Before we went on our family road trip, I set up a notebook using Springpad, an online scrapbook and note-taking tool. It was a simple matter of clicking a button to remember the Web site for restaurants, museums, events, and activities I thought we might want to do. It displayed my research in a an appealing bulletin board on my screen. Then I shared it with my husband and kids and encouraged each of them to get the app for their own smart phone or tablet. That way, we all had my planning notebook handy at all times. While we were touring colleges, visiting museums, or enjoying a meal, I took photos and added them to Springpad thereby transforming my research into a scrapbook of our adventures. And since everyone already has the app, they could also add their own photos to it. And now everyone has a scrapbook – right in their pocket – of our trip. So when classmates ask, “What did you do this summer?” They can get out their phone and show them -- with plenty of details. Springpad.com, free; apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, the Web
Tablet and phone slideshows are handy. But I also thought it would be nice to use the walls in our house to turn some of our adventures into art. SnapBox made this super easy. I uploaded some photos I liked to the site – you can also email them directly from your phone or send them right from Facebook – and let the site take it from there. A few days later, a package arrived with beautiful canvas images showcasing moments from my adventures stretched over a box frame and ready to hang. They look great on my wall and remind me of the fun I had every time I walk past them. SnapBoxez.com, one 8 x 10 framed photo is $20
Upload your photos here, arrange them into albums, and build a stunning Web site to showcase your photos easily. Or share them from here to Google+, Twitter, email, or Facebook. Your photos will be securely – and privately if you wish -- stored and easy to find, even if you drop your phone in the drink. You can also turn photos into prints, cards, coasters, books and business cards right from the site. SmugMug.com, plans start at $40 a year
If you use an Android phone, camera, or tablet to take photos, you can set it to automatically back your photos up to Google+. So, sharing an album of photos from a trip is a simple matter of choosing the photo, choosing who to share those photos with (I have a family group set up so this is easy) adding some commentary, and clicking “Share.” Google.com/+, free, mobile apps for Android and iOS Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com. Follow her on Twittter!