Keeping up with Technology

Keeping up with Technology

Today, perhaps more than ever before technology seems to nearly run our lives. We rely on technology and specialized software utilities every day. Not only do these advances make our lives easier, but they allow us to work more efficiently and often with higher productivity. Technology has also permeated our personal lives as well. Modern advances and conveniences are now taken for granted. Technology such as remote controls, garage door openers, and microwaves have certainly changed our lives and we use them today without a second thought. I didn’t really truly appreciate all of the technology at my disposal until I was away from work on maternity leave. The devices that I had learned to lean on were suddenly not as readily available to use or completely removed from my life. I rarely used my Mobile Outlook calendar because I couldn’t sync to my work computer, my personal computer decided to become a haven to a hard drive crippling virus, etc. At one point I would admit that I enjoyed the short respite, but after about two hours, I missed my laptop computer and Outlook calendar. How was I expected to schedule my son’s doctor appointments or keep the inevitable influx of relatives and in-laws straight on my own without my technological crutches?! This week, Apple unveiled their new Ipad. Essentially, this new technology is an enormous Ipod Touch. While I am not surprised in this latest step up the technology ladder, it makes me wonder what is next? I am constantly trying to find ways to become more efficient and productive with my work. One sure-fire way to help is look for technology that will help achieve my goals. There are numerous softwares that claim to be the “best” or “industry leader” (don’t even start me on all of the 3-D rendering softwares available!) but how can we be so sure without shelling out large sums of money? Purchasing a specific software with the intentions of increasing efficiency only to find out the product doesn’t fit the needs of the organization will cause headaches and stress. However, there are some steps we can take to increase efficiency and save money, turning us from office dunce to hero in about as much time as it takes to download a new program. When researching new software, I have found that most software companies offer a trial version of the software you want for download. These trials can be for as little as 24 hours but most seem to run for at least one month. What I would recommend is to make sure you have enough time to use the software so you can make a reasonable determination if the program will sufficiently meet your needs (and perhaps finish that important project). Additionally, there is a wealth of information available on the internet that will provide valuable feedback through online reviews and discussion groups from people just like you. If you are really fortunate, you might find that perfect software at no cost (yes, they are out there, just very hard to find)! We all have our favorite technologies that help us in our daily professional and personal lives. What are yours? Submitted By: Amanda Medlen

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