Better Living Through Technology: New Year, New You

Better Living Through Technology: New Year, New You

Chris Perez
Jan 23, 2012

With all the technology we have at our fingertips today, there's no reason not to make 2012 your best year. Organize your goals, get inspired, learn, and become a better you. In the third and final piece to this multipart series we show you the technology tools to make it happen.

Organize your goals with Google Calendar

Whether your goal is to develop your photography, learn a different language, or redecorate your home office you can use a Google calendar to keep you in check. Put in an entry with the goal, and add a couple milestones that will help you reach it. Try simple things like "learn exposure triangle", "buy foreign language book", or "write a list of my office needs". Take those milestones a step farther by setting up reminders and alerts. This helps keep those resolutions always in the back of your mind so when you do have some downtime they're easily fetched and acted on.

*If you have an Android phone, those reminders can be even more persistent with a handy calendar widget on your homescreen.

Get Inspired with the web

Blogs are great for inspiration and I make it a point to read my favorite bookmarks in the morning before starting work. The site you're reading now isn't too shappy for home decorating or tech solutions, for photography I like Digital Photography School, and for everything in between you really can't beat Pinterest. Trying to learn a foreign language? Try bookmarking some foreign language news blogs like El Pais. Toggle between the Native version and Google translated one for some practice in between your studying. We like using Google Chrome web browser for this feature, simply right-click any foreign-language page and click "Translate to English"

Learn with iTunes U and Khan Academy

Apple is paving the way toward the future again with its recent education announcements, including iTunes U and iBooks 2 apps. Combining media with education, we can move beyond the standard textbook and learn better, easier and with way less backpack load. Best of all is that some of this content can be accessed right now for FREE — no college tuition or registration required. iBooks 2 now offers digital textbooks for $14.99 or less. At that price point, why not grab a textbook and do some self-learning in your spare time. Also check out the great videos from Sal Kahn, at the eponymous Khan Academy. He offers great educational videos, lessons, and assignments over everything from Calculus to History for FREE! Never before has education been so readily available to our fingertips. Get inspired, make those goals and do something about it. You'd be surprised at how much you can change about yourself in a year. Make this your year.

Nothing quite says it like this emotional video from Apple.

Be sure to also check out Part 1: Get Fit, and Part 2: Cook More and Eat Healthier for more tips on having a better living through technology.

(Images: Chris Perez)

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