I have never been away from my family for a prolonged period of time, the longest was maybe six weeks. Before you think it’s sheltered or even spoiled know that I consider myself lucky. I love my family and ever since my dad’s passing feel a very urgent need to be as close with every single one of them as possible. This need for constant communication has thankfully been made easier than ever with the help of all the tech that Tyler keeps introducing into our lives. If you don’t already, make sure to check out his YouTube channel dedicated to all things boys like: tech, fashion and lifestyle. He’s great at explaining how things work and why you should geek out over them. He even has the video equivalent of this blog post now live.
This year we will be away for Valentine’s day so it’s going to be essential to be in constant communication with my mum, Charlie and my brother and his family and this is where Best Buy comes in. Every one of them uses tech in different ways and what’s most important is that it needs to be made easy enough for them so they aren’t turned off by it. My mum has been really embracing the smart phone/tablet combo, while my brother just recently started texting (he’s old school like that), it’s also the way I chat with my nephew, it’s quick and efficient and we can just have quick back and forth chats all throughout the day. The Nest indoor security camera is by far my favourite and has quickly become an essential in our household. It’s the way we check up on Charlie, and on some occasions even get to chat with him over the built in mic. It gives me peace of mind and in the past has even helped us monitor our other cats health fluctuations while we were away and made it possible to help him even though we were not there.
On top of communicating with our family the tech in our lives is also essential for communication between ourselves and our client for work related reasons. Here is the skinny on what devices we use to stay organized, connected and always informed, you can find our top picks and many more options to treat yourself or your loved ones at Best Buy in store and online.
Laptops – We couldn’t do our jobs without them, they are at the centre of everything we create, we use them to answer emails, pass and edit photos back and forth, and find endless inspiration. We love our full sized laptops but I’ve been particularity excited about the newest Google Pixel Book. It’s the perfect marriage of everything I need in a laptop and tablet, especially when we travel. I can still get all my work done online and then use it as my source of entertainment the rest of the time. It’s insane to think about but depending on your needs you can now get a laptop for $300 (!!), check out the full selection on the Best Buy site here.
Smart Phones – The no brainer tool that everyone needs in their lives. When your job doesn’t require you to have a laptop you can get so much done with just one small device. The Smart Phone truly revolutionized the way we communicate, and knowing there are still people out there using flip phones is mind boggling to me. We switched my mum over to a Smart Phone after my dad passed away but I wish we had educated both of them on how to better use tech when he was still around. It’s incredibly beneficial for her to both learn something new but also hold a tool that will allow her to chat with us via video, check the weather, watch youtube and help her get around with the world maps in the palm of her hands.
I always joke that the phone is an extension of my own hands because I literally don’t part with it, even when we are in an area with no cell service I can still use my phone to take notes and photos. Tyler is the biggest phone nerd and he will try and play with every phone he can get his hands on. There are some great phones out there and if you are having a hard time choosing you can always check out one of hi extensive reviews to help you make a decision. See all the different options here.
Cameras – This is 100% Tyler’s domain, and even though I will pretend to know all about the equipment we use I really am married to my Canon 5D and will not be able to tell you anything about any other camera out there. For something smaller the Canon M6 has always been on top of my list but because I let Tyler make the purchasing decisions here he always goes for the newest and the best, so in this case we are currently on the Sony A7 series. At this point the most important thing for me is that the camera we use has wi-fi connectivity. Too often we are placed in high pressure situations where we don’t have time to take photos with different devices so we will send ourselves the photos from the camera to share them on Instagram or with our families, or even with each other.
Hard Drives – The most underestimated piece of technology in my opinion. Hard Drives are our salvation when it comes to our photos. Regardless of what kind of internal storage you have on your computer you NEED to back up your data. Too many times have i had incidents where my hard drive crashed and all the data was unrecoverable. I could deal with losing photos of ex boyfriends, but not of photos of my late dad or my nephew who is changing by the day. Think about all the photos we take for the blog, I can’t even imagine all the hard work going down the drain just like that. We take it a step further and have a back-up for our back-up, because as much as we rely on technology you just never know what could happen. We had a hard drive stolen from the inside of our suitcase one time when we were travelling (!) so now we always take them on carry on, but then you risk something happening to it when it goes through the x-ray machine and the list of risks just keeps getting longer. Either way it always a good idea to have the things that are important to you in a safe place, especially as the world is becoming paperless. We use the Seagate Portable drives for packability and to save space, you can find the full selection here and chose on based on your needs.
Smart Home/Home Surveillance devices – There is a number of home security cameras you can look at but there is only one that you will ever need and that is the Nest wi-fi indoor camera. It has 24/7 live streaming to your phone or computer, with night vision so you can check on your fur babies at any time of day. It has motion sensors so it also sends alerts whenever there is something happening. The amazing thing is that is actually distinguishes people from pets and tells you when a person has been spotted. If you power your home with all nest products they all talk to each other, we can connect to our Nest smoke detectors and check in on it’s status. For people like us who are away for long period at a time we love the ability to connect with Charlie. If you have pets you know the feeling of when you miss your pets and you just want to hug them and feel their fur against your skin… well this is as close as you’re going to get. Hot tip, make sure you place the camera in a spot where your pet spends a lot of time during the day so you can see him often. Feeding places are great because we all know they are eternally hungry, but a place where he sleeps would be great too.
Find all of these amazing tools on the Best Buy website at www.bestbuy.ca for a one stop shop to staying closer with your loved ones and make sure you watch Tyler’s YouTube channel to always stay on top of what’s new in the world of tech. xoxo