10 Ways Tech Can Make Your Life Easier

Take a deep breath, shake out your hands and stop tapping your pen on the desk—April is Stress Awareness Month and SquareTrade wants to help you unwind. We’ve collected a few tricks that use technology to make life a little easier. Check them out below!

Use a Lego person to hold your cords.

MCP-1542_blog_legoGot Legos lying around? We can’t relieve the stress of walking barefoot through a Lego minefield but we can suggest one way to put a Lego person to work: Set up the little guy on a Lego block on your desk and place a thinner cord, like a phone charger or USB cable, in each of his hands. Presto, no more lost cords.

Look it up in the Google American English Dictionary.

Ok, so Google doesn’t actually have an American English dictionary. But it does pull definitions from other dictionary sites instantly when you search “define: [word].” The definition pops up on the search result page so you don’t even have to open a new page.

Trick your printer when it’s out of ink.

If your printer’s out of black ink, change your font color from black (hex color #000000) to very dark gray (hex color #010101) by using the hex codes or by selecting a dark gray shade from the font color picker. Your document should look the same as if you printed it with black ink.

Make a smartphone stand out of a recycled cassette case.

The cassette tape itself may not find a new purpose among your newer devices, but its case can act as a stand to prop up your phone at the perfect angle for viewing the screen from your desk.

Amplify your phone’s speaker with an empty cup.

This one’s easy. Just find an empty cup—it can be glass, plastic, paper, whatever—and place your phone in it speaker-side down. The sound will echo inside the cup and come out louder. It’s no Bose Soundlink speaker but it’ll do in a pinch.

Feeling crafty? Use an old spool to keep your headphones tangle free.

MCP-1542_blog_spoolMaybe you finished that sewing project you picked up all those years ago or maybe it fell by the wayside—we’re not here to judge. Either way, if you have a thread spool available you can wrap your headphones around it. Finish by sticking the jack end of the cord through the center to prevent it from unwinding.

Find out if a service is down when you’re having trouble accessing it.

Is Facebook down or is it just your Internet connection? Lots of companies have a page dedicated to letting users know the status of their services. Just search “[tech company] status page” in Google and you should find the correct page.

Use your phone’s front-facing camera as a mirror.

Heading into an important meeting, a job interview or a date? Check your teeth and hair with your phone’s selfie camera when you don’t have a mirror nearby. (Pro tip: if you have an iPhone and a clear phone case, you can also use the mirrored Apple logo on the back of the phone for a close-up look at your face.)

Try doing nothing.

MCP-1542_blog_oceanIt’ll help you decompress for at least two minutes. There’s even a website to help you—it’s called Do Nothing for 2 Minutes. The site is simple, a photo of a beach with soothing wave sounds playing in the background, and it times you for two minutes to encourage you to do nothing but relax.

Clear your cookies before shopping for travel accommodations.

You can also shop in an Incognito Window if you’re using Google Chrome. Websites can use cookies to see if you’re a returning visitor, which would indicate a heightened interest in the flight or hotel you’re looking at. The theory is that airline or hotel website algorithms will raise the price if they can see that you’re viewing the accommodation repeatedly, so you can turn the tables by appearing as a new user each time you search for flights and hotels.

And that’s it—10 ways technology can help you out this Stress Awareness Month (or any time at all). And of course there are plenty of tech-free ways to de-stress too. Check out the Stress Awareness Month official site to learn more: http://stressawarenessmonth.com/.