Affinity Consulting Blog

Every November, in honor of Thanksgiving, our Affinity Partners, Consultants, and Staff suggest tech items for which they are thankful. This year we have a wide range of tech gadgets, gizmos, and services for your consideration. Next month, our December newsletter will feature tech-oriented holiday gift suggestions. Stay tuned.

Affinity Managing Partner Debbie Foster was originally thankful for her Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone - until it was recalled (twice!). She now uses a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and loves it! Debbie's phone (along with her laptop) is her connection to the world. She took the time to customize my phone more than any previous phone. The S7 Edge provides so many other options to be able to quickly access information she needs. Her phone is fast, has an amazing camera (Debbie calls it her camera that also makes phone calls), and is durable. Like many of us, Debbie misses the S-Pen stylus from the Note series, but she says her S7 Edge "rocks." Seriously, if you still have the recalled Note 7 in your posssession, no matter how nice a phone it is, you have to turn it back in - NOW!

Affinity's Marketing Coordinator, Karen Scher, is thankful for the FlePow 3-Outlet Surge Protector/Power Strip with 2-USB Charging Port. With everyone in her household now having mobile devices, juicing up everyone’s phone or tablet can get messy and overwhelming. Her 13-year-old is not allowed to take his phone to his room overnight and she and her husband (wisely) choose to unplug from the world every night. As a result, counter space in the kitchen gets buried under the cords, chargers, etc. This handy little device with its retractable cords and slide out shelves is perfect for de-cluttering while keeping all her family's devices charged for the next day.

Affinity Partner Barron Henley is so thankful, he mentioned four different tech items. First, he is thankful for the Dashlane password manager app and service. If you have as many online accounts as Barron, you can never remember all of your passwords or successfully create unique strong passwords for each account. Dashlane solves that problem. It works on all devices from Windows PCs to Macs, Android phones, and iPhones.

Barron is also thankful for his Amazon Echo. This internet-connected speaker with artificial intelligence has taken the tech world by storm since its introduction last year. There are people who put an Echo, particularly the new ultra-affordable $50 Echo Dot, in every room.

The Echo is a speaker, so it is great for listening to music. There are many on-line music services that work with the Echo, but the most popular is Spotify. It also works on your phone, tablet, and computer. Barron is thankful for Spotify so he can have his favorite music wherever he travels and on whichever device is handy.

When you are on the go as much as Barron, it is hard staying organized. That is why Barron is thankful for Wunderlist. This app and service keeps your life in sync no matter where you are or what device you are carrying. Use Wunderlist to set due dates and reminders and assign to-dos. No matter whether your lists are work related or just for fun, you will never miss a deadline again.

Affinity Client Development Coordinator Jessica Keeler is thankful for Chatbooks. This app creates prints or photo books right from Instagram or Facebook. Jessica has a 3 month old son and takes many pictures of him. Chatbook lets her create and regularly receive in the mail photo books of her son. She also gives them as gifts to grandparents, friends, and other family members.

Affinity Partner Britt Lorish is thankful for Smarthome products. Since she moved to a new house this year, her interest in this new technology has grown. Her latest gadget is a Schlage smart lock. It allows her to not only lock/unlock via an app on her phone, but also assign codes to different family members. The lock monitors activity and sends alerts to her.

Affinity Client Development Coordinator Amy Reardon is thankful for her Apple Watch. It helps her stay connected. Mostly, it reminds her to get up and move so she doesn't sit too long. It is a great way to stop and take a moment to just breathe. Having this reminder to take a few minutes for herself helps get her through a usually hectic day.

Affinity Partner Jeff Krause gives thanks for Darren Hardy Daily Mentoring. This web site sends him a short video or audio first thing every day with inspirational content for personal growth and success. It gets him in the right frame of mind to have a productive day.

Affinity Consultant Dawnese Hawkins agrees with Barron Henley that keeping track for passwords for all web sites and accounts is important. She chooses Roboform to handle that for her. It keeps track of all of her login credentials. It’s great since it works on all three browsers she uses the most (IE, Chrome, Firefox).

Affinity Publications Senior Editor Scott Bassett is thankful for the $16MPow Bluetooth Receiver. This tiny device brings Bluetooth connectivity to the stereo in his 21 year old Mazda Miata so he can connect his phone wirelessly and listen to technology podcasts while driving. It also works as a Bluetooth receiver for wired headphones and turns them into Bluetooth headphones to use wirelessly with smartphones, tablets, and computers.

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