When you have a baby, it can be helpful to keep track of their feedings, sleep habits, and diapers. BabyConnect is an extremely useful website and mobile app that allows you to track all of these things and more (pumping, medicines, doctor visits, weight, etc). It also has useful charts and graphs, and can be accessed by other members of the family and caregivers. You can enter data via the website, your phone, or iPad/iPod.
Is your home or work office too quiet? Do you work better with the coffee shop ambience, but want to stay home? This website has several background soundtracks you can play while you work, such as a coffee shop, lunchtime restaurant, and university cafe. You can also install the Android/iPhone or Mac app for quicker access.
Need help using your Mac or Mac software? If you have an Apple Store near you, you can take advantage of free classes for Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPhoto, iMovie, etc. If you are buying a Mac computer for the first time, you can sign up for a full year of personal training for only $99.
DayOne is my favorite app for keeping a digital journal. It has a simple interface and is very easy to use. Plus, you can use it on your computer or your phone/iPad. Here are some of its other great features:
Syncs with Dropbox so you can update it from different computers/devices
Upload photos with your entries
Tag your entries so you can easily search them later
Want to allow your kids to use your computer, but don’t want them surfing unsafe websites or using the computer for too long? Parental Controls is a feature that allows you to create a separate user account and limit that that user can do. For example, you can create a simplified desktop that’s easier to use, limit application use, limit which websites can be accessed, limit who can be emailed or chatted with, limit time usage, hide certain words using a profanity filter, and more.
Go to Apple menu > System Preferences and then click Users & Groups
Click the lock icon to make changes, and then type in your computer name and password.
Click the plus (+) sign under “Login Options” and choose “Managed with Parental Controls”
Fill out the remaining fields and Create User.
Select the account and then click the “Open Parental Controls” button
If other people in your house (or visiting guests) use your computer, you might not want to allow them to access all of your files and programs on your Mac. It’s easy to set up a guest account that doesn’t require a password and can be restricted to use certain programs/websites (using Parental Controls). Once they log out, all the information and files in the guest account are deleted.
Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
Click the lock icon to unlock it, and then type an administrator name and password.
Select Guest User in the list of accounts.
Check the “Allow guests to log in to this computer”
If you let guests log in, you can also set up parental controls for guests by selecting “Enable parental controls” and clicking Open Parental Controls to manage those settings.
To let guests use your shared folders and their contents from another computer on your network, select “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.”
Financial information, passwords, account info, and other sensitive data on your computer should be protected securely. Here are a few pieces of software I use to encrypt my important data so only someone with the password can access it:
Knox (Mac): Create a special encrypted drive to store data using either a portion of your local hard drive or an external hard drive or thumb drive.
1Password (Mac/PC): Encrypt passwords, bank account information, and any other secure notes with this amazing Password manager. It also syncs with Dropbox, which enables you to use the software on multiple computers and access your passwords via the web.
Apple FileVault (Mac): Encrypt your entire home directory. Be careful! If you lose your recovery key, you lose all your data.
VeraCrypt (PC): A popular free encryption software for PC. I haven’t used it myself, but it looks similar to Knox.