We live in a time of unparalleled busyness — and every minute of the day is important to us. The good news is, technology is keeping pace with that trend, and it’s empowering us to make the most of the ways in which we work and play.
Read on for our roundup of some the best technology ideas we’ve seen in recent months and years — all of them innovative tools that put minutes and hours back into our days.
1. No more sitting in traffic like a caveman
Thanks to the rise of the Global Positioning System — GPS, to anyone without a PhD — and its ability to work on our mobile devices, we don’t have to fumble around with cumbersome maps or awkwardly ask for directions at a gas station. But now there’s been yet another development in travel tech that helps us get where we’re going in a timely manner. With Waze, drivers share real-time traffic delays — accidents, traffic jams, police locations and more — so that you can successfully avoid them. Praise technology! How did we ever survive without it?
2. Never stand in the rain for 30 minutes trying to hail a cab again
We live in the age of Uber. Whenever there isn’t a cab in sight — or, worse maybe, there’s a sea of taxis but all of them are full — technology puts a quick ride in the palms of our hands. A blend of GPS tracking and mobile payments, the handy Uber app makes it okay to catch that last sip of coffee, answer an e-mail, then head for the front door when the alert message says the car’s arriving.
3. Getting a car insurance quote in no time
It used to take 50 questions to get a quote… it was a infinitely boring process and made us feel like we were wasting our time. Then came belairdirect. In a technological feat, they created the Quick Quote which allows you to get a car insurance quote in just 3 minutes. You only have to answer 12 quick questions and you can get back to enjoy life. So “goodbye,” wasted hours and “hello,” Star Wars marathon!
4. Getting signatures on documents is no longer a paper chase
There was a time when getting sign-off on a contract, report or presentation required strapping a messenger to the back of a dinosaur and send him out to gather the needed signatures. Okay, maybe not the dinosaur, but these days, technology has given us a new ways to approaching this prehistoric task. Digital innovations such as DocuSign are eliminating the old paper chase by letting users electronically send and receive signatures on documents of all kinds.
5. Groceries get done while we work on our next projects
A huge part of how technology saves us time and makes life easier is multi-tasking. With innovations such as FreshDirect, we can set up grocery deliveries by ordering then online on a Sunday and then receiving them throughout the week, whenever we like. We can even set up a weekly repeat on staple orders. Point is, no more wasted hours in line at the supermarket — and trying to find a space in the parking lot.
6. Repainting the place? Manage the whole project without leaving the desk (or lifting a brush)
Thinking about a new coat of paint doesn’t have to mean a time-consuming in-person visit to the professionals. Cut out the commute and count on good work being delivered right at home. That’s how Paintzen approaches home and office repainting. You just send the details digitally, receive a quick consultation, use their amazing software to try out color comparison tools, and then, after clicking through the on-screen choices, the painters are scheduled and on their way. No fuss, and no paint-stained pants. Win-win!
Ticking off the list of tasks that innovation is helping us conquer in faster and easier ways, it means we don’t have to give up as much time to cover the details.
Here’s another bottom line to think about as well: We get the best results in every part of life when we’ve got a little more time and energy to work and play.