F&S Blog

Helpful tips, tutorials and news related to our industry.

Now that 2014 is one for this history books, I thought I would take a minute to reflect on the apps, websites and services that I fell in love last year.  I love to share a good app as there are now lots of great applications that can simply make life a bit easier.  Here are a few programs that were real standouts.  Ones that I “fell in love with” and a few that I’m really happy to end that “gimme” relationship.

Apps I Fell in Love With:

Dashlane Logo1. Dashlane Password Manager

I manage tons of passwords. Not only for myself but for clients. Dashlane is an awesome mobile/desktop service that keeps all of my passwords in one secure location and reminds me to upgrade weak ones.  It also logs me in to websites as I visit them, which is a huge time saver!  Can’t wait to see this app evolve in the future.


2. DayOne (Rekindle after a long break)


DayOne is a beautiful journal taking app you can use to record pretty much anything.  I love to write down any mental notes of I have throughout the day of new ideas and strategies and this Mac/iPhone app allows me to do so in a journal format.  I also trying to keep a bit of a personal journal as this is a great way to help inspire new blog posts. Since I’ve started to use DayOne again, I’ve noticed a few of my recent posts started as DayOne entries.

3. Scrivener 2

I’m writing a book! Scrivener is a great program that allows authors to organize and manage the process of writing a book, either a printed or ebook. The developers have pretty much thought of everything when it comes to word processing except for a way to have the app write the book for me!

4. Chicago Parking Meter App

While I can’t really say I enjoy paying the Chicago parking meters, I do have to say their new app by Park Chicago is makes it really easy to pay and reload the meter. All from the convenience of your mobile phone.

5. WeMo

WeMo is not just an app, it’s a remote control for about any type of home device. It simply installs into a standard 110v outlet and connects to your home WiFi network.  We installed a WeMo switch on our living room lamp and my wife and I really enjoy the convenience of being able to turn the light on and off from our phone.  Also, we can program the light to turn on/off automatically, which is nice during these few months where there is only a couple hours of daylight.  The other bonus is you can connect it to IFTTT, which allows you to control it with other functions – say I pull into the garage.


Services I Divorced in 2014:

1. GoToMeeting

For many years, GoToMeeting was the king for webinars and online teleconferencing and demanded a pretty price tag to use it.  The problem is Google Hangouts came along and is free, therefore, I see no reason to pay Citrix $40+ a month to hold occasional web meetings.  So happy I cut that expense.

2. Rackspace CloudSites

For many years, I needed to serve some pretty robust websites and Racespace CloudSites was my solution.  At a very expensive $170+ a month, it had become this overprice golliath of hosting that I was so happy to give the boot.  I can’t really say they provided any better hosting than other companies that cost a fraction of the price. See ya RAX!

3. Hailo

Hailo was one of the coolest taxi cab apps in Chicago but they abruptly pulled out of the U.S. market a few months back.  I guess you can say they divorced me in this case.  I’ll just have to grab a Lyft instead.

Anything I missed?