Taming Technology

Taming Technology

For those who don’t know me very well, I LOVE technology…probably a little too much. I love how it can help me get organized; remind me of birthdays, anniversaries, and other important appointments. Sometimes…technology can get the better of me if I’m not careful. Today I have divided my post two parts and you can read the one which applies to you the best {you can read them both too if you’d like, I won’t mind}. The two parts are:






For those of us who can’t get enough of technology I wonder just how much alike we really are…

If you’re like me, your high tech phone is rarely out of reach and you know every little trick and feature it has to offer. The moment it buzzes or dings, we are compelled to see what new information has popped up. At times, the person who is standing two feet in front of us gets less attention than that little 5oz phone.

When we’re sitting at our computer we tend to have at least half a dozen windows open at one time. There’s one for Facebook, Twitter, work email, personal email, a blog or two, Pandora, and whatever search engine we’re working with at that moment. Like Glynnis said on pg 145, being able to multitask efficiently is a myth. Instead we find ourselves constantly busy, yet at the end of the day we barely remember what we accomplished!

At times we are able to get technology under control, instead of letting it control us, but other times, we get sucked into overload and wonder why we didn’t get anything done!

Hopefully, what Glynnis has offered in this chapter will help you us to get things in better perspective. I also have a little something that has made a difference for me, especially while at work. It’s a desktop application called Rescue Time.

Pure and simple, this App tracks what you do while on your computer. How much time is spent on any given website or computer application such as Word or Excel. If you leave your computer alone for five minutes it will ask you where you’ve been {Kinda stalkerish}. In this way, you are able to record minute by minute what you did all day. You can set up alerts letting you know that you’ve spend 45minutes on all social networking sites; you can adjust the time. When you dig a little deeper, you can change the settings dictating what is “productive” and what isn’t. Check out their tour for a better image of how it works.

If you go Pro, there is an added feature called “Focus Time” where all “non-productive” sites and applications are blocked for 45min. I have not taken the plunge into Pro…but I have seriously considered doing this to help focus my time, because seeing my little Facebook and Twitter page light up on my screen distracts me even though I don’t even realize it!

Now for phones and hanging out with friends or family. One of the greatest blessings that helped me with this was when my phone BROKE! My iPhone is now permanently on silent; the alarm and iTunes still works, but I no longer am notified of phone calls, texts, emails, or other sounds. At first I was frustrated because I would miss a text or phone call, but then I realized that the people I was spending time with…got more of my attention! So I offer some very simple advice.

When you are with someone and you want to give them all of your attention, whether it’s your spouse, kids, family, or friends. Simply put your phone on silent and put it away. I know for some of us, this can be hard because we want to know what’s going on, but the beauty of technology is that it will still be there when we’re done.

One last note and something FUN! Stop by my Apptastic Page for some of my favorite Apps. If you have one not on the list, I would LOVE for you to share in a comment on that page.

You can continue reading or scroll down to the end of this post for a few closing remarks.



Hello ladies! I was born when “the brick” was first invented; the first cell phone which weighed 2lbs, worked for 30mins at a time, and looked like THIS. Believe me when I say I understand just how fast technology changes!

I grew up using dos codes on the computer to access programs and Atari was my Wii. Windows ’95 was HUGE when it came out! I was in high school when I signed up for my first email account and we only had internet because my mom worked for the Air Force. I was SO excited and I didn’t even have anyone I could email! I didn’t get a cell phone until I was in college. By then texting had begun but was still expensive.

For you, technology may not be your best friend, but there are so many ways it can help you relieve yourself of clutter and help you get organized while on the go…but first…how do we figure it all out? My solution for you is sooooooo simple…ask a teenager!

I work with youth sixth-twelfth grade and I am constantly amazed with just how much they know about the technology in today’s world. Then again, unlike us, they have been raised with all of this newfangled stuff. For many of us, by the time we’ve figured out how to use it all, it’s out of date already!

One idea to getting a better understanding of technology is to host a Techno Party. This would be a GREAT opportunity to talk with your church’s youth leader and ask for a little help. Host a get together in your home or church and invite any friends or church members who would like help figuring out their phone, computer, GPS, Facebook, Twitter, or any other piece of technology. Invite the youth of your church to come for free refreshments {free food works wonders with youth} and ask them to go around helping and answering questions. If you have an active youth group, you may even be able to have them set up little “workshops” covering different topics such as Social Networking, Computer Basics {Word, iTunes, Excel, etc}, and Getting to Know your Phone. I am more than willing to help your youth leader get started.

Another wonderful way of getting to know your technology is to visit YouTube. There are so many How-To videos on the web that it’s very easy to watch someone walk you through the process. The benefit for using YouTube, is that you can pause or re-watch videos whenever you need to! Simply enter your query into the search box and click enter. You could type in key words such as: “Android calendar tutorial” or “Delete friend from Facebook.” The only word of caution I have here is that, I cannot guarantee what kind of language or music is included in the video, but I have never had a problem when searching for a How-To video.

Ultimately, the more you learn about the technology you have, the more you can put it to work for you; especially your cell phone and computer. However, if what you do now WORKS for you, then do NOT feel pressured be “more advanced.” If what works best for you is a day planner in your purse and you never forget an appointment, that’s wonderful, keep doing what you are doing. I do hope the two ideas above will help anyone who does want to learn more about what they have.



As I mentioned before, if you have a system that works for you, there is no reason to feel pressured into changing that system. Don’t be afraid to try something new either, you just never know if you’ll like something unless you try it.

Inspired by Glynnis Whitwer’s book I Used to Be So Organized

16 thoughts on “Taming Technology

  1. My husband is constantly asking me if I want a program on my computer that he has tried and likes, but unless I would remember that it is on my computer, and remember what it does, it would just be taking up disk space.
    I do art journaling and I am always being asked if I could post pics of pages to groups I’m part of, but I have not yet taken the time to learn how to transfer pics from my cell phone to computer, and my husband’s big digital camera looks formidable to me


    1. Most digital cameras have a memory card that you put into a slot on your computer, making it very simple to save the pictures you want, edit them, and share. Check out YouTube for a tutorial on how to transfer pics from your cell. If it’s a newer one, it can be as simple as plugging it in to your computer, then drag and dropping the ones you want.

      I love looking at creative pictures, do you have a website where I can view yours?


  2. I am like you…if there is a new tech toy, I want it and just love learning new tricks! I’m a stay-at-home mom now, but when I was teaching elementary students, I loved using technology in all subjects to captivate, motivate and reach kids! I love and appreciate your idea to “ask a teenager” because my students and now my middle school son were always my best resources for new tricks and ideas! Thanks for reminding me to mute/ hide my phone sometimes so I don’t miss out on the quality time with those present in day!


  3. Heather love all the apps but wish they were for the computer, especially the Bible memorization. I have a laptop and a desktop and I have a fancy phone with no apps. I never know if I have to pay internet time for apps – maybe if I knew I’d download them. I have basic phone service and I pay for texts. LOL – too cheap and I don’t text very often except for a couple of friends. I don’t like it – I prefer to talk and I am not one that talks long and seldom on the phone but I don’t want you to be texted. I also don’t take time to understand my phone. I take my 30 year old daughter with me to get a new one and when she comes to visit she says Mom look at this shortcut.


    1. Most Apps are downloaded to your phone and once it’s there, you don’t need the internet. You can read about any App on the computer so that you know which ones you can use without eating your data time.

      I’ll have to look into Apps for the computer itself…I may just have to add a few to my Apptastic Page ;).


  4. I was a cell site technician when the cellular industry was really getting hot in 1986. It amazed me through the years how people quickly became so rude with them: answering them while out to eat with friends/family, talking while checking out at a grocery store (not paying attention to the checker’s questions or their kids), etc. I don’t know of a single person who actually uses their voice mail. I think it’s because we’ve become such an instant gratification society. The funniest thing I ever witnessed was when we visited my husband’s grandparents and their land-line telephone rang. Grandpa said to let it go to his answering machine. The person didn’t leave a message, but then just seconds afterwards, Grandpa’s cellphone rang. He didn’t answer it. To our amazement, his SECOND cellphone then rang (this was when he was 93)!!

    I’ve always had the cheapest, no frills phone and kept it in my purse. Now that my kids are out of the house, they text me throughout the day, and I’m able to answer them when I’m on my lunch or after work, and they can answer me when they have the time. I’m a little nervous about this, but I actually desire a better phone now… my first grandchild is due in December and I want to be able to receive pictures. I need to spend some time on the Internet looking up phones to see how they can help me.

    Thanks for the wonderful techy tips!! : )


  5. I read the second entry, since I only used a computer for work (I well remember those dos commands) and when we got a home computer, I was just out of my 40’s. I also remember the “brick” phones and, before then, the beepers! My husband, kids and I were taking care of my grandmother and the beeper was the best way for us to know if something was wrong. We felt like real “techie’s”! Your idea of getting the youth group to help is genius! Our church doesn’t have one, but I will pass this along to those I know who do; it’s good for those of us who still have much to learn and good for the kids also. Never thought of YouTube for how-to videos. I have a phone and, recently, a tablet from Verizon Wireless. I know their website has how-to’s and troubleshoots for their products. It’s a stretch for me to try to get skills online; I’m of the generation that still expects there to be a “class” for a new skill, but I am going to try this. In closing, I have to tell you something which will illustrate how far we have come technologically. I used to work for a large bank in NY and was sent to a class to teach us how to use the latest time-management tool: the Franklin Planner. The class was 3 days long and we were taught the basis methods of prioritization, etc. Now the Franklin website probably has a blackberry and a tutorial which covers the same content in half an hour or less!

    Thanks so much for all your hard work! God bless.


  6. I work on a computer, on a phone all day for a 32 hour week. I really have gotten good at limiting my use of the computer and cell phone when I am not working! I do keep the TV on more than I should in the evenings, I think. The last two evenings, I have spent about 30 minutes walking with my 3 year old son after work, and that has really been cool! No TV, no phone, no computer or games..We talked about his day at daycare, what we saw during our walk and how much I miss him when we are apart. My boy asked me to walk with him the second time! I think we might need to make this a daily habit. I get extra activity, and we get good connecting time.

    I am handling my mail with the “no loose papers lying around” rule, and it is going well!! I have been keeping up with my dishes, too–no dirty dishes left in the sink overnight. It seems like such small things, but, these small steps are in the right direction. I have 4 naptimes the rest of the week to tackle some other clutter issues.


    1. I love how you get to spend 30minutes with your son! I used to LOVE going for a walk with my family as a kid…mostly because it usually ended with some soft serve from DQ up the street. We had a wonderful time together! Enjoy your walks!


  7. We’re in the same boat, Heather! I love technology! However, like you, I had to learn when to turn it off. I realized that I was robbing the people I was actually spending time with of my full attention. Perhaps it gave off the impression that I didn’t believe what they had to say was nearly as important as the incoming email, text, etc. I’m so glad to hear that you’re “recovering” like me, as well. Blessings!


  8. I like your idea of just “simply put your phone on silent and put it away.” Especially for those of us who aren’t texters it seems a little rude to be texting someone when you are WITH someone. Just BE with those you are truly with. 😀


  9. I love technology and definitely resonate with your post! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of having youth helping those who want to learn how to use technology. What a great way to get people face to face and helping each other!! Thank you Heather.


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