Pligg - Digital Download Marketplace

standard

Go Green: Top 5 Eco Apps to Download Right Now

December 11, 2017 - By 

Looking to start going green, but not sure where to start?

Technology is one of the greatest tools we have at our disposal to help us lead more eco-friendly lives.

The average American adult spends up to 86 hours a month on their phone, which amounts to about 3 hours a day! As for tablets, in 2016 156 billion minutes were spent browsing the web on these nifty gadgets in the US alone.

With so much time spent on mobile screens and tablets, it seems silly not to use their convenience to do good for our planet in some way.

You may be wondering how this is possible. The answer is apps. As of January 2017, there were 2.2 million apps available in the Apple app store.

With so many on offer for you to choose from and test out, where do you start? Not to worry, read on to discover our top 5 recommendations for eco apps. But first…

How Can Eco Apps Help You?

Whether you’re the owner of a smartphone or tablet, you may be on the lookout for more convenient ways to get information on the go. Information that will help you make the most eco-friendly, sustainable choices you can.

Not all eco apps are created equal. However, each eco app we recommend in this article is not only popular but super useful too!

Whether you’re on iOS or Android, the five eco apps listed below are compatible with both. All five are sure to make your quest to be an environmentally conscious consumer much easier.

Read on to find out what they are about and how, individually, they can help you.

1. Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping

If you’re invested in environmental issues that affect endangered wildlife, you’ll already know the deal when it comes to why palm oil is bad. If not, let us explain.

The Low-Down on Palm Oil

Palm oil is an ingredient which regularly appears in all kinds of products ranging from food to cosmetic products. However, it is also the root cause for some of the most disastrous of environmental issues.

It is one of the lead causes of deforestation, which in turn destroys the habitats of endangered wildlife such as Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Malayan Sun bears, and Bornean Pygmy elephants.

Overall, palm oil deforestation is one of the largest contributors to climate change. If you care about our planet, then it’s definitely worth looking into. The Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping app offers an easy way to do so.

Why This App?

Concerned you may be buying products contain unsustainably sourced palm oil? Worry no more! This eco app allows you to shop with confidence with just the scan of a barcode.

Developed by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado, this incredible app can help you check to see if the product you’re planning to buy is ”orangutan friendly”. Its database contains over 6,000 products.

The Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping app also helps consumers discover alternative products to those that aren’t R.S.P.O. certified, and explains the crisis, as well as providing tips on how to do your bit to help wild orangutans.

As far as eco apps go, this one is pretty impressive!

2. Light Bulb Finder

Whether you’re going solar in San Diego or Tampa, paying attention to where your energy and electricity is coming from is a great way to maintain strong eco-awareness.

Tying into the theme of sustainable energy and electricity comes the Light Bulb Finder app.

Are you unsure of which bulbs you should be putting where? Worried about how much your electricity bill is racking up from inefficient lamps, as well as the wider effect on climate change? Light Bulb Finder is the eco app for you.

This award-winning eco app makes it easy to find suitable energy efficient bulbs for your home.

Named best overall app by the EPA in 2011, it aids users in their search for eco-friendly bulbs. You can even buy your bulbs directly through the app.

3. #Climate

Fancy yourself a climate change activist? This is one of the best eco apps that will allow you to well and truly fulfill that role.

#Climate makes it easier than ever to uncover and share a variety of actions you can take to battle climate change through over 90 non-profit organizations.

This app also provides statistics to see what kind of personal impact you’re making on the causes you care about. #Climate provides a platform for change and positive global and environmental impact.

Change starts with action, and if #Climate doesn’t make you want to start researching and planning your activism and making protest signs, we don’t know what will.

Harness social power for the greater good with this app, today.

4. Wise Up On Waste

Every year, roughly 50% of food is wasted in the United States. That amounts to about 60 million tons, worth an approximate $160 billion!

It’s a pretty sickening statistic, especially when you consider that 41.1 million Americans are food insecure. This means they are forced to skip meals, or feed their children over themselves, and buy cheap nutritiously lacking food.

If you’re looking to reduce your food waste, this is the app for you. The Wise Up On Waste app can help you reduce the amount of food you throw out by 20% or more.

How Does It Work

This app can help will help you keep track of how much food you waste or spoil. The king of waste management eco apps, you can permanently stamp out kitchen waste with this app with some of its awesome features. These include:

  • A means of identifying where/when you generate waste
  • Trackers for weekly progress and savings
  • Audits for waste at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

With all of these features and more, this is definitely one of the eco apps you need on your phone if you’re looking to save the planet, as well as your wallet!

5. iRecycle

iRecycle will help you find convenient eco-information and recycling options across the US. With over 1.6 million ways to recycle more than 350 different materials, you’ll never be short of recycling ideas again!

You can review the latest recycling tips and tricks and browse recycling news and updates. This really is an app for those who are passionate about the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

Even if you’re just a casual user who simply wants to make a difference, this app uses your current location to help you find nearby resources, with information about their operating hours and directions.

No matter the material, get organized with this app and get to know your local recycling depots.

Honourable Mentions

In the world of eco apps, there are no losers. In our book, any app that exists to help make a difference to the planet is worth giving a go.

With this in mind, here are more amazing eco apps but almost, but didn’t quite make the top five.

Bunny Free

Trying to go cruelty-free? Bunny Free is the app for you! Developed by PETA, it gets its data from their lists of companies, along with their animal testing policies.

With the app, you can type in a name or scan a barcode of a number of products:

  • Cosmetics
  • Personal-care products
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • General Household Products

Not only will it tell you whether a company tests or not, but it can tell you if it is owned by a parent company who does. Knowledge is power, and this app gives you just the information you need to make some smart consumer decisions

greenMeter

greenMeter is a great app that is, sadly, exclusive to iOS.

It also costs $5.99, though in the grand scheme of apps that really isn’t a whole lot of cash. This is without mentioning what a worthwhile investment it is. In fact, the software can supposedly pay for itself within 1-2 tanks of gas.

greenMeter calculates your vehicle’s fuel and power usage. It evaluates your driving and displays real-time results for instant feedback on how to increase fuel efficiency, lessen fuel consumption and cost, and lower the environmental impact of you and your car.

At its best on the road, greenMeter can help you even before you set foot in your vehicle. You can simulate acceleration by tipping your phone back and forth, aerodynamic drag, and more.

Great for those interested in eco-driving, or even if you’re simply interested in greenifying your entire lifestyle. This is one of the eco apps that is definitely worth your time.

Found Some Eco Apps You Want To Try?

There’s something here for everyone. Every single one of these eco apps can assist you in making more sustainable choices in your day-to-day life.

Reduce your carbon footprint, share them with your friends, and learn from them. These eco apps all provide a service that, were more people to use them, may leave the earth in a better state for future generations.

Inspired by our list of eco apps? Why not check out more of our app recommendation lists?

Whether you’re looking for fitness apps, travel apps, or even apps for home security – we’ve got you covered!


standard

Common Health Concerns For Mature Men

December 11, 2017 - By 
mature men

The saying is true: getting older is a pain. Everyone has their own ways of aging, but most struggle the same way.

This is definitely true if you’re a man — it’s easy to lose the vitality you had when you were young. You’re sluggish, and you lose your strength.

There are also certain diseases and conditions men are susceptible to developing as well as certain types of cancer.

Whether they’re issues with genitalia or issues with hormones, male aging isn’t a joke.

Read these health concerns for mature men. And always discuss any possible health issues with your doctor. Start understanding the signs before your health deteriorates.

Alopecia

This is a fancy word for balding. Up to 25% of the male population is susceptible to baldness as they mature. Most of these mature men develop this symptom at the age of 60, but some can start to lose hair as young as 30.

Alopecia isn’t limited to just balding. Alopecia also includes thinning hair or a receding hairline.

Check your genetic history if you believe you’ll be a victim of Alopecia. There are some treatment options available.

Heart Attack and Heart Disease

Heart diseases include cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease, also called coronary heart disease (CHD).

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. One out of five Americans will get a heart attack sometime in their lives. And heart disease is also killing plenty of men and women outside of America.

Men are more likely to develop heart disease than women. The reason why has always been speculated. Heart disease is also the number one killer of women, but men are twice as likely to get a heart attack than women.

The most likely factors are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and lack of exercise that also results in a higher body mass index (BMI).

1.2 million heart attacks occur in America. 460,000 turn out to be fatal. Because these heart attacks are so intense, 300,000 die before they receive medical attention. These numbers are scary for mature men.

Hypertension

When the force of blood is stronger than what your arteries can handle, hypertension occurs.

Hypertension is the first sign that something life-threatening can occur. These diseases include heart failure, heart disease, impaired vision, stroke, and kidney disease.

Mature men are at more risk of developing these diseases when their blood pressure is very high. If this issue isn’t resolved, it can shorten a man’s lifespan between 10 and 20 years.

High Cholesterol

Produced by the liver, cholesterol is the building block of cell membranes.

It’s a soft and waxy fat that is a common steroid. Cholesterol is needed for many things such as producing Vitamin D, the formation of bile, your hormones, and other steroids.

Cholesterol is a very good steroid. However, too much cholesterol has negative consequences. When too much cholesterol is in your blood, it will accumulate in your arteries.

How do we consume too much cholesterol? In the food we eat.

If you don’t treat high cholesterol, it will increase your risk of heart disease as well as stroke and circulatory issues.

Urinary Tract Infection

Anyone can develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). These are common in adult men and women, even children can develop a UTI.

You get a UTI when bacteria enter your urethra. This causes bacteria to multiply, resulting in painful urination.

While not serious, without treatment mature men can suffer. A UTI can do serious damage to your kidneys and bladder. If not treated, a UTI can turn into a kidney infection.

Enlarged Prostate and Prostate Cancer

Every man does not look forward to the daunting prostate exam. But it’s necessary if you want to prevent Adenocarcinoma. This is cancerous growth on the prostate.

If the growth isn’t caught on time, cancer can spread to the whole prostate and other tissues. Eventually, cancer can spread throughout the body including the lungs, liver, and bones.

If you catch the prostate cancer before spreading, good news. Prostate cancer alone is very easy to treat. But you will have to endure the extremely awkward yearly exam in order to truly prevent prostate cancer.

Erectile Dysfunction

As a man grows older, his sex drive slows down. While this is normal, it’s not appreciated by your wife, whose sex drive increases as she ages.

Erectile dysfunction has many forms.

A failed erection is the most common type, but other erectile dysfunction types include premature ejaculation. In some cases, infertility is the cause of erectile dysfunction and not age or lack of hormones.

To keep up with your wife — and continue feeling young — modern medicine has your back. You can easily treat erectile dysfunction with medication such as Testerone Free. Discuss your options with your doctor.

Testicular Issues

Your testicles are a very fragile part of the body. This is why many mature men are susceptible to developing some kind of issue with their testicles.

The most common issues are testicular pain or pain in the scrotum.

Epididymitis is another testicle issue that’s a cause of infertility. This is inflammation of the area that stores sperm.

If you notice your scrotum is swollen, this is hydrocele. However, this isn’t an issue; hydrocele is usually just scrotal inflammation and goes away on its own.

Addiction

One of the many causes of health risks for mature men is how you treat yourself. As men age, they become more prone to developing addictions. The two biggest players are alcohol, narcotics, and cigarettes.

Additions and habits usually form with social incompetence, addiction family history, and stress.

Prevent Health Problems in Mature Men

There are many genetic and external factors that contribute to increased health risks.

It’s common for men to develop bad habits such as drinking and smoking cigarettes. If you’re predisposed to physical conditions such as cancer, this makes you more likely to develop them.

By paying attention to your health, you could potentially save your life.

If you want more health advice, read our content and educate yourself.


standard

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Speak in Spanish?

December 11, 2017 - By 

Including both native and bilingual speakers, 52.6 million people in the US speak Spanish. It’s estimated that nearly 140 million Spanish speakers will live in the US by 2050.

Learning any second language can help slow the onset of Dementia. But Spanish, in particular, has many practical applications. Some employers actually pay bilingual Spanish speakers substantially more.

Let’s find out how much time you can expect to set aside to learn to speak in Spanish.

How Long It Takes to Learn to Speak in Spanish

Spanish is actually one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn. It takes between 575 and 600 hours to reach speaking and reading proficiency in the language.

Therefore, if you study 2 hours per day, you can expect to learn how to speak in Spanish within 9-10 months. At that point, you can read something like “peliculas completas gratis” on a Spanish site without having to use Google translate.

But keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Some people will pick up the language much more quickly. Others will experience more difficulty.

A few factors that impact how fast you learn the language include the following:

  • Learning method
  • Focus
  • Consistency
  • Goals

Why the Language Is So Easy for English Speakers to Learn

Compared to Chinese, which takes 2200 hours to achieve proficiency, Spanish is undoubtedly easier to learn.

The main reason why English speakers grasp Spanish so well is that the two languages are similar. Spanish derives from Latin, and so do many English words.

Spanish is also a phonetic language. This means the spelling of a word determines its pronunciation. Chinese, for example, is non-phonetic, which is one of the many reasons why it takes so much longer to learn.

However, Spanish does offer some challenges for English speakers. You’ll need to pay very close attention to the verb tenses and rule exceptions.

The Best Ways to Learn Spanish

If you have friends who speak Spanish, consider listening to them speak daily, and try to join in on the conversation.

You should also consider taking a Spanish class. But avoid large classrooms, as a one-on-one learning environment is much more efficient. It’s easy to find online Spanish tutors, so you don’t even need to leave your home for a lesson.

If you want to learn how to speak Spanish on your own, start with a site like Duolingo. Use speed learning Spanish ebooks to supplement your studies.

Put together a plan first. Here’s an example of a basic study plan you can use for a 2-hour study session:

  • 30 minutes of Duolingo
  • 30 minutes of reading an ebook
  • 20 minutes of vocabulary practice
  • 20 minute Skype conversation
  • 10 minutes of reading Spanish articles
  • 10 minutes of listening to Spanish music

To maximize the intensity of your sessions, you can study one hour in the morning and another in the evening.

Final Thoughts

If you’re dedicated and study regularly, you’ll learn to speak in Spanish in less than a year.

Once you begin to understand the basics, switch the language on your smartphone to Spanish. Try following a few Spanish speakers on Twitter, and visit a Spanish website every day. Small changes like this will help you speed up the learning process.

Now that you know what it takes, start building your study plan today! Also, make sure to check out our education blog for more useful tips.


standard

5 Home Security Apps You Should Download Immediately

December 7, 2017 - By 

Looking for ways to improve your home security?

Do you need a better way to monitor your home?

If you’re looking for a way to make sure your home is safe even when you’re far away, you’ll be happy to learn that many great home security apps can help you stay connected to your home.

Below is our list of the 5 home security apps you should download immediately.

1. Ivideon

Ivideon is available for both Android and iOS devices and is a cloud video surveillance service that helps you to monitor your home.

The company has various cameras and types of equipment that can be installed around your home or office, and the app will use these to automatically upload surveillance footage to the cloud.

By logging into the app or on the web, you can easily connect to the cameras and stream the footage.

2. Alfred

Alred is an app that is available for both Android and iOS and allows you to easily convert your old smartphones into security cameras. This may be one of the best ways to repurpose an old smartphone.

No lengthy signup is necessary, and the process to get started is very easy and allows you to get a high-security camera set up in your home in no time.

The app also allows you to view the footage from any cameras you have set up and has an easy-to-use and attractive interface.

3. Reolink

Reolink can be used for both Android and iOS devices but works only with Reolink security systems and cameras. However, the app is fully-featured and easy-to-use.

With the app, you can access the 4-megapixel super HD feeds both remotely and locally. Additionally, the app has motion detection features and notifications, allowing you to get the most out of your security system.

4. i-Security

The i-Security app is available for both Android and iOS devices and is a great tool for monitoring multiple cameras for home security purposes.

On the app, you can view several live video feeds over WiFi or 3G internet connections. In conjunction with the best home surveillance system you can find, this app can go a long way in keeping your home well-protected.

While this app isn’t as easy to use as some of the other options on this list, it is a bit more technical and has some advanced features that the others don’t offer.

5. Video Monitor

Video Monitor is another excellent home security app that is available for Android devices. The app allows users to monitor multiple video feeds and comes with additional features that help you to detect intruders and unusual events.

The app has motion detection features and notifications as well as GPS tracking features. While it can be slow to startup at times, this video app more than makes up for it in features and ease of use.

Home Security Apps Are the Way of the Future

There are many things you can do to improve home security. However, if you’re looking for new ways to track your home security more efficiently, these apps will give you everything that you need.

Android and iOS devices have made monitoring the safety of your home or office easier than ever before, and by downloading one of the apps above you’ll have everything you need to manage security in the palm of your hand.

Looking for the best digital downloads and software? Check out more software available at Pligg.


standard

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

December 7, 2017 - By 

Nothing beats the scent of a clean house, right?

Today, we’re going to share the frequency with which you should clean out dishwasher in your home and give you the step-by-step process.

It’s so simple, it makes cleaning fun! And once those good, clean vibes get ahold of you, you won’t want to stop with your dishwasher.

Let’s take a look at the quick and easy steps that will leave all your kitchen appliances sparkling like the day you brought them home.

Clean Out Dishwasher Once a Month

Technically, things get pretty clean in your dishwasher every time you run it. There’s enough steam in there to melt away our biggest messes.

But this is not enough.

Food, grease, and soap scum get caked onto the dishwasher over time.

Whether or not they give off any unfavorable odors, their presence means germs are on your horizon.

We have to combat any of that residual bacteria left behind by our delicious green bean casserole.

Once a month, give your empty dishwasher a spin to make sure you clean out every last nook and cranny.

How to Clean Out Dishwasher

First, run the garbage disposal. You want to filter out any lingering muck sitting in those pipes since it filters into the dishwasher anyway.

Then, pull out the bottom rack.

Next, take a Dobie pad to the dishwasher drain on the bottom. Give the cleanup process a leg up by removing any built-up food, grease, or detergent.

Then, place a Pyrex cup filled with distilled white vinegar on the top rack and let ‘er rip. Make sure you run a full cycle, using the hottest water setting you have.

Next, you’ll want to deodorize the scent of vinegar from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the tub.

Finally, run one more cycle. This time, a half cycle will do. It’s best to leave your dishwasher open for a few hours afterward to fully air it out.

If you ever have any doubt about how to clean your dishwasher, feel free to use Dishwasher Wizard. This is a dishwasher additive that targets the machine itself while your detergent cleans up all those pots, pans, and dishes.

Other Appliances

Don’t forget about the other appliances hard at work in your kitchen and home!

Since their cleaning process is quite similar, let’s take a quick look at some of the most important appliances.

Coffee Maker

Fill the coffee maker’s reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water.

Then, place a paper filter in the basket.

Stop the brewing process halfway through and let the solution sit there for 30 minutes.

Pour out your solution and then run water through your machine twice more.

Washing Machine

Run a load with hot water and about a cup of distilled white vinegar.

This will wash away any lingering germs from those dirty gym clothes.

Garbage Disposal

Cut up an entire lemon and throw it down the drain.

Follow that up with a couple tablespoon of salt and a few ice cubes.

Then, let ‘er rip.

Do this about once a month to prevent any yucky odors from emanating.

Microwave

Fill a bowl with a cup of water, several slices of lemon, and put in a couple tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.

Then, run the microwave for three minutes.

Make sure you see it getting good and steamy in there.

When that’s complete, wipe it down from top to bottom and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

You now have a spic and span kitchen.

We Love Learning!

Pligg provides you with all you need to know about a variety of topics, including household repair manuals.

We love hearing from our readers! Let us know how your dishwasher cleaning went in the comments below.

And if there’s another topic you’d like to see us cover, feel free to reach out to us today.


standard

5 Low-Carb Diet Tips to Keep You Sane

December 6, 2017 - By 
low carb diet

More and more scientific research shows the benefits of maintaining a low carb diet.

From losing weight to lowering triglycerides, this diet has numerous health benefits for people looking to improve both their physical and mental well-being.

Anyone following a diet knows the importance of remaining sane while staying on track. This applies to your low carb diet, too.

We’ve come up with the best tricks to keep you rounded, excited, and well on track to meeting your goals.

Let’s get into it!

Avoid Liquid Calories

Here’s the bad news. Those frothy coffee milkshakes aren’t good for you or your waistline. Same goes for fruity cocktails or fancy fruit juices (even if they have whole fruit in them).

Put away your full-sugar sodas. They have nothing good in them (beyond really good marketing campaigns, perhaps).

Here’s the good news. You won’t even miss the calories or the carbs. For many people, reducing liquid calories is the most surefire way to eliminate carbs.

You probably already know that water is king when it comes to quenching your thirst. Not only does it have exactly zero calories, it has numerous health benefits, assisting everything from staving hunger to helping with constipation.

Tired of plain water? Consider sparkling ice, loose tea, or unsweetened coffee. Your taste buds will adjust, and your waistline will thank you.

Make Healthy Swaps

Wondering how you can replace the standard American diet when choosing to follow a more low carb plan? Fortunately, it’s not that challenging!

We live in a digital age that is full of amazing recipes for anyone following a low carb diet. Many bloggers and chefs happily post and share their recipes.

Concerned about giving up ice cream? There’s a low carb option for that. Sad about surrendering your favorite sandwich bread? There’s a killer recipe for that (click here for more information on that).

From pizza to brownies to your favorite ethnic Thai dish, there’s a way to make it low carb. You may even be able to do it with ingredients that you already have on hand!

Regardless of your favorite food, there is a great chance that a healthier swap exists. You just need to be open and creative to the change!

Plan for Emergencies

Ever been hangry? As in, you’re so hungry that you start feeling angry? Don’t worry- we’ve all been there.

When you initially start cutting out carbs, you might notice yourself feeling sluggish or fatigued. You might also notice a brief plummeting in your mood. You might even fantasize about drowning yourself in a pint of your favorite ice cream.

This is all a normal reaction to changing your diet. The best words of wisdom for this? Have a plan!

Stash away healthy, low carb snacks in your desk, car, and office. Consider the following:

  • Veggies and low-carb dip
  • Nuts
  • Beef jerky
  • String cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Don’t let yourself get too hungry. You risk making impulsive decisions (hence: bingeing on lots and lots of carbs). It’s best to always have a plan of attack.

Plan ahead for restaurants as well. Today, many establishments post menus online. If not, the waitstaff is often able to locate nutrition facts for you.

Don’t be shy! This is the food that’s going into your body. You have the right to know what you’re about to consume.

Fat is King & Protein is Queen

Want to know the trick for eating less and still feeling full?

It may sound counterintuitive, but eating more fat doesn’t actually make you fat. Feel free to tell that to anyone who ever told you that the low-fat diet was the way to go!

Fat is naturally filling. As a result, you consume a lot less than you would if you were eating simple carbs.

Some fat ideas to consider adding to your low carb diet:

  • Adding half an avocado to your salad
  • Sauteeing in olive oil
  • Using full-fat cheese when cooking
  • Eating full-fat meat when grilling

When fat is paired with protein, you create a killer combo. Protein is essential for building muscles and repairing tissues. Your body also uses protein to make enzymes and hormones.

You already know that protein is good for you! By focusing on this macronutrient, you will likely notice that you crave significantly fewer carbs.

Boom! How’s that for staying sane on your diet?

Be Kind to Yourself

Dieting is not easy. Weight loss isn’t easy, either.

Do you want to know what is easy? Shifting your new eating habits from diet mentality to lifestyle mentality.

Following a low carb diet is simple if you are able to stay kind and patient with yourself. After all, change is a long process. You’re not going to be perfect, and you don’t need to be.

What’s important is identifying your mistakes, committing to growth, and being compassionate to yourself during the process.

Ideally, this is a lifestyle you are committing to for the long haul. A single poor meal will not dictate your health nor will it completely send you back to square zero. Remember that!

Final Thoughts on Staying Sane on a Low Carb Diet

If you’ve taken the exciting step towards improving your physical and mental health, congratulations! You’re about to feel so much better!

With that said, staying sane on any new eating plan can be tricky. Be tolerant and patient with yourself. Focus on small changes and watch how they can yield big results.

Interested in learning more about emerging trends in health? Be sure to check out our other blogs today!


standard

5 Automation Devices for Modern Garage Doors

November 30, 2017 - By 
modern garage doors

Home automation devices are designed to make your life just a little bit easier. Who doesn’t like convenience?

In a world with so many distractions, it’s easy to have your attention diverted from a task. Maybe you’ve misplaced your house keys in the hurry to leave the house, or maybe you’ve forgotten to close your garage door.

With modern garage doors, the latter doesn’t have to be a problem anymore. Read on to find out our top 5 automation devices for modern garage doors.

1. Chamberlain MyQ-G0201

The Chamberlain MyQ-G0201 is everything you could want in a garage automation device. This nifty gadget will monitor, open, and close your garage door from anywhere as long as you use your smartphone.

It’s compatible with most modern garage doors’ opening systems made after 1993 that have standard safety sensors. Its easy installation makes it super convenient.

If you’re in the process of a garage door installation and the thought of setting up a tech system feels intimidating, fear not! It doesn’t take long at all to set this little thing up.

Since it’s controlled via smartphone, it comes with its own MyQ Garage App. It’s compatible with both Apple and Android devices. For security purposes, you can choose whether you want the app to notify you when your garage door opens and closes.

2. Garageio Garage Door Opener

The Garageio garage door opener is another easy to install beauty. With this neat gadget, you can open or close your garage door with a simple swipe of your smartphone. This particular model is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.

The great thing about this model is its range. You can implement modern security for your garage from the other side of the world if necessary. Wherever you are, you can rest assured your garage and its contents are safe and secure.

You can also easily grant and remove device access to anyone. There’s no limit on the number of users, so there’s no need to share existing codes or invest in extra openers.

3. Asante Garage Door Opener

This device is compatible with multiple modern garage doors.

The Asante door opener also offers the option of LED lights for better night vision.

You can not only control but also see your garage with their amazing free app. It boasts unlimited cloud access, too, as well as an optional push notification system.

4. GoControl/Linear GD00Z-4

This model makes a great addition to established smart homes. Easy to install and use, it also provides both visual and audio warnings before any garage door movement occurs.

The GoControl has a range of roughly 100 feet and is compatible with most garage door openers.

With an average rating of 4-5 stars on Amazon, you know you’re getting quality with GoControl.

5. LiftMaster MyQ Universal Garage Door Opener

This reasonably priced and reliable model is compatible with both older and newer garage door openers.

This is perfect if you’re not the most tech-savvy homeowner. The device can control up to two garage doors at once (provided you have an extra door sensor), as well as up to 16 MyQ enabled devices.

Suffice it to say, you’ll be getting your money’s worth with LiftMaster.

More on Modern Garage Doors?

For more about modern automation devices and smart-tech, check out our archives.

And if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to get in touch!


standard

The Best Free Downloadable Video Editing Software

November 28, 2017 - By 
downloadable

The internet turned the business world on its head. Much like any other major technological innovation, those who adapted faster found more success.

Radio seems to have reincarnated into the popular podcast format, and video is now a more important medium than ever, which makes video-editing skills all the more crucial.

You may be running your own business. You might just maintain a blog, or perhaps you’re an entertainer. No matter what your pursuit is, being able to utilize video as a mode of composition is going to expand the reach and reception of your audience.

Trouble is, video editing is generally a skill that takes a lot of time to develop. Plus, the top photo/video editing software can cost hundreds of dollars.

Luckily, there are free apps available.

The versatility of these apps ranges from bare-bones to powerful enough to create Hollywood-level video content. While some have premium packages, they are all freely downloadable in some form. Let’s take a look at the top ones.

Machete Video Editor Lite (Windows)

Machete is the simplest app on this list. If you just need to cut, copy, paste sections of your video, this is your program.

The app is easy enough that you can dive right in, even with zero editing experience. There are no audio editing options, and the file types are limited to .avi and .wav formats.

Much like the tool it gets its namesake from, your end product may not be the most gorgeous, but you will have cleared away any unneeded material.

Videopad (Windows/Mac)

Sometimes the easy apps don’t offer enough. Stepping up to a more powerful software usually comes with spending hours on YouTube trying to figure out the interface.

This is the thin line that comes with most design software. Think MS Paint vs Adobe Photoshop. Where’s the middle ground?

If there was an app that existed right in the middle of these two ideas, it would probably be Videopad.

Some of the more popular video effects including different resolutions, transitions, stabilization, and text-overlay at your disposal. You also get access to audio-editing options as well, like importing music, voice-narration, and built-in sound effects.

What gives Videopad it’s edge is the drag-and-drop interface. This makes it easier to utilize the effects available.

Videopad also makes it super easy to export your edited work to sites like YouTube, Flikr, and Facebook. If you need more help with social media managing check out these apps.

iMovie (Mac)

Garage Band and iMovie are probably the two main reasons Macs have the reputation of being the creative’s best choice for a computer.

True to Apple form, iMovie has that almost unearthly balance of power and intuitiveness. It boasts many of the features of Videopad, easy transitions, adding music, and even an option for 4k resolution.

Something your not going to find anywhere else is the ability to edit your video on multiple devices. You can shoot something on your iPhone, add touches on your iPad, and do even more fine-tuning on your Mac.

If you find that you’re on-the-go often, and already have an iPhone and/or Mac, iMovie is a no-brainer (it should come preinstalled on Macs) but is also downloadable here.

VSDC (Windows)

The rest of the list definitely exists on the other side of the ease of use/available features line. The side of the line you need to be on depends on your needs, which is why we’re looking at a spectrum of options.

VSDC Free Video Editor is downloadable for Windows for FREE. You get everything VSDC is capable of at no cost to you. No tiered packages, no subscription, just free.

What you get is a rather robust editor that supports nearly all formats. It includes object transformation, filters, and a myriad of audio capabilities and charts and animations to add.

So what’s the downside? Well, their support isn’t free (you have to subscribe.) So if you need help figuring something out, prepare to spend a lot of time on YouTube and various subreddits.

Lightworks (Windows/Mac/Linux)

Lightworks is one of the mac daddy’s of the video editing world. Available on most OS’s Lightworks is one behemoth of possibilities.

Just think of it this way. Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible, Moulin Rouge!. These blockbusters were all edited using Lightworks, and they are just a few of many award-winning films that have used this software.

Of course with great power comes great difficulty. Just because it’s easy to get doesn’t mean it’s easy to use. Lightworks boasts a pretty steep learning curve, but that’s to be expected.

Of course, to unlock it’s full potential, you have to opt for a monthly or annual subscription, or an expensive one-time purchase.

The free version is still impressive, and the Lightworks website even has video guides to help get you started.

One More Thing

In addition to grabbing that video editing software, there’s another program, also free and downloadable, that you may want to consider.

Pikto Chart is a design program tailored to making top-notch charts and infographics. If you’re doing any sort of informative video, or an engaging style of vlogging, this app is crucial.

Infographics are one of the best ways to coalesce a lot of hard data into an easy-to-digest visual package. This not only makes it easier to understand but also makes it easier for you point to stick with your viewers.

The app is also useful outside of video, just think of all the viral memes that are basically an infographic.

While the app doesn’t have the largest library of preset templates, it’s intuitive enough that creating your own with their own icons graphs and maps isn’t hard.

Best Downloadable Video Editing Software: Wrap Up

You should now have everything you need to start producing your own video content in-house!

Now all that’s left is to get a handle on the slippery slope that is SEO and you’re set for success.


standard

The 5 Best Investment Apps to Download to Your iPhone

November 22, 2017 - By 
Best Investment Apps

In years past, you had to look at not one but several different newspapers a day to keep accurate track of the stock market.

In recent years, you had to sit in front of your computer and watch the market go up and down via an Internet tracking board.

You could also buy and download software to help you make financial decisions regarding your stocks.

Now investment apps make tracking and investing simpler than ever. Check out the five best investment apps available below.

The Five Best Investment Apps

1. Robinhood

The Robinhood app is the perfect app for new investors.

Most investment apps require account holders pay a subscription or maintain a minimum balance. Not this app.

With it, you only need to submit enough money to buy a stock.

In that respect, the Robinhood app is as heroic as its namesake.

Presently, this app is available only to American and Chinese investors. However, it allows you to buy and trade all American-based stock.

2. Wealthfront

The Wealthfront app is one of the best investment apps for slightly more experienced investors.

It requires you to submit $500 upfront. After that initial $500, you don’t need to feed this app any more money until after you’ve made $10,000.

You read that right. The Wealthfront app manages your money up to $10,000 for free.

But that isn’t its only nifty feature.

It has you take a questionnaire that matches you with one of its 20 investment portfolios. The match is made based on your risk management style.

The Wealthfront app also lets you see the history performances of its other 19 portfolios. Additionally, it evaluates your outside investments and makes recommendations based on them.

3. Acorns

The Acorns app is one of the best investment apps for investors looking to turn small amounts into big ones. When you sync your bank account with Acorns, it automatically rounds up small purchase amounts and invests the leftover change.

For example, let’s say you buy a pair of scissors for a collage project. The scissors are $1.60. Acorns will round up the purchase to $2 and hold onto the leftover $.40.

After you’ve reached $5 in change, Acorns invests it into your portfolio.

4. Betterment

To start on Betterment, you need $1. A single, solitary dollar.

When you open your Betterment account, you answer a short questionnaire. Based on your answers, Betterment invests as you would and monitors your investments.

You can keep up with investment news on reliable sources such as InvestorMint.com to make sure the app is making the best choices.

For its services, Betterment charges only .15% to .35% a year, depending on how much you make.

5. Openfolio

Openfolio is a wonderful app for those looking to monitor and analyze rather than invest.

This free app allows you to see how 70,000 other investors’ portfolios measure against yours. (It won’t show exactly how much they made, though.)

If your portfolio’s performance paled in comparison, you’ll know you should invest differently thanks to Openfolio.

Need More Apps? Check Us Out!

At Pligg, we know that apps are the way of the future. We offer a variety of resources about apps for a wide range of functions. From gaming to traveling to tracking expenses, we have you covered.

For additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re always happy to help you find the app that suits you!


standard

7 Best Air Fryers to Try Out

November 22, 2017 - By 
air fryer

Looking to cook up savory fried dishes in your kitchen but worried about the health implications of fried food?

With hot air frying, you can get all the taste of fried foods without the grease, mess, and cleanup involved with deep frying.

If you want to try out an air fryer, here are 7 of the best on the market!

1. Philips XL Airfryer

This fryer is one of the hottest on the market (pun intended) with 2,100 watts of power and the capacity to hold 2.65lbs of food.

It’s the largest air fryer on our list, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to fry food for larger family dinners or parties.

It’s been endorsed by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and master chef Gordon Ramsey!

2. VonShef 2.2L Fryer

If you need an air fryer on a budget, the VonShef 2.2L fryer is a compact unit, with a low price tag at $56.

It features a clear lid making it easy to monitor cooking progress.

It uses 80% less fat compared to deep fryers and has options for grilling, frying, baking, and roasting.

3. Breville VDF122 Halo+

This Breville fryer has sturdy parts, making it dishwasher safe. The controls on it are very user-friendly compared to other models.

It uses only a half tablespoon of oil to cook 2.64lbs of food!

The VDF122 Halo+ comes complete with a measuring spoon, roasting rack, cooking guide, and recipes making it perfect for chefs new to air fryers.

4. NuWave Brio Digital

This NuWave fryer stands out above the competition for its circulation features.

Unlike other fryers, the Brio circulates hot air equally around the fry basket at a consistent speed. This process results in food that is cooked with even temperature and texture.

5. GoWISE USA GW22611

This smaller air fryer is compact enough to stay on your kitchen counter or island.

It features an adjustable thermostat, with temperature range from 176 to 392-degrees, so that you can vary temperatures depending on what you’re cooking.

6. T-Fal FZ7002 ActiFry

The ActiFry is light and compact enough for your kitchen but large enough to cook up to 2.2lbs of food.

While it only operates at a fixed temperature of 338-degrees, it features a programmable timer of up to 99 minutes. This will ensure your meals are cooked thoroughly.

7. Avalon Bay Digital Air Fryer

This fryer offers the unique ability to fry with no oil at all for even healthier snacks and meals!

The technology uses a special fan to pulls fats and natural oils from the food you’re cooking.

Preprogrammed settings help to remove some of the confusion and guesswork that comes with air frying for the first time.

Get Frying!

Now that you’ve got 7 of the best air fryers to choose from, you’re all set to prepare gourmet fried meals in your own kitchen!

What dish will you prepare first? Have you tried out any of the air fryers on our list?

Let us know in the comments!


standard

5 Trendy Shoes Celebs Are Wearing This Fall 2017

November 20, 2017 - By 
Trendy Shoes

Looking to step up your shoe game this fall? Embrace your inner celebrity and invest in a pair of trendy shoes this fall. From stylish slouchy boots to bold block heels, the shoe upgrade options are endless.

Want to step up your shoe game this fall but not sure how? We’ve studied what the celebs are wearing this season to provide you with a list of must-have trendy shoes.

So, embrace your inner celebrity, add some versatility to your wardrobe, and invest in one of these 5 trendy shoes this fall.

1. Mismatched Shoes

What’s the biggest trend in footwear this fall? It’s mismatched shoes. Fashion houses like Moschino and Calvin Klein have embraced this trendy shoe style, and this look has appeared on many runways. If you want to feel like Selena Gomes strutting down the red carpet, buy a pair of mismatched chunky wooden heels, or go with shoes that have juxtaposing buckles.

2. Slouch Boots

Slouch boots have been all the rage this year. From Michael Kors to Marc Jacobs, slouch boots have appeared on pretty much every designer runway. So, if you want to strut down the street like Kristen Cavallari or another glamorous celeb, make sure you add a pair of slouch boots to your wardrobe

3. Block Heels

Retro style is back in with the ever-stylish block heel. Block heels come in a variety of styles, from sandals and classic pumps to ankle boots and winter boots. They’re a comfortable and functional modern take on retro style. Block heels are an easy go-to trendy shoe for many celebs like Lauren Conrad.

4. Statement Heels

There’s no better way to make a style statement than statement heels. These trendy shoes can elevate any look, whether it’s very feminine or sportier. They also come in a variety of prints and designs, which means it’s easy to find a pair that fits your personal style.

Here are just a few kinds of statement heels:

  • Mirrored gunmetal pumps
  • Multi-colored boot-sandal hybrids
  • Zebra-print pumps
  • Crystal-embellished pumps
  • Partially-transparent toe pumps

Pretty Small Shoes offers great pump options for women with size 4 shoes.

5. Sparkle & Shine Shoes

One of the biggest shoe trends of fall 2017 is sparkle and shine shoes. From boots and sandals to stilettos and chunky heels, many celebs are wearing shoes that feature a stylish silver and glitter combination. Iconic fashion houses like Miu Miu and Oscar de la Renta have embraced this new trend.

Other Trendy Shoes

Don’t love any of the options above? Here are some chic shoe options that celebs have been spotted in.

  • Combat boots
  • Cowboy boots
  • White shoes
  • Red boots
  • Velvet
  • Snakeskin

Final Thoughts

Shoes are more than just footwear, they’re an essential style element for any outfit. If you follow these shoe trends, you’re sure to look like a celeb strutting down the street. So pick a pair, embrace celeb and pop culture perfection, and hit the streets!

Have you bought any of these stylish shoes? Are there any trends we’re missing?Let us know in the comments!


standard

Best Employee Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses

November 17, 2017 - By 

These days, every business is struggling to provide for its hard-working employees. Businesses hit particularly hard are small businesses. That’s because they’re usually are new and aren’t as established as bigger businesses

In fact, 80% of businesses fail within their first year. Given this statistic, you may want to avoid providing employee health insurance.

It’s no exaggeration to say that health insurance prices have reached a ridiculous level. Economists project that in some states, health insurance will more than double next year.

Employees Are Worth The Extra Cost

It’s true providing employee health insurance will hit your business hard in the wallet. But before you dismiss the idea, consider how much you value your employees.

Without them, you’d be working every shift every day that your business is open. Plus, you’d be doing all the work–from customer service to accounting to clean-up–by yourself.

Now consider your outstanding employees, the ones who stay late to help out and come in when someone calls out sick. You want to keep employees like them because they go above and beyond to make sure the business operates smoothly.

High-quality workers will always be in-demand at every business. Those employees have the option between a job that provides a necessity such as health insurance and a job that does not. And they will almost always choose the job that provides health insurance.

Employee Health Insurance Options

Thankfully, you have numerous choices when it comes to providing employee health insurance. Insurance companies and brokers can provide you with more information on these and other choices. An example of a broker is Proactive Broker Network.

Individual Health Insurance

One option is to simply encourage your employees to buy their own plans. Almost every insurance company offers individual health insurance plans, including widely accepted names such as Anthem and United Health One.

The main problem with these plans is cost. Plans are organized by value tiers (bronze, silver, and gold), and the more valuable the plan, the higher the cost.

Age also plays a significant factor in individual healthcare insurance plan costs. Someone in their early twenties will pay a lot less than someone who is in their sixties. Insurance companies simply view older individuals as a higher risk for insurance.

If your employees are struggling to pay individual healthcare insurance costs, you can set up a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). HRAs are convenient for small businesses because the group, not the policy, chooses how much will be reimbursed. As an employer, you can set up an HRA through your business’s healthcare provider’s online software.

Another individual healthcare insurance option is obtaining a plan through the Marketplace. Per the ACA, the Marketplace partially bases your premium on your income rather than your age. To qualify for lower premiums, though, your employees will need to submit paperwork proving their annual income.

The SHOP Marketplace

This employee health insurance option operates specifically with small businesses in mind.

Much like the individual Marketplace, the SHOP (Small Business Health Options) Marketplace offers group plans for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Each plan requires the business to cover a certain percentage of its employees’ premiums.

To qualify for certain plans through the SHOP Marketplace, businesses may also need to meet specific requirements. One popular requirement is having a certain number of employees enrolled. Very small businesses may need to have all employees enrolled in order to be eligible.

For example, Massachusetts’s SHOP Marketplace requires employers to cover 50% or more of their employees’ premiums. Businesses with five or fewer employees must have all employees enrolled while businesses with six to 50 employees must have 75% of their employees enrolled.

Private Health Exchanges

Private health exchanges are a useful option for employers who have employees with very different needs.

Through a private health exchange, employers buy a set of plan options for their employees to choose from. These options are all group- or individual-based.

It might seem like a pain to have your employees choose their own plan without consulting you. But again, consider your valuable employees.

While many of your employees are likely healthy enough to consider a basic health plan, some may not be. What’s more, some may have immediate family members who rely on the employee health insurance you provide. Even though those employees may cost you more, they also earn you more, so it’s worth allowing them to pick a plan that suits their needs.

Additionally, if you let your employees pick their own health insurance plans, you can actually save money. You may have a few employees who choose more expensive plans, yes, but most will likely go with cheaper options. In this fashion, you can cover all your employees, even your more expensive ones.

Co-op Groups

With the cost of employee health insurance on the rise, co-op (Consumer-Operated and -Oriented Plan) insurance groups are becoming a popular option.

Co-op groups operate much like a traditional insurance company in that members pay a fee for access to cheaper healthcare. Some co-op groups have been known to charge members as little as $90 a month.

At the same time, you should be aware that that isn’t a standard cost for all co-op groups. The members of each co-op group decide what price they will charge every month.

Something else to be aware of when it comes to co-op groups is many don’t include hospital care access.

Private Small Group Insurance Plans

Perhaps the most expensive of all small business insurance options is private small group insurance.

Private small group insurance is the traditional method for providing health insurance to small business employees. Due to rising healthcare costs, though, it’s become a less attractive option.

One reason it remains on the table, though, is its simplicity. The other options all require a good deal of planning, discussion, and paperwork.

With private small group insurance plans, you simply choose a plan and offer it to all your employees. From there, you only need to keep track of who has enrolled and who hasn’t.

Learn What You Need to Know Today!

Pligg provides you with all you need to know about a variety of topics, including travel, technology, and employee health insurance options. If there’s a topic you’d like to see us cover, feel free to reach out to us today!


standard

4 Things You Need to Know About Remarketing Strategies

November 17, 2017 - By 
Remarketing

Remarketing is a crucial component of a company’s sales strategy. It involves renewing contact with potential or current customers.

They do this by reintroducing products or services or using retargeting tools.

Companies must find a way to respond to decreased sales and shifts in demand.

Demand shifts have several causes:

  • buyer income and employment
  • consumer trends and tastes
  • expectations of future price or supply
  • the price of related goods
  • population shifts
  • market size

To address this issue, you’ll need a robust strategy to guarantee the success of your business.

While digital marketing tactics might bring customers in, you need to do more to convert them.

Keep reading to learn what to do.

Tips on Remarketing Strategies

Following the right strategies is a cost-effective targeting method. It boosts your customer retention and improves your conversion rates.

Here are the four things you need to know:

1. Sending Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails Works

Seventy percent of shoppers say they want a personalized experience from brands. One of the top personalized methods is sending a shopping cart abandonment email.

Customers receive this email when they fail to buy the items in their shopping cart.

Visitors abandon their carts for various reasons. It could be due to distractions, lost internet connections, or high costs. Or, it could be due to uncertainty or a complicated checkout process.

A follow-up email tries to convert these shoppers. This personalized email offers to solve the shopper’s problem with the sales process.

It shows the business cares about the buyer.

2. Using Retargeting Ads Will Convert Customers

Retargeting ads work well on website visitors.

It involves signing up to the Google Display Network and creating intuitive ads. These ads show up on sites your visitors go to. They display products visitors were curious about when they were browsing your website.

Using retargeting ads is cost-effective because they don’t target random potential customers. Instead, they focus on people who want your products or services.

Specific browser cookies tell websites to show related ads to the potential customer.

The targeting is either pixel-based or list-based. Pixel-based targeting uses cookies, while list-based targeting sends ads to listed customers.

These targeted ads help create awareness and convert website visitors.

3. Reinforce Your Message Through Video Remarketing

Video remarketing is about showing personalized ads to those on YouTube. If anyone watches your videos or visits your channel, they’ll get targeted ads.

Link your channel to Google AdWords. Then, target your campaign to users.

This strategy reaches many potential customers and improves your return on investment (ROI).

4. Segment Your Campaigns to Meet Customers’ Needs

Don’t make the mistake of retargeting customers in a block format. Customers are different.

Consider demographic information, visitors’ website behavior, and geographic location.

Tailor your campaign messages to each segmented group. This ensures customers get messages that make sense to them individually.

It also makes your call-to-action have a better impact.

Learn More About Digital Downloads

Remarketing works if you combine it with other marketing strategies. As such, you will have the tools for attracting, retaining, and converting customers.

Be careful not to stalk customers online with constant ads. This will create a negative impression of your brand.

Moreover, it will chase customers away.

Contact us to learn more about digital sales and downloads.


standard

The Best Wearable Technology of 2017 & What’s To Come In the Future

November 17, 2017 - By 
wearable technology of 2017

It all started with the Fitbit Flex back in 2013. This activity tracker set the path for future wrist-band technology that was yet to come.

Now, the world of wearable technology isn’t limited to what we can wear on our wrists. We have wearable heart rate monitors, headphones, and even sleepwear designed to enhance our daily lives.

But, as you know, when one player in the tech market has a hit, there are 10 dupes that follow. Most of these gadgets will cost you a pretty penny, so it’s best to do your research ahead of time.

Before you go by that fancy Apple Watch, check out this list of products that are more than worth your while. Here are the best wearable technology of 2017 and the future.

The Best Wearable Tech of 2017: Fitbit Charge 2

The man, the myth, the legend- what wearable tech list would this be without a Fitbit? The Charge 2 is for anyone looking to up their fitness game.

Take advantage of its advanced PurePulse Heart Rate Monitor or Guided Breathing for relaxation. Its intuitive controls make it the perfect sidekick for multi-sport tracking.

Under Armor Recovery Sleepwear

Sure, it may seem a little science fiction-y to wake up feeling different from a piece of clothing. But, there’s nothing nerdy about this sleepwear from Under Armor.

It’s designed with bio-ceramic fiber which helps improve blood flow and muscle recovery. This happens through a process called Far Infrared which draws heat back to the body.

Halo Sport

Its name may suggest its only for the weightlifters out there. But, these Beats-like headphones offer a plethora of benefits to anyone for better movement.

We can attribute those benefits to its ability to forge better nerve and muscle connection. The Halo Sport works with one of our brain’s key functions, the motor cortex.

The motor cortex is what sends signals to the rest of your body, causing these parts to contract. These contractions get your body moving about.

Garmin Vivoactive

It’s all about how you market yourself, right? (Just ask these Portland SEO gurus). Garmin may have been known as the bulky object your parents use to get from A to B.

After a little rebranding magic, Garmin is now a leader in wrist-band tech that can handle everything from “playing to paying”.

The Vivoactive has an app store, games and allows you to pay for purchases card-free. It tracks your workouts, heart rate, and even stress levels.

You can even compete with your friends through the Garmin Connect app. Share your fitness accomplishments and participate in challenges together.

Let’s Wrap Things Up

That concludes our list of the best wearable tech for 2017 and beyond. We’ve seen some major breakthroughs in the tech sphere. That’s not slowing down anytime soon.

To stay on top of your digital game, your marketing efforts have to be on trend. But, when running a business, who has time be some kind of wearable tech connoisseur?

(Hint- it’s us! We have the time!)

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!


standard

Why a Folding Dog Crate is a Great Option for Your Large Dog

November 16, 2017 - By 

What does a folding dog crate share in common with your dog’s poop?

I could bet a million dollars you’d never guess this right.

Well, dogs prefer to poop in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field! I know. That’s weird. Maybe funny.

Who in the world pays attention to the direction of a pup’s poop?!

Well, it’s BioMed Central researchers.

Now, how does the poop relate to the crates?

If you have a big dog, it’s unlikely you’d want to be hauling crates down your street whenever you hang out with your pet. If you’re like most smart dog owners, you’d want something more convenient.

Your desire for convenience is just as natural as your pet’s poop aligning to the Earth’s magnetic field.

Of course, you probably already know that petting your dog can lower your blood pressure, so you’re looking for more opportunities to enjoy quality time with your pet.

You might have even taken this desire for companionship a little too far. You joined 45 percent of dog owners who let their dogs sleep in their beds.

In short, you want to spend more time with your dog without hauling crates! I have dug out seven fantastic reasons why you should get your big dog a folding container.

A Folding Dog Crate Is Great For Transportation

A folding dog crate has a distinct advantage. You can quickly move it to any part of town without worrying much about bulkiness. Some crates fold so fast you can set up or dismantle them in seconds.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) says that the U.S. alone has 89.7 million dogs living in 60.2 million households. Dog owners increased by four percentage points in 2017 from 1988 when the first National Pet Owners Survey was conducted.

In another survey, nearly six in ten dog owners have driven with their dogs in the car in the past year. If you’re like most dog owners, you like your pet sitting beside you (or in the backseat) while driving.

However, the challenge with having your dog ride with you is that you may need the crate when you arrive your destination. Leaving your pet in the car is a death sentence!

And did I mention that it’s illegal in about 20 states in the U.S. to leave your pet in the car?

That’s where your folding dog crate comes to play! You’d quickly grab your container, assemble it and keep your pet safe.

Possible scenarios where your crate comes handy?

Think of hanging out on the beach and you need your pet around, or out on a picnic with a date. Any outdoor scenario would fit this situation.

If you haven’t crate-trained your pet a crate training guide could help you get up to speed.

Durability

The chances are that your folding dog crate would be stronger than regular crates. Designers know that you’d be moving around, and that’s why folding dog crates are designed to stand high levels of wear and tear.

Most folding dog crates are built using lightweight materials with high tensile strengths. In short, they won’t break easily.

Adjustable Crates And Size Differences

Who wants a home littered with dog crates?

Although dog crates have a wide range of sizes, a folding dog crate that’s adjustable as your pet grows has numerous advantages.

Adjustable crates save you time, so you don’t have to shop for new crates every few months, especially in the rapid growth phase of your dog.

Owning a folding dog crate that’s adjustable puts money back into your pocket. You don’t have to buy new crates every few months.

Your adjustable crates give your pet some room to be comfortable and protected from anxiety. Pups grow rapidly in their first four to five months, reaching half their body size in that time. Changing crates at the rate of your pet’s change in size will tell on your wallet.

Solution?

A folding dog crate. You can buy a container for a particular age range, and then purchase a new one when the dog grows older.

Here’s a quick guide to help you measure your crate as your pup grows.

  1. Length: Measure your dog’s length from nose to tail. It helps to add between two to three inches to your dog’s length.
  2. Height: Your height measurement determines that’s of the crate you’ll need. Measure your dog, starting from the top of its head down to the ground. If your dog’s breed has naturally long ears it’s best you measure from the tip of that dog’s ears.
  3. Width: Measure your dog’s width and then add four inches for large breeds and two inches for smaller breeds to determine the width of your folding dog crate.

A general guide to the size of dogs:

  • Smallest: Most small Terrier breeds
  • Medium: Bulldog, most sporting dogs, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, APBT, Golden Retriever, Amstaff, and Basset Hound.
  • Large: Alaskan Malamute, Labradoodle, and Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Largest: Newfoundland, Tibetian Mastiff, Great Dane, and Mastiff.

Hey, crate sizes are not this simple. This list of four general sizes is basic should you have to make a quick decision. Consider consulting a detailed dog crate sizes guide to help you make an informed decision.

IATA Compliant Folding Dog Crate

When traveling by air, you want to be sure you’re not forced to leave your pet behind at the airport or asked to keep her in a kennel. An excellent folding dog crate would meet your airplane travel needs.

You’d quickly find a folding dog crate that meets the International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards. IATA has specific criteria for crates that’d fly covers

  • Design and construction,
  • Ventilation,
  • Feeding and watering,
  • Dimension and stocking density,
  • Labelling and marking,
  • and more

You can find IATA compliant folding dog crates on websites like Pet Crates Direct or Amazon.

Get Extra Legroom Around Your Apartment

If you live in a small apartment with your pet, then a folding dog crate is ideal for you. Whenever your dog is out of the crate, you can quickly get extra legroom around your apartment by folding the crate.

Another idea here is that you can use a leash for your dog all day, and then at night, have the dog lay in the folding crate.

Easier To Maintain

You have a life! Your folding dog crate wouldn’t take time to clean and maintain, at least in most cases. The ease of maintenance justifies owning a folding container, especially if you have busy days almost all the time.

In fact, folding dog crates are easier to maintain compared to regular crates because you can dismantle, clean, and assemble them back.

A side benefit here is that you don’t have to go inside of the crate to clean it, and you don’t have to leave hard-to-reach parts of the crate. You can reach everywhere and be thorough with your cleaning.

You don’t have to worry about rust for most folding crates; they’re either coated or built with anti-rust materials.

Ditch The Kennel And Save Money!

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones! Your workplace allows you to bring pets to work, but you’ve never bothered because it’s just not convenient.

So you use the kennel. It costs money, but what’s a fellow to do. You can’t leave the dog at home.

However, lousy boarding kennels could hurt your pet. Here are warning signs to help you decide if a kennel is terrible for your dog:

  • Keeps’ reluctance to show you around the kennel,
  • Perceiving unpleasant smells,
  • The kennel has no provable vaccination history,
  • Poor emergency planning for the pets,
  • Unskilled staff,
  • Dog playgroups not divided by size and temperament,
  • Not enough space and facilities outdoors,
  • No reports on your pet’s behavior and experience at the kennel.

Of the top eight expenses on dogs yearly, kennel boarding is the number two most expensive, just behind surgical vet expense. Kennels gulp nearly 21 percent of the total spending on dogs.

Hauling a crate to work just doesn’t cut it.

Luckily, you can get your pet a folding dog crate and have him, or her, hang out with you at work without making a scene. Cut your kennel costs and build your relationship with your pet.

To Wrap It Up

We all want convenience. Beyond some lazy desire to avoid hard work, hauling your dog’s crate down the road isn’t exactly a show of intelligence.

Using a folding dog crate could save you money you’d otherwise spend kennel boarding your pet. A folding container also affords you the convenience spending more quality time with your pet.

Dog crates that fold give you some leg room at home when you need extra space. These crates are easy to maintain, comes in different sizes (and some are even adjustable); lightweight crates makes carrying them with you easy.

Since the manufacturers expect you to move around with them, these foldable crates are usually more durable than the traditional version.

If you’re interested in decamping from the 45 percent of dog owners who let their pets sleep on their beds and couches, you might consider starting here.


standard

5 Reasons Your Business Should Download In Custom CRM Software

November 16, 2017 - By 

Have you ever felt that warm, tingly feeling in your head when someone compliments you or remembers your name? It’s the sort of thing that keeps you going back to the same salon, or leaves you feeling satisfied after a call with a customer service line.

The way people are treated by a company leaves a lasting impression and turns them into lifelong customers. Customer relationship management software can help you keep tabs on your entire client base, so you can give them the best service possible.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of custom CRM software.

Organized Customers and Contacts

Spreadsheets and business cards are old school, unorganized, and inefficient. They allow lots of room for error and are time-consuming to keep updated.

Custom CRM software solves this problem. It provides an expansive and thorough overview of your entire catalog of customers, providing important details at the touch of a button.

It can also be effective in organizing leads. Don’t let potential customers slip away just because they’re not quite ready to become customers. Keeping track of your leads is the only way to turn them into customers in the future.

Provides Strong ROI

Customer relationship management software might seem like a big investment, but it actually has a huge ROI. According to a recent study by Nucleus Research, employing custom CRM software provides a $5.60 return per every dollar spent on the system.

Besides the quantifiable ROI, the organization and documentation of leads will keep your ROI strong as long as you’re updating your CRM software. It’ll also help retain all your current customers because personalized attention is what keeps people coming back.

Supports Upselling

When you employ CRM software that tracks your customers’ purchases, you’re able to market other products toward them that you know they’ll be interested in.

Say you own a landscaping company, and your CRM system shows that a customer recently bought a natural pesticide for their garden. That’s incredibly valuable information for you: now you know they have a garden with pests.

There is a slew of other products that can now be marketed to them using that knowledge: seeds, fertilizer, additional pesticide solutions, etc. Without the CRM software, that purchase might’ve fallen between the cracks, and the opportunity to upsell would be lost.

Improves Customer Relations

We know that customers want to receive personalized attention. How far can you take that in your business to make them feel the most value they can feel?

Let’s go back to the landscaping company example. When your customer calls two days after their pesticide purchase, CRM software can pull up the customer’s information and purchase history for the customer service representative. Instead of answering the phone with a generic “Hello, how may I help you today,” now you’re able to say: “Hi Karen, how’s the pesticide working out for you?”

The customer will be taken aback by the personalized attention, and that’ll help diffuse any potentially negative interaction.

Improves Interdepartmental Communication

It’s all about the customer. That fact can get lost in interdepartmental miscommunication. When your sales department and marketing department have a different idea of who your client base is, that’s a problem.

Creating a central database of your customers can help everybody stay on the same page. This’ll improve communication and efficacy in your company. Software providers like iSolutions even offer comprehensive overviews of all departmental customer interactions within the software.

Are You All Set with Custom CRM Software?

Downloading a custom CRM software today can help you step up your customer service game and improve business overall.

But, CRM isn’t the only way to improve your business. Check out how hiring a web designer can also help take your business to the next level.


standard

4 Reasons Why You Need a Great Brand Protection Service

November 16, 2017 - By 

Protecting your brand takes constant work from every company, big and small. The more successful a brand becomes, the more companies there will be to try to outmaneuver the big company.

Brand protection can ensure that once your brand carves out a unique place in the market, your company can maintain their place. It’s critically important that once you find yourself in the ecosystem of other brands that you continue your success through 360-degree brand security.

Brand and reputation services are fast becoming an integral part of a solid brand strategy. Because you want to keep an inferior product from taking your place in the market, here are four reasons to hire a great reputation protection service.

Social Media Sells

Sales and advertising via social media are a fast-growing piece of the marketing puzzle. Not every company has the resources or knowledge base to win at social media.

Hiring a smart reputation protection company can make sure that you make a mark on the limited ad space offered by social media.

You want to make sure that your brand’s voice remains consistent on all social media channels. To avoid appearing redundant, you need to have an approach that’s specific to each channel.

A great reputation protection service knows how to use each one of these in your brand voice.

Get Picked Up By Any Distributor

Distribution is important to any brand. You want to make sure that the quality of your product is consistent. It will have distribution channels opening up for you.

As channels like Amazon take the place of traditional retail distribution channels, Amazon Brand Protection can ensure that reviews and pricing remain competitive.

Protect Your Quality

There are lots of different ways that even the best brands can find themselves under attack through infringement and abuse. Some counterfeit products can risk doing damage to a brand through lower quality than buyers expect.

If your brand starts to take off, it’s hard to keep track of all the small competitors who might try to rip-off your brand. And some of these counterfeit brands are scary.

A service experienced with brand protection can track down the owners and companies linked to sites and apps. They know the tactics to take down fake social media profiles and close down the competing sellers who might harm the quality and dependability of your brand.

Stay Ahead of Competitors

Not only is it important to keep the market that you have, but to be able to expand into new markets. A reputation protection service can take stock of where your competitors are but also identify ground they haven’t broken yet.

You probably know your main competitors but finding all the smaller ones might be too big of a job for your company.

You need your brand to have stability in order to take the risks needed to grow. A reputation protection service will keep you ahead of the competition.

Brand Protection is a Complex Practice

Trying to handle reputation protection on site can be a resource-heavy affair. Your marketing and R&D teams should be able to focus on their work without worrying about infringement and competition.

Hiring a brand protection service will put your company’s mind at ease while keeping you competitive within your field. Your intellectual property needs to be protected. Stay ahead of your competitors and put your brand in good hands.


standard

7 Songs to Download to Your Bachelorette Party Playlist

November 16, 2017 - By 

It’s the ultimate girls night out, maybe the greatest in your life, and you need to make sure the soundtrack lives up to the evening.

A bachelorette party playlist needs music to get you and all the girls into the vibe, ready to party and feel sexy one last night!

Here are 7 must-have, new and classic, party anthems for your big night out.

1. Spice Girls: “Wannabe”

Likely, you and everyone in your crew have gone through a phase where you thought you were like one (or several) of the Spice Girls. This classic 90s party jam is all about friends first and relationships second.

Remind your friends how important they are with this jam. No doubt they’ll be singing along as soon as they hear that first note.

2. TLC: “No Scrubs”

This is another ode to no man getting between you and your friends. TLC was so influential that they got a whole generation of women to upgrade their love life to someone worthwhile.

“No Scrubs” is an honest and straightforward anthem that says only the highest quality guys are allowed near you and your girls.

3. Beyonce: “Single Ladies”

All hail Queen Bey! “Single Ladies” is a modern classic for a reason. It’s all about holding yourself to a high standard and putting this on will let your girls know that you got your partner to put a ring on it.

Be prepared for an epic sing-along as soon as this comes on.

4. Sia: “Chandelier”

While the subject matter is darker than most of your other party anthems, the way Sia sounds when she belts out her feelings will have your crew shouting at the top of their lungs.

“Chandelier” is another modern classic because of its monster beat and top-shelf singing.

5. Aretha Franklin: “Respect”

People forget that Otis Redding sang this song before Aretha. But it took Aretha’s power and style to turn it into a classic feminist anthem.

“Respect” is a shout out to you and your girls that you waited to find a partner who respects you and you want the same for them.

Sing along and demand “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”!

6. Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Cyndi Lauper’s hit party jam is perfect for a bachelorette party playlist. Her strong themes of female empowerment and unabashed femininity make this a standout that will have both men and women singing along.

Originally penned to describe a man’s sexual conquests, Cyndi Lauper turned it around and made it a feisty female chant.

7. Rihanna: “Umbrella”

This massive hit, penned by the Love King himself, The-Dream, will have the whole party singing with you. Rihanna’s breakout hit still resonates because of its honest raw emotion and romantic declaration. It also made her one of the most digitally downloaded artists of all time.

Everyone within a mile will be singing “ella-ella-ella-ella” with your whole party. Make sure they’re not all waiting outside the VIP room when this comes on and sign up for Reign London guestlist.

Make This Bachelorette Party Playlist One To Remember

The key to a perfect bachelorette party playlist is for it to be authentic. Think about songs that you and your friends have listened to for years, what they like now, and more importantly, what you like.

Your whole party will want you to be having the time of your life so have fun, mix it up, and don’t be afraid to be a little cheesy. It’s your night!


standard

10 Novel Ideas for Your Christmas Light Installation (The Neighbors Will Be Jealous)

November 16, 2017 - By 

Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing?

Halloween is officially over and therefore the Christmas season has begun.

As you pack up your witch and jack-o-lantern decorations in your attic, you’re probably noticing your Christmas decoration boxes staring at you. You’re thinking about the contents and realizing you want to try something new this year.

Fear not, if you’re out of Christmas decorating ideas and tired of doing the same thing year after year this article is for you.

This guide will break down how to up your Christmas light installation game and make all your neighbors jealous. After all, we know you want Santa to be able to see your house from the sky.

Read on for 10 novel ideas for your Christmas light installation.

1. Snowflake Lights in Your Trees

Do you want to turn your front yard into a winter wonderland? If so, hang snowflake lights from the branches of your trees to enhance your Christmas light installation.

It doesn’t matter if you live in snowy Colorado or sunny Florida, having snowflake lights on your tree branches will make your yard look beautiful and festive.

The more trees you have in your yard the better this will look.

Hanging the lights in the trees in your backyard is also a great idea for holiday parties. You can let guests walk through your magical backyard of lights.

2. Inflatable Decorations

You know when you drive by car dealerships and they have huge inflatable decorations outside?

The reason they do this is that they’re eye-catching. Adding an inflatable Christmas decoration to your front yard is sure to grab the attention of people riding by.

What inflatable decoration should you choose? The possibilities are endless. Inflatable reindeer, inflatable snow globes, or an inflatable Santa are all good choices.

Add spotlights in front of your inflatable decorations to ensure people can see it at night.

3. Put Christmas Trees Outside

There’s no rule that says your Christmas tree must be indoors.

Create your own miniature fir tree forest by putting Christmas trees around your yard outdoors.

You can decorate them all with lights and top them with your favorite tree toppers. This is perfect for those families who always argue over whether to use an angel or a star on top of the tree. If you have multiple trees outdoors you can use multiple tree toppers!

Don’t forget you still need to go out and water your outdoor trees. They’ll look so good that it will be worth the trip outside.

4. Turn Your Home Into a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses are a delicious part of the holiday season, but they aren’t just for the kitchen.

Making your home look like a gingerbread house is an amazing Christmas light installation idea.

To achieve this look you will need to get candy shaped lights for the front of your house. Line your sidewalk with candy cane lights and gumdrops.

For the main portion of your house, it’s time to load up on LED strip lights.

Decorate the outside of your house with the same design that you would a gingerbread house. One easy way to do this is do straight lines going from the roof to the ground in different colors.

5. Holiday Light Projector

Holiday light projectors are becoming more and more popular in recent years.

These could be a good option for you if you’re short on electrical outlets but you still want to get a great light display going at your house.

Between buying gifts, sending holiday cards, and preparing for holiday parties, the winter months can be expensive. Getting a holiday light projector will save you time and money.

Holiday light projectors make the Christmas light installation process easy. All you need to buy is a 1-3 projectors depending on how large your house is and set them up so they’re pointing at the walls of your house.

You can also direct the projector to a large tree in your yard and it will look like the tree is covered in beautiful Christmas lights.

Holiday light projectors are available in many different colors, shapes, and patterns. You can get them in white if you prefer a more traditional look or you can get them in star shapes that appear to dance along the outside of your house.

6. The Nativity Scene

The nativity scene is a wholesome and beautiful symbol representing Christmas.

Setting up a nativity scene in your front yard is a great way to remind people that the holiday is supposed to be about love, family, and celebrating new life.

Keep your nativity scene simple and don’t try to glam it up with too many lights or it will look gaudy.

For your nativity scene, you will need the baby Jesus (we dare you to try the glassblowing technique!), a manger, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, and an optional sheep.

7. Create Your Own Christmas Light Balls

Turn your Christmas decorating into a DIY project with your family.

To make Christmas light balls, you will need chicken wire and Christmas lights. Simply wrap your Christmas lights around your chicken wire orbs to create glowing balls of festivity.

You can vary the colors if you choose, making some red, some green, and some blue and then place them around your lawn. This is a great way to add some color to the ground level of your house.

8. Don’t Forget the Roof

Your roof will be the focal point of your Christmas light installation display.

You want to make sure you put something on the roof that will be eye-catching and interesting for people to see.

What you choose to put on the roof depends on your personal Christmas tastes.

Want to do something funny? Maybe put a spotlight on a Grinch who’s trying to steal the presents out of the chimney. Want to do something classic? Get a light up sleigh equipped with reindeer and put a hearty Santa inside of it. Want to do something cute? Try a light-up Frosty the Snowman who’s waving at everyone who passes your house.

The most important thing is that you don’t neglect the roof thinking that the lights and decorations on the front of the house will be enough.

And, as always be mindful of your safety! The roof is inherently dangerous. Always be careful when using ladders and let a family member know you’re up there in case you need help getting down.

9. Decorate Your Mailbox

When planning their Christmas light installation, many people forget about their mailboxes.

Your mailbox is the closest thing to the road and, therefore, the first thing people see when they drive by your house. You want your mailbox looking just as festive as the rest of your property. Best of all, it’s really easy to decorate!

A good idea for your mailbox is to hang a beautiful wreath on it. Or tie a red velvet ribbon around it and attach jingle bells.

You can also wrap your mailbox with Christmas lights to make it even more eye-catching and add to your light count.

10. Spell Out a Word in Lights

Christmas is the time to spread joy and love to your neighbors around you.

So why not spell out joy or love in your own front yard?

“Joy”, “Love”, or “Peace on Earth” make great letters you can spell out with lights in your front yard.

You can either buy letters that already light up, or you can make your own by cutting them out of food and then wrapping Christmas lights around them.

Putting out a nice message into the world will make people feel good and get them into the Christmas spirit when they drive by your house and see your Christmas light installation.

Make Your Christmas Light Installation Fun

The holidays are all about spending time with the people you love, so make your Christmas light installation process a group project.

Get your family outside to help you hang lights and bounce ideas off of each other about how you want your house to look this year.

Let your house’s Christmas lights reflect each person who lives inside by giving everyone input. When you divide the job, things will go faster and you’ll get to spend quality time together.

Remember, if you want to avoid the process of untangling lights then the holiday light projector might be for you.

For some overachievers, the process of hanging up your own lights might be half the fun.

If you run into any electrical problems while hanging your lights you may need an electrician. Check out our article on knowing when to call an electrician for your electrical issues.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!


standard

7 Ways You Can Get Paid to Work from Home

November 16, 2017 - By 

Is it time to ditch the office? Ready to gain more flexibility in your life?

If you’re considering working from home, there are ways to do it. There are a lot more options than you may think.

If you’re looking to gain more control over your life, a work from home job could be the answer. It gives you more freedom and time for the things that really matter.

Read on to learn seven of the best ways you can get paid to work from home.

1. Become a Virtual Assistant

One of the most popular ways to get paid to work from home is to become a virtual assistant or VA.

A VA provides professional administrative, technical, and other types of assistance to clients. They do this while working remotely from a home office.

A VA can handle many tasks for people who are very busy or have too many things on their to-do lists. They may answer emails, manage a website, or schedule appointments.

People use VAs for different reasons, but they gain a lot of benefits from delegating tasks to someone else.

If you’re looking to get started with working online, becoming a VA can be a great way to begin.

2. Start a Freelance Writing Business

Freelance writing is also a popular way to make money online.

There are more writing careers available than crafting a bestselling novel. You can make money writing for blogs, creating web copy for businesses, or pitching ideas to magazines.

Another lucrative way to make money as a writer is to write ebooks and offer them online as digital downloads.

Are you interested and knowledgeable about travel, sports, or technology? There are plenty of opportunities both online and offline that will allow you to make money as a freelance writer.

3. Online Tutoring and Teaching

If you’re a qualified teacher or you’re just good at explaining things, teaching or tutoring online can be a great way to make money.

You can help others learn in a variety of ways. You may consider charging for live tutoring sessions using Skype or video conferencing software.

You may also consider creating your own online course where you teach multiple people at once.

Many universities have online programs these days. If you’re qualified, you may be able to get a job teaching an online course.

You may want to use a specialized platform or software for teaching online to make the process easier. It will also help you with managing classes and interacting with students.

4. Become an Audio Transcriptionist

Another excellent choice for a work from home job is to work as a transcriptionist. Many types of businesses, organizations, and people need audio transcribed regularly.

You may work transcribing interviews or other types of things for businesses and organizations. Many transcription jobs fall into the categories of medical or legal audio, but there are other categories too.

It can take some time to be able to listen well and understand what’s being said. Once you get the hang of it, working as a transcriptionist is an in-demand job that can potentially pay well.

5. Get a Work-From-Home Call Center Job

A work-from-home call center job is exactly like it sounds.

Virtual call center jobs are just like typical call center jobs, minus the “center.” You won’t need to go into the office to work. Instead, all you need is a phone, a quiet space, and the right attitude.

Needless to say, you’ll be talking on the phone a lot, so this job is best suited for extroverts.

If this is the kind of job that “calls” out to you (pun intended), you can make a good hourly rate while sitting at home in your pajamas.

6. Become a Programmer and Get Paid to Work From Home

If you are technically-inclined, learning to be a coder or programmer may be the perfect job for you.

With this job, you’ll be writing code, designing applications and programs, and optimizing web pages. Keep in mind that it can take some time to become well-versed in these skills.

However, once you master them you can potentially make a lot of money. You may also choose to get started with a coding boot camp to jumpstart your progress and learn quickly.

Some coding languages are more lucrative than others, but overall it’s a great choice if you’re interested in working remotely. Being a programmer can be one of the most lucrative jobs you can do online.

7. Put Your Graphic Design Skills to Use

Do you have an artistic eye? Do you have the skills to use Adobe Photoshop and other graphic design tools?

Graphic design is one profession you can do with just a laptop and an internet connection. Businesses and individuals need flyers, newsletters, logos, and all kinds of designs completed.

You may choose to specialize in a certain type of project or take on all kinds of work. In addition to working directly with clients, you can also create digital downloads and sell them online.

This can be a great way to have an artistic job if you’re a creative type. You can also make money on your own terms.

Final Thoughts

There are other possibilities if you want to get paid to work from home, but these are the most popular ones.

If you have a skill that wasn’t listed above, don’t lose hope! No matter what your skill set is, you can find a way to market yourself and build an online income.

Think outside of the box, do your research, and keep your eyes open. You may be able to make something work for you and your unique skills.

With a little work, it’s possible to get paid to work from home and have the flexible career you’ve always wanted.

Looking for an extensive and trusted digital downloads marketplace? Check out our ebooks digital downloads marketplace or other digital downloads categories.


standard

What are the Best Travel Apps for iPhone Users?

November 16, 2017 - By 

In this modern day and age, it seems like there is an app for everything. With the travel app market being so saturated, it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack when trying to find an app that is genuinely useful.

From finding the best flight deals and rooming options to language translation and expense trackers, there is no shortage of apps designed to help the tech-savvy traveler.

To get the most out of a traveling experience, consider downloading these apps. Here are the best travel apps for iPhone users.

Google Flights

Google has its own flight finder and price tracking service called Google Flights. This app compares prices across thousands of flights from different flag carriers, budget airlines, and charter flights to find the best price.

The app has a large variety of search filter options. Some of the options include: searching for flights by date, departure, destination airports, and more. Google Flights also has a price prediction feature, which alerts the traveler to price changes.

Hopper

Hopper has won many awards, including Apple App Store’s Best of 2015 list and the 2016 Google Play Award winner. Hopper is one of the best travel apps for iPhone for the prospective traveler to download when searching for cheap flights.

On the app, the prospective traveler can look at the cheapest dates to fly on a month view calendar. One of the best things about Hopper is that the app will send you notifications alerting the traveler when to buy tickets.

PackPoint

Planning ahead is one of the best things to do to ensure a trip will go smoothly. Making a checklist of everything one may need to pack is very useful. PackPoint is an app that makes that checklist for you.

PackPoint analyzes the weather forecast and has an option for the traveler to select activities they may do during the trip. Based on all of this information, the app will offer up a list of items that should be packed based on these activities.

Roomer

There are many travel apps and websites out there that can help a traveler find the best hoteles ofertas (hotel offers) for their travel plans.

However, sometimes the unexpected can occur. When accommodation plans fall through, the Roomer app can be a lifesaver.

Roomer is a marketplace app that allows users to book last minute hotel rooms at discounts. These rooms become available when other Roomer users have to cancel their trips.

Alternatively, if a user is stuck with a hotel reservation they can’t use, they can also sell it to other users on Roomer. This can be rather handy when trying to avoid cancellation fees.

Duolingo

Duolingo, an incredibly well-designed language learning app has over 70 million users. Although this app is not a replacement for proper language education, the app is a fun way to learn the basics of any language before a trip abroad.

The app functions like a computer game and guides a user through levels that need to be completed before advancing to the next stage.

Learning the basic vocabulary and grammar allows the traveler to be able to navigate the country better and gain more insights into the local destination.

Ready To Download the Best Travel Apps for iPhone?

There are many travel apps out there to make a traveler’s life much easier before embarking on a new adventure.

Digital downloads are the key to the future, and any prospective traveler would be wise to stay up to the date with the newest app tools to help them navigate the world.

Check us out to find out more!


standard

5 Must-Have Medical Apps for Patients

November 16, 2017 - By 

When the average person looks for medical advice, they usually turn to a big website like WebMD. But those diagnostic tools are imprecise, overwhelming users wit?h information and increasing anxiety, research shows.

Instead, let’s turn to the powerful computers in our pockets. Have a look at five of the best medical apps for patients recommended by users and doctors alike.

1. Instant Heart Rate

Instant Heart Rate does exactly what it says on the tin. It uses your smartphone to measure your pulse.

The way it does this, however, is pretty ingenious: You simply put the tip of your index finger over your phone’s camera lens. You’ll have to wipe off the smudges, but that’s pretty clever.

Where the app shines, though, is in its ease of use and ability to track your heart rate measurements over time. This lets you get a snapshot of how your resting and active heart rates change when you’re doing different tasks and making lifestyle modifications.

Sometimes simple is best, and this is one of the best medical apps for patients out there.

2. Mayo Clinic

If you’re a patient at the Mayo Clinic, their app for iOS and Android is invaluable. It helps you track and make appointments, and even pay bills. It also delivers lab and test results right to your pocket.

But even if you’re not a patient, this app for one of the country’s top hospitals offers a ton of information, videos, and wellness advice from top doctors and experts. It even syncs with your Apple Watch, if that’s your thing.

3. Diabetes:M

Diabetes:M is one of the best blood sugar trackers on the market. It has a host of features that allow you to simply enter and track blood sugar data as well as working with a number of insulin pumps and glucometers.

The app covers information for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, meaning you should be well covered.

Diabetes:M’s only major drawback is that it doesn’t yet have the capability to sync with Apple Health on your iOS device. Otherwise, it’s the perfect app for diabetes tracking and management.

4. First Aid – American Red Cross

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy universal guide of what to do in case of a medical emergency? The American Red Cross First Aid app is just that.

Covering everything from what to do when someone has an allergic reaction to bleeding, burns, and broken bones, this app is an invaluable resource.

It’s best when paired with a first aid training class, but it’s good to have in your pocket regardless.

5. BabyBump Pregnancy Pro

Trying to have a baby is fraught with questions and anxieties, from scheduling doctors appoints to potentially seeking fertility treatment or inquiring about surrogacy cost.

BabyBump Pregnancy Pro takes some uncertainty out of the pregnancy process, allowing you to track your bump, connect with other moms, and even pick out baby names. It’s simple to use and a good companion through those 40 weeks.

The Best Medical Apps for Patients Might be Yours

Didn’t see something here that fits the bill? Maybe that’s because it doesn’t exist yet.

Take your great idea and check out our ebook on creative product creation.


standard

5 Signs A Loved One Should Contact An Addiction Recovery Center

November 16, 2017 - By 

Addiction is a difficult enemy to face.

It turns even the most successful, responsible people into complete opposites of themselves.

Even worse, true addiction is not something that someone can simply “get over” on their own.

It’s also more common than you think. Studies show that over 40 million people in the United States suffer from drug or alcohol addiction to some degree.

People who suffer from addiction may not always talk about it. But it can be fairly difficult to hide as it gets worse.

Friends and loved ones may not say it, but they need you to help through intervention and put a stop to their habits.

Read on to learn about the five warning signs someone may need to visit an addiction recovery center.

1. They’ve Had to Leave Their Job or School

This is one of the most common signs of addiction.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. It’s not uncommon for an employee to occasionally run late to work.

Similarly, students are likely to miss classes and assignments any number of times while they’re in school.

But problems arise when these occurrences become normal behavior.

Consistently poor grades can lead to expulsion from school.

Poor job performance can result in termination, resulting in a downward spiral that comes from not having a paycheck.

Losing a job or being kicked out of school isn’t normal. They often indicate an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

If someone you know has been kicked out of school or fired from work, look into the matter and find the cause.

2. They’ve Legitimately Tried to Quit and Couldn’t

Quitting can be hard, even when you’re not addicted to something.

By definition, an addiction is an overwhelming dependence on something else. It involves almost anything, such as video games or stealing. But addiction most commonly involves drugs and alcohol.

Quitting doesn’t come easy. The average smoker makes approximately 30 attempts before quitting cigarettes for good.

When someone attempts to discontinue their bad habit and fails, it’s a clear sign that they suffer from addiction.

At this point, the next logical step is an addiction recovery center.

Places like the Recovery Village offer a 24/7 hotline you can call whenever you need to.

Your conversation is entirely confidential. The main goal is getting your loved one into a facility putting their lives back on track.

3. They Lie About Their Drinking or Substance Use

Those who lie about their substance abuse are often ashamed about how much they consume. They may talk about how last night they had “one or two beers.”

In reality, it was likely more than that, and something stronger than beer.

Alcohol consumption generally gets downplayed. Substances, however, are slightly different.

Those who suffer from an opiate addiction or use other drugs often don’t even mention it. When confronted, they may deny it entirely.

If you happen to know a friend or family member’s consumption habits are unsafe, approach them about it.

One of two things will happen:

They will acknowledge that they need help and work toward finding a solution right for them.

Or they will deny they have an issue. At this point, rehab is their best option.

Before moving toward treatment, though, consider every available option.

4. They’ve Been in Legal Trouble

Drugs and alcohol always lead to trouble with the law. Possession of illicit substances carries a prison sentence and drinking and driving will take away driving privileges.

If someone you know has frequent trouble with the police, you may want to look into it.

If a friend or loved one gets arrested at 11 AM for being aggressively drunk in public, there is definitely an issue that you need to help them take care of.

Similarly, if they end up in cuffs as a direct result of their substance abuse, get them to rehab. They need to get help, but you have to make it happen.

In some states, family members of the addict can legally force them to enter a drug and alcohol recovery program.

For situations that involve friends, it isn’t so easy.

But you can help them by showing them the damage they cause to themselves and the people around them.

5. They Show Visible Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone attempts to end an addiction, the body displays certain symptoms as it detoxes.

For alcohol, the symptoms commonly include fatigue, nausea, excessive shaking, and sweating.

For other substances, the symptoms range from vomiting to severe anxiety.

Withdrawal symptoms are debilitating. It can prevent someone from going to school, work, or fulfilling their responsibilities.

In severe cases, it can even result in depression and self-harm. You must take all measures possible to avoid this scenario.

Many people who attempt to end their alcohol or substance dependency go through withdrawal. If this is affecting someone you know, an addiction recovery center is the best place for them to detox safely.

If the addict attempts to handle the symptoms alone, they may relapse. Rehabilitation programs will help keep them on the wagon.

An Addiction Recovery Center Can Help

There’s no shame in getting help. Don’t feel guilty making sure someone who needs assistance receives it. And an addiction recovery center is the place to go.

Rehabilitation may seem intimidating at first, but it is a necessary step toward recovery.

To learn more about the experience during rehab, as well as local addiction recovery centers, check out this guide and find your answer today.


standard

How to Make Killer Marketing Graphics Online

November 16, 2017 - By 

Did you know you can create marketing graphics without hiring a designer or being a designer yourself?

You can create amazing visual content with just the help of the internet. There are a handful of apps and tools out there that will help you take your visual content to the next level.

Let’s dive deep!

Why Do Great Visuals Matter?

Did you know the brain can process visuals 60,000 times quicker than reading a block of text? Our brains are wired for analyzing and processing images, not words.

In a world where content is always increasing, our brains adapted to ensure we take in as much information as possible. Over 80% of our consumed content is compiled of images.

Even if you’re a marketing guru with no design skills on your resume, it’s essential you start using images. Visuals are what the majority of your audience is consuming and you want to reach your target market in engaging ways.

Interesting and relevant visual content helps to break up long chunks of text, especially in large technical documents. A user can get lost in words and find themselves not fully engaged, often resulting in re-reading. Inserting an image gives a break to reset the reader so they can come back more engaged.

Are you interested in learning about the tools you can use to create great marketing graphics? These graphics could include business cards, posters, case studies, direct mail pieces, infographics, and even feather flags banners.

Free Online Graphic Design Tools

Are you sick of using the standard fonts that your computer supplies you with? Are you looking for something a little edgier or whimsical? There are a few places you can go to scroll through hundreds of fonts you can simply download and start using in your designs.

Special Font Downloads

Font Squirrel, DaFont, 1001 Free Fonts

All of these websites are places you can go to download special fonts. There are a lot more than these ones listed, but these are a few of the most reputable sources.

The fonts are very easy to download and install and start using right away. If you’re not using this for just personal use, the website makes sure to inform you what the licensing requirements are.

WhatFont Tool

When you come across a particular font used in a design that you don’t recognize, WhatFont makes it very easy to determine what the font it. You have the option of uploading an image and the tool will recognize letters, have you verify that they are correct, and offer suggestions of what the font may be.

If you’re on a webpage and would like to know what fonts you’re looking at, WhatFont allows you to enter the webpage into the tool and it will come back with results identifying all the fonts on the page.

Pick and Compose with Two Different Fonts

There is a well-known tool where users can lay two different fonts next to each other and see if they match up well. It helps you choose combinations of fonts that are aesthetically pleasing.

Type Genius Web App

Type Genius has now paired with Canva to help you find the right combination of fonts and integrate them into your overall design. You choose a primary font that you love then click next. It will show you your font paired with complementary fonts and examples of designs using both. The designs it highlights are actual website currently using these font pairings.

There are more tools you can use if you need help with your marketing graphics when it comes to fonts. You will never have to complain about having limited options or not knowing what secondary fonts to use.

Now that you have the fonts down, let’s take a look at how you can set up the marketing graphics to really make them shine.

Marketing Graphics Templates and Tools

You can use these tools even if you don’t have any design background. They have already created layouts that you can just plug your information into. You don’t need to worry about whether or not your design is good because you know a group of designers created it.

These are a few of the most used template tools on the web today.

Canva App

This design tool is free, with the option to buy stock photos, additional fonts, and icons. You can create any design you’re thinking of with this tool.

On the front page, it sorts all of the created templates into different sections based on social media channel and sizes that are allowed for each platform. It also has a section where you can create business cards, posters, flyers, email headers, ebooks, and more.

When you pick the template size you’d like to go with, you then get to pick the fonts and layouts of the template. To create it is as easy as dragging and dropping images and writing your information in the text boxes. You can even add text boxes, shapes, and images to the template to make it your own. You have a choice of colors that match your branding and tons of icons in their extensive design library.

Canva integrates with a lot of other websites to help marketing graphics gurus make their designs the best they can be.

Infographic Templates

Hubspot offers a lot of free content for marketing graphics and marketing training. Creating infographics is a difficult feat if you don’t have a design background. They can be hard to manipulate and creating the concepts take a lot of brainstorming.

Hubspot published and shared free templates for infographics. You can take your information and plug them into the already created templates. The best part about it, if you’re using statistics or other information that depends on accurate graphs and charts, the formulas change based on the information you enter.

Photo Editing and Design

Since we are a visual people who thrive on visual content, having interesting and engaging images in your marketing graphics are important. There are a variety of apps and tools that help you create and edit images.

Gimp

Gimp is an open source editor for images. It gives you a variety of tools to help you edit your photos. You can do things like crop, resize and adjust color and opacity. It helps enhance photographs natural features and make them brighter and more appealing to consumers.

PlaceIt

PlaceIt takes screenshots of your website or product that you’ve saved and uploads them on to a mockup. If you’re featuring a new product, you can have it appear directly on a mockup of an iPhone, laptop, desktop computer, iPad, etc.

You have a wide variety of tools at your disposal, even if you aren’t a marketing graphics designer. It will be no time before you’re creating high-quality engaging visual content. If you’re looking to improve other areas of your marketing skills, visit here to learn more.