the year of the iPad, but overall, the readers & tablets have changed the way, and the frequency in which we consume content.  Business is being done on the go and consumers want content they can take with them with ease.  We will continue to see these “Magical” devices appear in our work environments for years to come!


What do you think were the top tech trends of 2010?  What did we leave out or put in that you don’t agree with?  Share your thoughts and predictions with us!  Did you notice that the word “Twitter” was not mentioned?  It’s still going strong and growing faster than ever, but nothing of great note happened in Twitter Town in 2010 (In my not-so-humble-opinion!).

Gina Schreck

Gina is a Social Media and Technology FREAK!  Her and the team at SynapseConnecting can help you make sense of today’s technology and use it to build your business and manage your brand! Give us a hollar if we can help- 877-978-0887 or of course on Twitter @GinaSchreck

LEFT BEHIND: The Painful Price of Not Keeping Up With Technology

My 75-year-old in-laws came to visit for Thanksgiving and by the end of the weekend, I was feeling, both guilty for not helping them immigrate into the foreign land of technology earlier, and inspired to learn even more about technology trends and new tech tools as I…. get older.

Technology Social Media Expert, Gina Schreck, Technology Trends

Seniors and Technology

My mother-in-law was complaining about the fact her bank was starting to charge her $8 a month for not using their online banking features.  Online banking was both scary for her to consider doing and sad for her to think of not being able to go in and visit Kim and Diane, her favorite tellers.  She doesn’t like talking to the tellers through the drive through window and would never consider trusting the ATM to deposit checks or withdraw money.  How would she be sure it posted to her account correctly?  Who would answer her questions she might have on her statement?

She said the other day the clerk at the department store where she regularly shops, asked her if she downloaded the coupon that was offered on their Facebook Page.  I can just imagine the blank stare my mother-in-law gave that 16-year-old, who probably could not fathom anyone NOT being on Facebook.  My father-in-law chimed in with his disdain for the word “apps.”  “I’m tired of hearing about this app and that app.  Everyone acts like we understand what that means!”

Imagine waking up one morning in a foreign country.  You do not speak the language and cannot read the signs posted around town.  You have currency that no one accepts and you own tools that don’t seem to work any longer.  This is the feeling many seniors have today.  They are digital immigrants.  They may have immigrated voluntarily or perhaps they were sent over kicking and screaming, but they are foreigners in a foreign land.  Although a Nielson study showed that those 65 years and older pick Facebook as one of their top internet destinations, I believe it is because they are trying desperately to access their family that left them in this foreign land so they can slap them!

With one boomer turning 65 every 8 seconds starting this January 2011, there are some things we can do to ensure we are not leaving anyone behind feeling isolated and lost.  As a business owner, I also want to make sure I am not throwing around lingo and techno-jargon that makes digital-immigrants more confused and isolated.

Here are 4 steps we can all take to help others and stay relevant ourselves so we are not LEFT BEHIND:

1. Commit to learning one new technology tool this month.  Whether it is sending text messages to your family or taking a class (even via YouTube) on a new video editing software or starting your own blog.

2. Commit to teaching someone one new technology tool this month.  Show your parents how to download a photo from an email or better yet how to sign onto FLICKR and browse your family albums.  Download a sudoku or crossword puzzle app on their phone or iPad (you might not want to call it an app!)

3. Browse through the TECHNOLOGY category in the iTunes library or on YouTube to find a podcast you enjoy that discusses technology trends, and subscribe to it.  Commit to listening to one podcast per week to stay up on the latest lingo and tech terms…like APP or CLOUD COMPUTING!  (Some of my favorites are from the TWIT Network-This Week In Technology- just search for TWIT in iTunes Podcasts)

4. Find and subscribe to one technology blog.  Go to Technorati and browse a category that interests you and then send that particular blog to your eReader or receive it as an email (if you wouldn’t get overwhelmed by one more email).  I like getting them sent to my Google Reader which ends up being a customized newspaper for me.  If you own an iPad, download the free and OH-SO-AMAZING app, FLIPBOARD and “flip” through the pages of your favorite blog posts and magazine sources each day.

Share some of your tips to stay relevant and keep that GREY MATTER  from getting too GRAY!

If you are working with seniors or want more resources, info, and products with senior-friendly features, check out this great site: ElderGadget

If your organization needs help bringing folks across that digital divide, give me a hollar, I am your Digital Immigration Officer! @GinaSchreck