Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘internet’ tag

September 20th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Online Shopping Just Got Better

Don’t you just love finding a bargain? I know I do. But a lot of the real bargains require serious attention to sales and special offers, which means a lot of time in stores. That’s something I don’t love or have much time for. Except for the occasional stroll through my favorite discount stores, I’m not usually in a store unless I’m there for something specific. And with my timing, I’m often there the day after the coupon expires.

Except for clothes, which I prefer to try on, I do a serious amount of online shopping. I’ve been a faithful Peapod shopper for years and would never go back to in-store grocery shopping. If only Trader Joe’s and Costco would offer online shopping and delivery. That would make me SO happy.  Are you reading this Trader Joe’s??

I also rely heavily on Amazon. Books, music, electronics, health and beauty products and even coffee, are some of the items I’ve ordered recently. I could never get my holiday gift giving done without it.

So I’m always interested in better online shopping solutions. Two new apps came to my attention that I think are worth sharing. Google (yes, Google again) recently released an  ipad app called Google Catalogs (go figure, Android has to wait) which allows you to subscribe to electronic versions of lots of retail catalogs and look books and browse them in the comfort of your most comfortable chair. I downloaded it today and had a great time checking out some catalogs that I don’t normally get.

Some of the app’s features include making favorites of your preferred catalogs, ordering products directly from the app, or finding the nearest retail store which sells it. It even let’s me know the hours that the store is open today. How handy is that? But the real bonus is the ability to search across multiple catalogs for a particular item. That’s what I call power shopping!

Now catalog shopping on my ipad is great in an of itself, but to make it that much more satisfying, try out Coupon Sherpa. It’s available online at couponsherpa.com and as an iphone app. (Android and Blackberry apps are on the way). Here’s a one-stop app for finding coupons for the stores you are going to shop (online included). Never hit the checkout without checking here first.

So whether you’re shopping at the mall or from your couch, these two apps can help you get the job done.

Thank you Pure Wow for alerting me to Google Catalogs and to Digitwirl for the heads up on Coupon Sherpa. These will both come in really handy.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

 

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September 6th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Elegant Greetings with Paperless Post

Don’t you just love the conveniences that the internet brings? I mean, how did we live before social networking, online shopping, electronic bill paying, email, and news surfing?

Well when it came to communicating, we did a lot of things in long hand, like sending greeting cards. Then we started communicating online. These days, I rely so much on the internet for so many things that used to require snail mail that I know I’m personally contributing to the demise of the postal system as well as the greeting card business.

My mom was, and some of my sisters are so good at sending cards and notes in the mail. I didn’t get that gene. I count on my gmail calendar to remind me of important dates, and because if it, I hardly ever forget a birthday. It’s just that I don’t often get to card stores and am usually too late to get them in the mail and delivered on time. (Not to mention the cost of the cards – does anyone else find them ridiculously expensive??) So ecards are a great solution for me, especially in a pinch.

There are different options available. Hallmark, AmericanGreetings, Bluemountain and Someecards are just a few. I’ve found though that sometimes the card options they offer just don’t have the right look and feel for my personality. I like funny, not goofy, smart, not sappy, witty, not mean or overly sarcastic. So it’s sometimes a challenge to find just the right card and you can’t always edit the card message itself.

So I was delighted to find paperlesspost.com. This website provides beautiful stationary with customization tools that enable you to create lovely greetings and notes. I’ve recently sent a get well card as well as a birthday card and was very pleased with how they looked. You have font choices so you can customize the greeting to not only say what you want, but also use the appropriate typeface. It even offers an envelope option, with gorgeous liner options to make the entire experience feel more like the real thing. It’s as close as you can get to a handwritten card, without having to actually write and stamp the envelope.

I don’t know about you but after all these years of typing just about everything, my handwriting has become embarrassingly awkward and it seems like I can’t even write the simplest greeting without making a mistake. Scratching out a misspelling or the wrong word is just so tacky.

Thank you Paperless Post, for giving me an elegant option for my email greetings. When you join, the first 25 stamps are free but the cost for stamps (for sending) and coins (for customizing) are very reasonable and between the savings on the cards as well as the postage, the subscription pays for itself very quickly.

There are tracking options and your cards are saved in your account so you have a history of sent and received cards. You can also print them if you want to save a hardcopy. I’m a fan.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

 

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June 28th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Have You Stumbled Lately?

What, you say? Well, I don’t mean stumble in the traditional trip and fall method. I mean have you visited Stumbleupon? It’s a terrific website that brings surfing the web to a new and smarter place. Traditional web surfing usually entails starting out at a site and clicking around on different links that might have you end up miles from where you started; looking at pages, videos and articles that have no relation to where you began. It’s like a fantasy journey that once you could only imagine, just hopping from place to place checking out what’s happening all over the planet. Thank you internet, for bringing this fantasy to life.

Today I give you stumbleupon.com. When you start at the stumbleupon site, you choose from a selection of topics that interest you, such as technology, sports, family, arts & history, music, religion, movies and many more. Stumbleupon then serves up web pages that match your interest. You check out the site and indicate your like/dislike on the toolbar and share with your social network if you wish.

Clicking the stumble button is like spinning the wheel and seeing what prize turns up. Some are great, some not so much, but it’s a great way to check out sites that you might never come across on your own. When you watch a site, you have the option to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The more you rate, the closer your future stumbles match your preferences, interests or sense of humor..

Click here to see an example of a site I came upon last night that was truly amazing.  A little scary if you’re afraid of heights, but totally fascinating.

Now I’ll admit, I don’t actually have a lot of time to spend stumbling, but when I do check it out,, I’m always inspired by something that I see. There are some incredibly talented and creative folks out there, sharing content that inevitably takes me away for a time. It lets me see the world from another perspective, learn something new, be inspired, or just be entertained.

Give it a try. I guarantee you’ll find something intriguing, titillating, baffling or just plain fascinating within a few stumbles. Yes this is a time waster, but it’s a very cool time waster, with some true redeeming qualities. Be careful though, it can be very addictive.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

 

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