Tech tips in the Digital Age

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In this rushed and overloaded digital age, speed and productivity is power. Some of the tech tools below can be the very hacks you need for productivity so you can optimize your time and effort, and save more quality time for more quality tasks. 

Unroll.me

Unroll.me makes it super easy for you to unsubscribe from junk / spam emails without having to delete them manually so often. When you sign up for the service, it will scan through your email to display a list of subscriptions that are filling up your inbox, including subscriptions that you never knew you signed up for. It also helps to remove scam emails whose unsubscribe button doesn’t actually work.

It helps you waste less time skimming and sorting through your crowded mailbox every day.

  • Available as: website
  • Charge: Free

Canva 

“The design tool for non-designers,” this popular web-based graphic design platform allows users to create their own designs & customize graphics, prints, presentation slides from hundreds of professional layouts and templates. If you would like to create an eye-catching poster for an event or an enviable presentation without spending too much time or dabbing into more complicated software such as Adobe, Canva is the place.

For an individual who’s looking to create a quick professional-look design, free version of Canva is plentiful. You can compare their free & upgraded features here. Also, you’ll need to sign up for Google or Facebook account before using.

  • Available as: website & app (ios & android)
  • Charge: Free & paid
Plenty of design templates from Canva

Print Friendly 

As the name suggests, the service helps you remove any navigation, ads, and junk to print a clean-looking article. You can also customize or delete the text and image deemed unnecessary before printing.

Equally important, if you don’t read the New York Times article frequently enough but already exceeded your limit of 10 free articles per month, you can paste the blocked article link into Print Friendly and see its entirety.

  • Available as: website & browser extension (chrome & firefox)
  • Charge: Free
A blocked New York Times article which requires subscription to view
Goes to Print Friendly and paste the article link, the whole article is viewable!

Scanner Pro 

There is a good reason why this app is ranked at #2 on IOS App Store for Business category. Scanner Pro produces top quality scans, offering accurate intelligent character recognition (detects readable text and convert them into machine-encoded text), and doing it all with a smooth interface. It automatically detects borders, reduces distortions, lets you export it as jpg and pdf and share/upload right inside the app.

Since using this app, I feel like those bulky document scanner in the office and library will become museum artifacts in the near decades.

  • Available as: app (ios)(there are many different apps on both ios & google play store for the same purpose of different price range for you to pick from)
  • Free & Paid (one-time payment of $3.99)

Video speed controller

In this overwhelming information age, speed listening is the trick to learning more and quicker from multimedia such as videos and podcasts. If you find it torturous and distracted to sit and listen to an online lecture/video of a slow pace, or if you’re more engaged and focused in high-speed informative listening, this video speed controller is a must. A video speed controller also helps you quickly ‘skim’ through unimportant video sections without skipping/missing its main points. Equally important, this extension allows you to customize hotkey (keyboard shortcuts) to increase/decrease speed and skip forward/backwards without touching the mouse.

  • Available as: Chrome browser extension (Firefox also has similar add-on)
  • Charge: free

Pop-up dictionary/translator

If you’re learning a new language or looking to improve your vocabulary through voracious reading, pop-up dictionary and translator helps to reduce interruptions of looking up a word. There are multiple chrome extensions available for this feature, including but not limited to, Good Word Guide, Dictionarist, Google Dictionary (multiple languages). Personally, I used 3 different pop-up dictionary extensions so that I can be exposed to different ways a word is defined.

  • Available as: Chrome browser extension (Firefox also has similar add-on)
  • Charge: free
Google pop-up translator from Chinese to English
Multiple pop-up definitions from different apps

I have personally used all the tools listed in this blog, and have loved them enough to recommend them to you! I hope you find them useful as well!

Feature image: vector created by Rawpixel from freepik.com

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