Thinking Ahead to 2014

I confess. I am so overwhelmed by my pre-Christmas To Do List that I just can’t get a helpful article written today! So this will be short and sweet.

I will be offering my two classes here in Hendersonville, NC in January AND adding a new, virtual class that you can take from comfort of your home or office.

My local classes are: Liberate Your iPhone/iPad with the Basics and Liberate Your iPhone/iPad with Cloud Storage. Click here for descriptions and more information.

My new, virtual class is going to liberate your precious photo memories by teaching you how to create awesome slideshows with iPhoto. For lack of a more creative name, I’m just going to call it the iPhoto Slideshow Course.

Each week, you will receive a short instructional video from me. You’ll watch the video when you want and as often as you need and then follow the instructions with your own photos. Plus, I will do a live Q&A once a week to help you with any specific challenges. At the end of 6 weeks, you will have a slideshow of a special trip, event or holiday that you can share and enjoy for years to come.

Yesterday’s photo albums are today’s digital slideshows and so much more fun and easy to share. Here is an example of a slideshow from a recent trip I made. (Your quality will be much better than Youtube’s.) I’ll post my Christmas card slideshow as soon as I finish it!

What I need you to do

This is not a registration or commitment but if you are interested in any of the classes, I need to know so that I can make plans for January. You can either email me or use the form below.

Create and Sign Documents Far From Home

A few weeks ago while I was on vacation in India, my daughter who is in the process of buying a house, emailed that she needed a letter written and signed by me as part of her loan process. I only had an iPad with me but knew that I could easily do this for her from halfway across the world! Of course, I needed to have internet access, which I did from my hotel.

The ability to create documents and sign them with your fingertip (or a stylus) will require you to download a word processing app and a digital signing app into your iPhone/iPad. I use Apple’s word processor Pages, which is $9.99 or free if you purchased your iPhone/iPad after September 1, 2013. I use a free digital signing app called HelloSign. Both apps were already on my iPad before my trip.

I created my letter with Pages and then selected to open it in HelloSign. I simply touched the screen where I wanted to place my signature and used my finger to sign my name. It looked as good and professional as if I had printed it from my home computer and signed with a pen.

Finally, I used the Send option in HelloSign to email my signed letter as an attachment. You can also use HelloSign to sign documents that have been emailed to you and send them back in a snap.

This is exactly how I did it with my iPad: Read more

Making Christmas Fun Again

The older I get, the more I want to create fun and memorable experiences. Because our children are grown and we have no grandchildren, making Christmas fun again has become my annual mission.  Last year, my husband and I created an elaborate crossword puzzle game with clues to a vacation gift for our “kids.” It was so much fun to make and to play on Christmas morning. Who knows, one day I may even make it available to others.

This year my “Making Christmas Fun Again” idea includes my extended family of cousins, an aunt and an uncle. We are going to have a “Cracker Barrel Christmas!” A “Cracker Barrel Christmas” is a gift exchange where every gift has to come from the Cracker Barrel gift shop – up to $20. Now, no offense to anyone who loves shopping at Cracker Barrel, but you have to admit that it won’t be hard to find some hilarious and tacky presents there.

Rather than writing out each person’s name on a piece of paper for a traditional name drawing, I decided to see if there was an online site to do it for me. I found several, but my favorite one was

I like because you simply type in your list of names and then you set up rules for each person. The rules prevent certain names from being drawn for a particular person, which is the trickiest part about a gift exchange drawing. You can even cheat a little and force a particular name to be drawn for someone.

My whole family is super excited about our “Cracker Barrel Christmas!” They don’t know it, but there’s going to be a vote for the best Cracker Barrel gift and a special prize for the winner.

I hope you are “Making Christmas Fun Again,” too!