My Bluetooth Headset Makes Being Mobile Easier

I love gadgets that make my life easier or more fun. I have a full category on this blog for them. But I don’t just buy technology unless I need it, and need it right then. My latest is a Bluetooth headset.

Why I Wanted It

The three main reasons I wanted this device: Listen to music or watch a video on my iPad, but not be wired to it; hear my iPhone ring when it’s in another part of the house (especially since I don’t have a landline); enjoy being in the same room with a football game but not have to hear it.

The Gadget

Bluetooth headset for iPhone, iPadI didn’t want one of those tiny earpieces because they’re too easy to lose. I ended up buying an unbranded headset on Amazon. In addition to having great sound, it also has these great features.

  • Comfortable. This smooth earpiece fits around my neck and is forgotten.
  • Easy storage. It’s easy to pack and go because the entire piece folds into three sections.
  • Retractable wires. Push a button on each side, and the wires slide right back into place.
  • Volume control. Up and down buttons right at your fingertips.
  • Phone control. Answer, end, reject calls. You can also call the last number dialed.
  • Music control. Adjust volume, change songs, and pause.
  • Siri integration. Double-tap the Up volume control and Siri is activated.

This Bluetooth headset is a winner! Check it out on Amazon and read the reviews.

PEACE.

 

Record TV Shows Without a DVR Using the iView Converter Box

I dumped cable several years ago and use a digital antenna with my Panasonic Smart TV to watch all local channels (ABC, NBC, MeTV, etc.). I also have a subscription to Netflix. Everything was going great until MeTV moved Perry Mason to 9:00AM Eastern (from 10:00AM). That threw me off my morning schedule.

Due to a momentary lapse in sanity, I considered getting basic cable with a DVR, which would have given me a $30 monthly bill. Fortunately, I found a solution for a one-time payment of $29. It works perfectly with equipment I already had.

At this writing, this solution did not work on my Smart TV, but commenters on Amazon said they were able to make it work.

iView Converter Box records TV shows

Here’s How

Test the Signal. Based on your home’s location such as the proximity to the towers, trees around, etc., you may get lots of channels, a few, or none. This site supposedly allows you to find out, but it didn’t work for me. It said no channels were available in my Zip Code, but I have plenty. My advice is to buy a good antenna, run the scan, and test it yourself.

iView Digital Converter Box. This converter box is designed to record programs that it receives through an HD antenna. I thought I’d be able to use the converter box on my Smart TV, but that didn’t work (others have reported that they’ve been able to get it to work on a Smart TV). Fortunately, I have an old analog color TV that works great. (This unit also works on HDTVs, but I wasn’t able to get it to work on my Smart TV. Others reported success with that, however.)

Here is a newer version of this converter box, but it still doesn’t offer the weekday recording option, and it costs a little more (I unplug my external hard drive on the weekends so it won’t record). Reading through the reviews, the only improvement is the layout of the remote control (which needed that!).

Digital Antenna. The above image shows an antenna plugged into the iView Digital Converter. I also connected an external hard drive to the converter since it doesn’t provide storage. I have two antennas, and here is a link to the newest one.

External Hard Drive. I’ve scheduled the recordings of Perry Mason at 9:00-10:00AM and again at 11:30PM-12:30AM. There is no option to choose weekdays, so I had to choose daily (I hope a future software update will add weekday option). I have the 1TB hard drive, and here is a link to the newer 2 TB unit.)

Extra USB Cable. I like watching the show on the big screen (my Smart TV) so I have to unplug the external hard drive from the iView and plug it into a USB port on the side of the Smart TV. My TV is mounted, so this isn’t convenient. I bought the extra USB cable that works with my hard drive and leave one in the iView and one in the Smart TV. No more fumbling to reach the USB port.

On my Smart TV, I simply plug the external hard drive into the USB cable that I leave in the TV, open the Media Center, go to Videos, and click to play any scheduled recording.

The iView Digital Converter box has other functions such as pause when playing. Check out all the details and reviews on Amazon.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Or if you have alternate solutions, let us know.

PEACE.

 

 

 

iPad/iPhone – Take Photos/Videos from the Lock Screen

 

Customized iPad training with Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expertYou’ve probably set a password to access your iPhone or iPad (Settings/Passcode), and also have Auto-Lock set to kick in after so many minutes of non-use (Settings/General/Auto-Lock). This can be inconvenient when you have someone using your device to take photos (or record videos) of you while you’re speaking.

Instead of turning off Auto-Lock, do this. From the Lock screen (not the Home screen), look in the lower-right corner. You’ll see an almost transparent icon of the Camera app. Put a finger on it and flick up (not slide) to access the camera and video functions. They will not be able to access your other photos.

PEACE.

Customized iPad training with Peggy Duncan Personal Productivity Expert conference speaker

How to Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor with Duet Display

iPad training with personal productivity expert, Peggy Duncan Duet DisplayI’m accustomed to working with a dual monitor in my office. If I work somewhere else in the house or if I’m traveling with my laptop and iPad, I use the iPad for the second monitor.

Just this week, my ceiling bulb blew in my office, and I wanted to wait for my husband to switch it out. I moved to the dining room and set up my iPad as the second monitor. Excellent resolution and no lag time with the app, Duet Display.

Download Duet Display to your computer (works with Windows and Mac), and also purchase the app for iPad. Connect your iPad to your computer using your Apple Lightning cable, and open the app on both iPad and your computer.

Once connected, you’ll see your computer’s desktop on the iPad. Open your software on the computer to work, and slide it over to the iPad. Work on one thing on your computer and something else on the iPad.

I especially like to work on a PowerPoint slide while looking at it in Slide Show mode. Or have my Outlook calendar open on one while working in the Inbox on the other (in Outlook, right-click on Calendar icon, click Open in New Window, and drag over to iPad).

Note: If you’re seeing a duplicate image of your Windows Desktop on the iPad, hold down the Windows key (next to alt) and type P. Choose Extend.

Check out this video tutorial if you haven’t used a dual monitor setup on your computer.

Leave a comment if you’ve needed this setup or tell us how it’s already helped you.

PEACE.

Avoid Conflicted Copies of Documents When Saving on Dropbox and iPad

My heart dropped when I thought I’d lost my latest changes to a Word document. All my tedious changes gone! I’d worked on this document using the Office Word app, but I’d also worked it on my computer. Here’s what I found out.

On the iPad, if you access your documents from Dropbox, use caution. When you open a document from different places and save it, or if two people change the same file at the same time, Dropbox won’t merge the changes. Instead, it’ll save the original file as well as a second version with the same name but is appended with “conflicted copy,” the name of the person or computer responsible, and the date the conflict occurred.

If this happens, go to your full Dropbox file structure to find the conflicted copy saved wherever you saved the original. You’ll need to open both copies and decide which one you want to keep.

What I’d Done Wrong

An app is not completely closed on the iPad until you do this.

  1. Double tap the Home button on the iPad, swipe right to find the open document on the app switcher (thumbnails of all the open apps).
  2. Find the app you want to completely close, and flick it up and off the iPad with one finger.
  3. Do this every time you finish working with the document on your iPad.

All is well, and I finished the work without losing anything. Whew!

Put Your iPad to Work at Work

Contact me directly to schedule a SKYPE session, Webinar, conference seminar, or a hands-on workshop. The focus of the training is improving your personal productivity while on the go.

Put the iPad to Work

  • Explore important Settings you have unfortunately ignored.
  • Organize an on-the-go toolkit of must-have apps and iStuff built for mobile productivity.
  • Capture and organize notes and photos, file everything, and find it quickly when you need it.
  • Create and edit documents using tap and flick shortcuts and Office apps you’re already used to.
  • Sync the Safari browser and navigate with ease.
  • And so much more!

Whether you want individual, customized training via SKYPE (or in person), a Webinar, a conference seminar, or a hands-on workshop, contact me directly to get started.

Let me know in comments if you have anything to add to this list. I’m a sucker for gadgets and gizmos that boost productivity.

PEACE.

Make Your Own Charging Station and Clear the Kitchen Counter

DIY Charging Station for devices
DIY Charging Station

I’m brilliant! I made a charging station for our gadgets. Slots in this organizer are wide enough to accommodate the iPad, iPhone, Surface Pro, etc., without removing their protective covers.

Recharge up to six items with a desktop organizer along with a surge protector with six swivel outlets (here on Amazon). I already had this desktop organizer and saw some other ideas that would work on Amazon (like this acrylic one or mesh). And any outlet strip surge protector will work.

We use this overnight for all our gadgets and gizmos, all nice and neat, and didn’t have to spend $60 on a fancy one.

Any ideas on this are welcome in comments.

PEACE.

Put Your iPad to Work at Work

My On-the-Go Toolkit for Working and Presenting Using iPad – Mobile Work

Since I have easy access to my files through the Dropbox app on my iPad, I wanted to travel more without my laptop. Here’s my on-the-go toolkit for working while mobile, complete with my links to each on Amazon.

Present Using iPad Adapters for Projectors

Here are the two adapters I purchased so I can use my iPad for either type of projector a conference makes available.

Microphones

External microphones are a must-have if you’re going to do videos, podcasts, SKYPE, etc. The sound will be the on-board mic every time. I have 3 microphones that work with my iPhone and iPad. I have a handheld iRig mic, the smaller iRig Mic Cast, and a Movo lapel mic.

Wireless Presentation Mouse, Bluetooth
Bluetooth wireless presentation mouse SatechiI have a wireless presentation mouse, Satechi Bluetooth Smart-Pointer.

External Keyboard – Logitech K480

Logitech Bluetooth keyboard K480 for iPadI’m a power typist, and when I’m using apps such as Word or PowerPoint on my iPad, I need a bigger keyboard with shortcuts I’m used to. Here’s the external keyboard I chose. It’s the Logitech K480. You set the dial to tell the keyboard which gadget you’re typing on (iPad or iPhone, for example), or if you’re using it on a computer.

Mobile Charger

Mobile charger for iPadTo avoid being without any way to charge my gadgets, this mobile charger is a must-have. This one is more compact than my older one.

Car Charger

For long trips in the car, it just makes sense to add a car charger to the list.

Stylus

I use the OneNote app (free from Microsoft) to organize my notes. Its Draw command allows you to handwrite/draw on a page. I like the feel of this stylus.

Screen Cleaner

After so much tapping and swiping, the screen on your gadget or computer can get rather cloudy. This cleaner pad fits right on your hand and wipes the surface to clear.

Put Your iPad to Work at Work

Contact me directly to schedule a SKYPE session, Webinar, conference seminar, or a hands-on workshop. The focus of the training is improving your personal productivity while on the go.

Put the iPad to Work

  • Explore important Settings you have unfortunately ignored.
  • Organize an on-the-go toolkit of must-have apps and iStuff built for mobile productivity.
  • Capture and organize notes and photos, file everything, and find it quickly when you need it.
  • Create and edit documents using tap and flick shortcuts and Office apps you’re already used to.
  • Sync the Safari browser and navigate with ease.
  • And so much more!

Whether you want individual, customized training via SKYPE (or in person), a Webinar, a conference seminar, or a hands-on workshop, contact me directly to get started.

Let me know in comments if you have anything to add to this list. I’m a sucker for gadgets and gizmos that boost productivity.

PEACE.

 

How to Add a Web Page to Your iPad or iPhone Home Screen

shareiconpiadIt’s easy to add Websites you visit often to your device Home Screen.

  1. Open the Web page using the Safari browser.
  2. Tap the Share icon, then tap Add to Home Screen.
  3. Tap inside the title box, and rename the link if desired.
  4. Tap ADD.

I needed a very long URL with /s that was too difficult to type in the browser bar (it’s also a link that wouldn’t have shown up if I’d Googled it). I copied the link and emailed it to my iCloud email address (or whatever email account you’ve set up on your device). When the email came in (on the iPad), I tapped the link to open it in Safari. Then added to Home Screen as outlined above.?

Any tips to share? Please leave a comment.

PEACE.

 

How to Call and Text from the iPad for Free and Almost Free – SKYPE and Google Voice

Google Voice ConnectMy new iPad is AT&T 4G LTE enabled. But to be able to text or call using it, I’d have to pay for an extra AT&T plan. Ha! Here’s what I do instead of adding another bill to my budget.

With my SKYPE app for the iPad, I can call any land line I want to in the US or Canada for almost FREE, and the sound is crystal clear. I pay $8.52 every 3 months so I can call land lines. Or if they’re on SKYPE, I can call their SKYPE handle as usual.

For texting, I use the Google Voice Connect app, and can text for FREE.

If you’ve discovered other solutions, let me know in comments.

PEACE.

 

Features I Love About iOS 7 for My iPhone–Improve Your Personal Productivity

I’m digging the latest update for my iPhone (I’m still on the 4 model, and that suits me just fine).

Here are the top features that help me stay productive.

 

The Unit

  • Control Center. If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen (from anywhere except the camera so far), the Control Center opens with shortcuts. I especially like that I can quickly play my music and set a reminder with the alarm. The flashlight is right there too. The other shortcuts there are either to features I don’t use or already have easy access to (e.g., camera). You can change the functionality of the Control Center in Settings (e.g., you might want to turn it off when inside an app). When it’s disabled, you’ll still be able to get to it on the Home screen.
  • Notification Center. If you swipe down from the top of the screen, the Notification Center opens. It shows new mail, missed calls, a calendar Today view, and more. You can customize what you see by tapping Settings, Notification Center.
  • Searching. Whether I’m looking for a contact or an app, if you swipe down from the middle of the home screen, you’ll be able to conduct a quick search.
  • Alter Data Usage. Under Settings, Cellular, you can determine which apps will be restricted to using WiFi as opposed to your data plan. I turned completely off and will use cellular plan only when I have to.
  • Zoom. Use your fingers to zoom. To turn the feature on, tap Settings, General, Accessibility, Zoom. After this is set, use three fingers and double-tap to zoom in and out. Double-tap and drag three fingers to move around the screen.
  • Easier Tapping. I’ve realized that the more streamlined interface makes it easier to tap the keyboard.

Apps

  • Automatic Updates. You can set your unit up to automatically update apps. Tap Settings, iTunes & App Store, and scroll down to Automatic Downloads and tap it on. You’ll also see where you can opt to use your cellular data plan for updates instead of the default WiFi. I left this off.
  • Quick Preview of Apps. When you double-tap the Home button, you’ll be able to swipe through preview screens of the apps you have open. Tap one to open. To quit an app, just swipe it up and out of preview.
  • Organize More Apps Inside Folders. I have most of my apps organized into folders using broad categories such as Media, Travel, etc. I just noticed that I can add more than the nine I can see. To preview the others, tap the folder to open, then swipe to the right to see more. (To get them into a folder in the first place, press down on any icon until all start to shake. Then slide an icon on top of one that you want to group. When you release, you’ll have the opportunity to name the folder by tapping the text, deleting, and typing as you normally would.)
  • Media Organization. I’m a professional organizer and organize everything. I appreciate having my photos separated from videos in albums. Tap Photos on the home screen, Albums. Another feature is Summarize Photos and show in collections and by year. Tap Settings, Photos & Camera, tap to turn the feature on or off.
  • Close Apps. Double-tap the Home button. Close apps by swiping them upward. You can see more of them by swiping left and right. Double-tap the Home button when done.

Messages

  • Message Templates. I love the message templates. Go to Settings, Phone, Respond with Text. Create your own custom messages. When a call comes in, Message will be one of your options. Tap that, and choose one of your templates.
  • Selecting Text-Paragraph. Only if you’re in typing mode (e.g., replying to an email message), you can double-tap (use two fingers) a paragraph to select it.
  • Selecting Text-Word. To select a word, double-tap it (use one finger). Then drag the pointers to extend the selection.
  • Timestamps for Messages. It’s easy to check for the exact time every message was sent and received by swiping message bubbles to the left.
  • Blocking Unwanted Calls and Messages. You can block someone by first adding them to Contacts, Settings, Phone, Blocked, Add New, find that contact you want to block.
  • Always Bcc Yourself. When I send a message from my iPhone, I automatically send myself a blind copy so the message will end up in my Outlook Inbox. Under Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, scroll down to Mail, and turn on Always Bcc Myself.
  • Customize Your Signature. I wanted to add a couple of lines to my auto signature. Under Settings, Mail-Contacts-Calendars, scroll down to Mail, tap Signature, tap inside the signature space, and tap your text.

Calendar

View in a List. If you’d rather see your appointments in a list, open Calendar, and tap the magnifying glass at the top. You can search your calendar from here also.

Reminders. I don’t use iPhone’s Reminders as mine are in Outlook and synched. Plus, I have a separate app (Alarmed) that I use. But if you do use Reminders, here is a great article about that.

 

More Tips

Here’s a great article I found with some more less obvious tips. Click to find out how to:

  • Delete an entire conversation (swipe to the left in the Messages screen). “However, if you want to keep some messages but delete others, this is less obvious.“
  • Find out how to see the timestamp on every message.
  • And more.

Here’s a great article on ways to save on your battery life.

Have you found features hidden in this new operation system? Leave a comment to let us know.

PEACE.