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Liberate Your Time

Tired of Asking Your Children for Help with Your iPhones & iPads?

Jumping woman silhouetteCan You Answer “Yes” to at Least 1 of These Questions?

  • Are you often frustrated with your iPhone/iPad?
  • Do you dread asking your children for help with technology?
  • Do you feel like you can’t keep up with the changes in technology?

If so, help is here! Just enter your email below and click “Get Updates!”

Do you ever find yourself searching and searching for an app on your iPhone or iPad instead of knowing just where to find it? We download apps to make us more productive, help us exercise, learn a new language, share photos, and at some point we have so many apps that we struggle to find the right one at the right time.

Yes, you can use Siri or Spotlight Search function to quickly find an app, but for some reason that’s a difficult habit to create.

If you find yourself scrolling through pages of apps on your iPhone, it’s time to organize them in a way that makes sense for you.

A recent article on mashable.com described “7 Creative Ways to Organize Your Mobile Apps.” Some were quite creative, like arranging your apps based on their icon color! I don’t think my brain would do well with that organizational system.

I actually like combining several of the Mashable suggestions.

1) Organize your apps into folders

  • On your iPhone/iPad screen find two or more apps that you would group in the same category.
  • Hold your finger on one of those apps.
  • When it begins to wiggle, drag the app onto the top of the other same-category app until it appears to be “swallowed.”
  • Lift your finger off of the screen.
  • The iPhone will create a folder for the two apps and name the folder.
  • To change the name of the folder, tap the name field, touch the “x” on the right side and type a new name.
  • Touch Done.
  • Tap the screen above the shaded folder area to return to the full screen.
  • Continue moving wiggling apps.
  • Press the Home key once to end the edit mode for your apps.

2) Within each folder, organize by frequency of app usage

  • Hold your finger on a folder until it wiggles.
  • Tap the folder to open.
  • Drag the apps within your folder to arrange them in the order of how often you use them.
  • Press the Home key once to end the edit mode for your apps.

3) Arrange each folder in alphabetical order

  • Hold your finger on a folder until it wiggles.
  • Drag the folders to arrange them in alphabetical order.
  • Press the Home key once to end the edit mode for your apps.

Now, when you’re searching for a particular app, search first for the type of app, alphabetically, by folder.

One final suggestion. Do not put the apps that you use all the time in folders. Leave a select few out and on your first screen in the top row and the bottom row. 


IMG_1500One of the time-saving features in most email programs is the ability to organize contacts into groups for emailing everyone in a couple of mouse clicks. If you’ve set up email groups on your computer, you’ve probably noticed that you cannot use them to email from your iPhone or iPad. 

What was Apple thinking!

Whether your contact groups are created in iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo or some other email service, they just don’t work on the iPhone/iPad with the Mail app.

Until recently, I did not know that there is a “work around.” It’s not hard, but it will take a little time and patience to set up.  As we use our iPhones and iPads more and more for everything, including emailing, it’s probably worth your time.

The steps to create a distribution list on iPhone/iPad

  1. Touch Contacts.
  2. Find the first contact for your new group.
  3. Touch the contact’s name to open.
  4. Hold your finger on the email address until Copy appears.
  5. Touch Copy.
  6. Press the Home key.
  7. Touch Notes.
  8. Touch New.
  9. Hold your finger on the screen until Paste appears.
  10. Touch Paste.
  11. Type a comma after each email address with no extra spaces.
  12. Double-press the Home key.
  13. Touch Contacts.
  14. Find your next contact for the group and copy the email address.
  15. Double-press the Home key.
  16. Touch Notes.
  17. Touch the screen so that the letters are all black and the cursor is just past the comma.
  18. Hold your finger on a blank part of the screen until Paste appears and touch Paste.
  19. Repeat until all of your group’s email addresses are on this Note, separated by comma’s with no spaces.
  20. Touch Done.
  21. Hold your finger on a blank section of the Note until a black selection bubble appears.
  22. Touch Select All.
  23. Touch Copy.
  24. Double-press the Home key and touch Contacts.
  25. From the All Contacts screen touch ‘+’.
  26. Enter your Group’s name in the Company field.
  27. Touch add email.
  28. Hold your finger on the field until a bubble pops up.
  29. Touch Paste.
  30. Touch Done.

The Contacts app allows you to have multiple email addresses in one email field, though I could not find a limit on the number you can have. It appears to work for groups up to twenty or so and it certainly can’t hurt to try it with even larger lists.

How to email your distribution list from an iPhone/iPad

Once you’ve created your email groups on your iPhone/iPad, the best way to send an email to your list is through Contacts, not the Mail app.

  1. Simply find your group in Contacts
  2. Touch it to open and touch the list of emails.
  3. A new email will open ready for you to compose and send with all of your lists’ addresses automatically in the “To:” field.

Travelers and Sun

In keeping with the beginning of summer and my mind on an upcoming vacation, I’ve found some good information to help you save time and money when you travel.

Happy trails to you! [click to continue…]



Woman on sofa with ipod

I almost cannot believe what Amazon announced recently.

Say good-bye to Pandora, iTunes Radio, Spotify and Google Play, and say hello to Prime Music.

Prime Music is an ad-free, music listening service for Amazon Prime members. If you are already an Amazon Prime member, this is an amazing addition to an already value-filled service.

What is Amazon Prime Music? Like it’s competition, it is user-selected streaming music, sometimes called “internet radio.” From your computer or your mobile device, you select music from playlists, genres, artists, albums or songs that you want to hear by adding them to your Prime Music Library.

Then, whenever you have an internet connection you can play the music on your computer or mobile devices.

Here is the amazing part of Prime Music. You can download for free any or all of the music to your mobile devices that you add to your Library! You do not have to stream the music with an internet connection. It works just like your iTunes playlists except that you don’t have to buy the songs anymore.

If you are already an Amazon Prime member, you were just given a million-plus songs.

If you are not yet an Amazon Prime member, you can start a 30-day free trial, after which you will pay $99 a year for free two-day shipping, movies, TV shows and now music. It is a great value.

There are some drawbacks to Prime Music.

  • Compared to the other streaming music services, they have a very small library. A Buzzfeed article suggested that only songs that have been out at least six months will be eligible. Likewise, the Prime Music library does not have as many artists represented as other services.
  • Prime Music is not as good for music discovery. For instance, Pandora lets you input the genre or artist you’re in the mood for, and then plays similar songs for you. With Amazon, you pick a playlist and see all the songs within that playlist.
  • You can only stream music from one device at a time. If you and a family member share the same Amazon Prime account, only one computer can stream music at any time. If you’ve downloaded music to your smartphone or tablet, you can play from those devices at the same time as a streaming computer.

To get started visit primemusic.com. Download the apps for your computers, smartphones, tablets and Kindle Fire. Select some playlists for your library or create your own and start playing!


Flying iPhoneI love to travel. Especially to Europe.

Italy. Yum!!!

Preparing for an international trip is much easier these days with the plethora of sites and apps to help you decide where to go, where to stay, how to save money, etc.

Last week, I shared some apps and tips for those travel logistics.

This week I’m focusing on two tips for traveling to Europe:

1) Learning (or re-learning) a language for free

There are many expensive programs you can purchase like Rosetta Stone and Influenz, but they just aren’t fun to use.

I recently started using a free site and app called Duolingo (duolingo.com) and highly recommend it! The lessons are relatively short and include speaking into your device’s microphone.

I especially enjoy using it on my iPhone because I can get a quick lesson done whenever and wherever I have 5 to 10 minutes of downtime.

And to help you translate in a foreign country, I recommend that you download both the Google Translate and Jibbigo apps. You will need Wi-Fi or a data plan to use Google Translate, so be sure use Jibbigo to download offline access for the languages you will need.

2) Using your iPhone in Europe

You can unknowingly spend a lot of money using your cell phone in Europe the way you do in the States unless you plan and prepare before you leave.

This information and my research focuses on ways to avoid paying international fees to your wireless provider.

The first step in cell phone planning is to decide how you want to be able to use your iPhone in Europe.

  • Do you need to be available for incoming calls/texts/email all the time?
  • Or, can you plan your calls/texts/emails for times when you have free Wi-Fi in a hotel or restaurant?
  • If you are sightseeing without a guide, do you want to use GPS for navigation by foot, bike or car?
  • Or, could you download and save maps with free Wi-Fi before you sightsee and use the maps with no navigation assistance?
  • Do you want to be able to access the Internet at any time, or just when you have free Wi-Fi?

This table simplifies the questions to help you see your options.

Calls/Texts Email Downloaded Maps GPS Navigation Internet

Full Access 24/7

 $$  $$    $$  $$

For Emergencies Only


Only with Free Wi-Fi

 Green Check mark  Green Check mark  Green Check mark  Green Check mark  Green Check mark

Full Access 24/7

Of course, the most expensive use of your cell phone in Europe would be to have full access through your cell provider, just like you have in the States.

Other options for 24/7 coverage include:

  • renting or purchasing a European cell phone (won’t be as useful without all your apps)
  • renting a European mobile hotspot (won’t last a whole day between charges)
  • using an unlocked iPhone with a European SIM card (if you have a Verizon iPhone, you can do this!)

For Emergencies Only

You can sign up for a global calling and/or data plan with your cell phone provider, but you will have to be diligent that your settings are correct on your iPhone and that you do not go over the plan you purchased. This is usually where people end up with a big surprising bill when they return.

Only with Free Wi-Fi

By planning ahead and correctly setting up some services, you can do the following for free in Europe wherever you have free Wi-Fi:

  • Access your voicemail messages by setting up a Google Voice number and forwarding calls to that number.
  • Access and send text messages if your cell phone provider offers “cloud texting,” which I know Verizon and AT&T do.
  • Video or voice call your contacts via Skype, Google Hangouts or FaceTime.
  • Call landlines or cell phones in Europe or the US for pennies a minute.
  • Email, search the internet and download maps.

In the past, I’ve written about how to use your iPhone in Europe for free here, here ,here, here and here! It’s a great place for you to start for the preparations and settings you’ll need for spending little or no money on your iPhone and staying connected.

I’ve also put together all the tools and settings you’ll need in one easy-to-follow ebook. If you really want to learn how to use your iPhone for free in Europe, click here.