How to Hack the Holidays with Technology

by Robyn Wright on December 15, 2015

in Living

How to Hack the Holidays with Technology  |  Robyns.World

Sometimes I think I forget that I am able to take advantage of the technology I have so much of the time. Remembering that not everyone knows how to use their computers, tablets, and phones in as many ways is inspiring this post today along with some great tips that Microsoft shared with me.

Surface Pro 4 & Surface Book Hacks

  • Use Cortana + Hello while baking: Allows for hands free cooking, keeping your Surface Pro 4 dough-free this holiday season
  • Stress-free recipe swap: Share your favorite holiday recipes with family and friends in Microsoft Edge with Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pen. Have a sibling with a food allergy or a friend trying to cut calories? Write helpful tips and notes for substitutions or amounts right on the page with your Surface pen and share your best (healthy or not J) holiday recipes via email or social media or save to your OneNote.
  • Thank you notes made easy: Let your kids pen thank-you notes on Surface Book using OneNote and Surface pen. Post the notes directly to loved ones’ Facebook wall or send via email easy-peasy.
  • Easy gifting: Take the guesswork out of Santa’s gift list by letting kids circle exactly what they want right on the web page using Microsoft Edge on your Surface Pro 4. Do they want it in blue instead? They can make a note next to the item. Then just save to your favorites for later or send to yourself in email.
  • Get the best deals: It’s always exciting when you know you’re getting the best deals, especially during the holidays. Cortana can help you find the best coupons while shopping online using Microsoft Edge on your Surface Pro 4. When you visit any of the 100 big-ticket retailers this season like Macy’s, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and others, Cortana will alert you when coupons are available for additional discounts.
  • Holiday Cards 2.0: Use Surface Book to design holiday greeting cards; perfect for the creative in your life.
  • Enjoy the moment: A busy holiday season comes with a big to-do list and a lot to remember. Let Cortana keep you organized with her helpful reminders. Either say ‘Hey Cortana” or simply scribble down a note with your Surface Pro 4 pen and Cortana will remind you to pick up wrapping paper next time you’re at Target or to call your mom when you get home.

New Microsoft Band Hacks

  • Sleep the stress away: Track the effects of post-holiday travel by sleeping with the new Microsoft Band; monitor sleep pattern changes and adjust for a better night’s rest amongst the holiday bustle.
  • Silent night: Use the new Microsoft Band to wake up unnoticed, allowing you to leave surprises for your loved ones and keep the magic of the holidays alive!
  • The family sledding class pass: Skip the gym this holiday to spend more time chasing your little ones up the sledding hill; track your non-traditional holiday workout with the new Microsoft Band. Holiday shopping at the mall, hanging lights on the house, it all counts when you’re wearing your new Microsoft Band.

More Holiday Tech Hacks

  • Skype Your Family Party: If your family is spread out around the world, use Skype at each location and have your family enjoy the holidays together! You can see everyone open their gifts, sing carols, and catch up with each other.
  • Create Printed Gift Tags: Use computer labels to easily create your own gift tags and include who they are to and from. Clip art images are easy to place on all of them to customize them anyway you like.
  • Make Smart Holiday Lights: Use smart switches to plug in your holiday lights to easily control them with your device. Add in the use of IFTTT to have your lights turn on and off automatically when you arrive or leave home, at sunset or sundown, etc.
  • Holiday Music Playlists: Have everyone pick out their favorite holiday songs and create a holiday playlist. I do this on Microsoft Groove and then have it with me on any device. Set up wireless Bluetooth speakers around the house to be in the spirit no matter where you are in your home.
  • Send Video Holiday Cards: Record a video with your family sending your holiday wishes and include some family updates like you would have in the Christmas newsletter in the past. Upload the video to your favorite site and share the link with family and friends.
  • Family Slideshow: Create a slideshow on your TV by sharing your past holiday photos. This is great to have running in the background (no sound) during your holiday get-togethers.

Do you have a favorite holiday hack using technology?

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© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

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