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One Family's Extreme Tech Makeover

Simple upgrades -- from a paperless calendar to software for worry-free Web surfing -- helped this family function more smoothly. Download these ideas (and more), and you too can conquer the digital divide.
The Tech-Challenged Family

Meet Family Circle reader Angela Crickman, mother of three and a nurse in California. "I desperately need a way to sync my family's schedule," said the mom of Max, 13, Sophie, 11, and Jake, 5, when she petitioned us for tech help. "I'm guessing it should involve the computer, but I have no clue how to set something up. I'd also like to create a system to manage our digital pictures so I can actually retrieve what I want. And while we're at it, is there a way we can allow my son to use the Internet to do homework but block the downloading of games that crash the computer? What about a digital music library I can access without having to ask the kids for help? Oh, and my husband, Michael, wants the television and the computer networked -- is that possible?"

In other words, this talkative yet tech-challenged mom wanted to harness today's innovations to make life easier for herself and her whole clan. What she learned can help you too.