An absolutely wonderful little gadget I could not live without.

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Let me tell you about this absolutely wonderful little gadget that I simply could not live without.

This gadget allows us to connect to the internet, with up to 10 devices at the same time, from absolutely anywhere that has cellular coverage. It’s called a Portable Wifi Hotspot.

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This little beauty works like a cell phone in that it works on the cellular network, has a sim card, and a phone number. You cannot, however, make phone calls with it. It is designed to give you wifi internet connection on the go. It’s small – it fits into a coin purse I have, so it lives permanently in my handbag.

You can purchase them from any phone shop, or directly from Telecom or Vodafone (New Zealand). When we bought ours it was $99 plus $20 for the sim card. It came with one months supply of data if I remember correctly. You have to top it up online and can either buy a plan or use it on Prepay, just like a mobile phone.

We use ours in all sorts of places. While motels offer free wifi to guests in New Zealand, Hotels charge the earth for it. So we use this hotspot when staying in one. We’ve used it in the car – I’ve been able to do all my emails, check Facebook, look up Google Maps when we’re not sure where we’re going, and catch up on some work all while hubby drives the car. Wonderful! It means that when we get to our destination I have time free to enjoy my surroundings.

Another place it comes in handy is in airport lounges while waiting for flights. At friends places if you want to show them something and they don’t have wifi, you can pull out your hotspot and your iPad and be instantly connected.

A few weeks ago I went clothes shopping. I was going to a particular store, part of a national chain, because I like their clothes. I had found some items I was very interested in on their website. When at the store, I was able to bring up their website on my iPad, and the sales lady was able to get the stock codes from it, put them into their computer/till, and tell me if they had them in stock, in what sizes and where in the shop to find them. It was great! It saved us both a lot of time and frustration trying to find the items I wanted.

Do you have one of these? What useful places have you used it?  When has it most come in handy?


iPad Apps I Use to Stay Productive While Travelling

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If you’ve been flat out and simply have not been able to write and schedule posts to go out while away on a trip – here are the apps I find most useful for staying productive when travelling.

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This is great for taking notes on the run. Not least because if you click the little microphone icon on the keypad, you can just talk into it and it writes down what you say. Much quicker for recording those ideas that pop into your head in inappropriate places or when you’re being bumped around in a car.

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BlogPad Pro for WordPress

BlogPad Pro for WordPress is a great app for managing your websites, especially if you have a lot of them like I do! You can log in here for each site you have and check all kinds of things like stats, comments, tags, pages, media and more.

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WordPress With this app you can write and edit blog posts on any of your sites, manage comments and read the WordPress Freshly Pressed blog. Of course you can access your dashboard on the Safari browser and write and edit your posts in the normal way too.

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Planner Plus

Planner Plus is a great planning calendar tool for managing your posts and other blogging tasks. As you’d expect for a planner, it’s mainly a multi-page calendar with an extra page for planning tasks, including adding due dates, projects, recurring, undated, completed and reminders.

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Sell on Etsy






These two Etsy apps allow me to keep track of my Etsy stores and in contact with customers. I may not be able to ship goods while I’m out of town, but I can thank my customers for shopping with me and let them know when there goods will be shipped. Good customer service is everything.

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Dropbox is a cloud storage and sharing programme. I use this to transfer files between my iPad and my desktop. If I have images on my desktop that I know I will need for my blog posts while I’m away, I’ll put them in my dropbox folder before I leave home. Then I can access them while away, save them to my Photos app and then insert them into posts when needed.

If you are blogging about the things you are seeing on your trip, you can take photos with your iPad and use them in your posts.

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Photo Toaster

I have lots of apps for adding special effects to photos and images, but I probably use Photo Toaster the most. It’s easy to use and has some great sfx built in. Picfx is another great one that also allows you to add text to your photo, which is great for pictures intended for social media like Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and more.

Then there are the ones that barely require mentioning they are so popular and commonly used, like Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and of course, email.

So there you have it. My productivity must haves.

What are your fave apps for when you are away from home?



The 8 Most Used Apps on my iPad

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This will always be different for everyone, but here are the 8 apps I use the most on my iPad. Quite a number of these are country specific, but I’m sure you’ll have equivalent ones for your own local areas.

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  1. MetService. This is our local weather service. It will show you the weather in any part of the country and also gives out severe weather warnings or information for any area you choose.
  2. NZHerald. This is the largest daily newspaper in New Zealand. This is where I catch up on national and international news stories.
  3. Stuff. This is my second go-to news app. It often has less serious news than the big dailys so I get some different kinds of news there. More human interest stuff, funny events etc.
  4. Spider. This is where I kill time playing Spider Patience. I use it mostly when waiting in the car while Hubby is shopping. Or while waiting for uploads/downloads on the computer, (because internet speeds in this country suck), or often when I’m in bed. It’s a good way to de-stress and wind down from the days activities and get  ready for sleep.
  5. Kindle. Yes, I read. And I have several books on the go at once. And yes, it does sometimes get confusing!
  6. Lightbox. Wonderful internet TV. No ads. Fantastic place to binge watch your fave series.
  7. Facebook. Here I keep up with friends and family and also market the various facets of my business.
  8. Pinterest. Fantastic for image searches, marketing, researching things you’re interested in. It’s like a pictorial index for the rest of the web!
  9. Skype. Skyping on the iPad is sooo much easier than on a desk top. You don’t have to worry about having a webcam or mic for a start – they’re built right into the iPad. I even use this for conference calls for a society we do volunteer work for.
  10. Dropbox. – cloud storage and file sharing. Could not do without it now!
  11. Planner Plus. – Electronic planner which I use more as an editorial planner for my blogs as I have a manual/book planner for everything else, (cos it’s fun to decorate it and add all kinds of things to it!).

I know, I said 8. I’ve included some bonus ones for you. I just couldn’t choose only 8.

There are so many others: my Bank’s app, Contacts, email, camera and photos of course, photo enhancing apps, Calender, note taking apps, Etsy, blogging, Google +, Instagram, calculater, google maps, and my Thesaurus to name a few I use all the time.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my fave apps for helping me continue with blogging and business when away from home.

Do you use an iPad or tablet to help with your blogging or social media updates? What are your fave apps?