Tag Archives: App Reviews

SMS Scheduler Reviewed

Nancy McCord is a Google and Bing Partner
Nancy McCord is a Google and Bing Partner

SMS Scheduler is a productivity time saver for me. I wanted to share with you why I use it. No, I am not being paid by the app owner to write this. I am just a fan.

I have four remote working employees. Although we use TeamUp, my staff is busy and this is not a full-time job for them. I have found that by sending scheduled text messages about deadlines on a schedule and reminder notices on a schedule, I keep my remote staff focused on meeting my project deadlines.

I found the app for Android in the Google Play store. I am sure they have a version for iPhone as well. Make sure when you do your installation that you follow the brief but important instructions on how to override a setting so the app will work.

Here are several examples of texts I sent to my staff on specific due dates.

Your social media is in. Please have your loads done by Sunday night.

Make sure you do topics and loads today, as well as WordPress loads.

Please make sure you have updated TeamUp with a new date or mark your things as done.

My staff just finally figured out that I was using an automated messaging service, as I do change the messages. But for me, having reminders scheduled has allowed me to let go of some of the important follow up tasks and spend more time on client projects.


Free Apps in the Microsoft Store

Gotta Love the Microsoft Store
Gotta Love the Microsoft Store

The Microsoft App Store, what’s not to love? I love apps and I love free things – that really work. If you have not checked out the Microsoft Store attached to your Windows 10 desktop product, I encourage you to take a look.

Here are several that I use nearly daily – that really work and are really free.

Need a free zip utility, tired of buying a zip tool when you really feel that there should be a free one out there that’s easy to use? Get 9Zip from the Microsoft Store. It is easy to use and I am using my version replacing my paid version of WinZip.

HP Scan and Capture
Now this is one super handy app. I use it more than the software that came with my HP printer. The super easy to use interface talks right to your printer and scanner and you are up and running in a snap!

Free Games
Need a solitaire break? Love interactive puzzles? The Microsoft Store has you covered, and many for free. I don’t have any games installed yet as I just upgraded my drives and need to reinstall programs and apps, but my first pick will be the Microsoft App Store.

(P.S. I am not being paid by Microsoft for this review, I just love the Microsoft Store and wanted to share the things I liked best with you.)


Lookout App Reviewed

Stay safe with your phone by using Lookout.
Stay safe with your phone by using Lookout.

For several years I have had on my Android smartphone the Lookout app. I upgraded to Premium for $29.99 a year and wanted to share my experience in using this app.

First, I am not paid for this review. I like the app and wanted to share my experience with you.

Here’s why I like the app and went premium.

I like the security features. Before the market was flooded with antivirus and security apps, I had Lookout to keep me safe.

I like the integrated feature that allows me to find my phone, to wipe my phone if it is lost, and to sound an alarm to help find my phone. Although now Verizon and even Samsung have these as phone integrated features now for free,. Lookout had them became device standards.

I like the online interface that allows me to manage device files, backups, call logs and images. Although Verizon has this feature now with Verizon Cloud, it is buggy and does not always perform backups for days and weeks.

Lookout also protects against the following: chargeware, items billed to your wireless bill without your consent; adware; app dropper;  bot apps, click fraud; exploits; riskware; root enablers; surveillance ware; toll fraud; and Trojans.

It also keeps you apprised of what apps see and use on your phone to help you be in control of your privacy.

Here’s what I like that they just introduced this year.

This year Lookout added a nice app that automatically opens up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when I go online. Although I have NordVPN for this use, I do like the automatic feature and use it more than NordVPN. I like this additional feature for security and consider it a nice perk for using their product.

Although smartphones may have some of these features now rolled into their device software, Lookout is proactively adding features and services that devices do not have at this time to keep your smartphone safe from schemers, spammers, and thieves.

I consider the $29.99 a year price a real value.



VPN’s for Smartphone Protection

My bank's been hacked! How Could that Be?
My bank’s been hacked! How Could that Be?

If you are like me, you use your smartphone as an extension of your business. From banking to email to social media to entertainment, my smartphone allows me to work from almost anywhere. But just how secure can that be?

It turns out that if you connect to Wi-Fi at stores, Starbucks, and even the grocery store you may be putting your personal information and even credit card and banking information at risk. Connect to your bank while piggybacking on free Wi-Fi and you may be letting hackers into your accounts.

This is where a private encrypted virtual network can solve the security problem, especially in airports or while on travel.

I have tested a number of applications this month and NordVPN has been my winner. First I am not being paid for this blog post or given free service for my review. I did test Norton Wi-Fi Security, ViperVPN and NordVPN

Here’s why NordVPN gets my vote:

First, it is super easy. To be protected, I click one button in the app. If I want I can select my server location. So if I am in India, I can appear to be located in the US. But, I don’t have to do that if I don’t want. I did not have to use any complicated settings as I did on the other apps.

Second, it works! I connected at Giant Grocery Stores, Target, my home Wi-Fi, and even secured login Wi-Fi and wide open Wi-Fi. I had trouble with the Norton app connecting anywhere but home. With ViperVPN they have your free trial so limited that you cannot even test could you connect where you wanted. NordVPN on the other hand gave me a free three day trial no strings attached.

As I will be using this app to be secure for my business when I travel, ease of us and consistency was really important for me. I am no techie and don’t want to learn about TCP and packets, I just want to be secure. NordVPN makes is super easy. I can easily see I am connected, I get connected fast, and I can see the key in my top menu to know I am encrypted on Wi-Fi or using data.

Not important to me but may be important to you is the low price. I am paying $8 a month on a month to month basis, but could pay about $6.58 or so a month if I paid for the year in advance.

With my bank account having been hacked and the hackers knowing my online user name, password, and PIN you just cannot be too safe when it comes to your smartphone and any banking information.

Try it out yourself by visiting NordVPN. You’ll have to ask customer support by email for the three day trial. Set up your account, but don’t pay and give them your email to get your trial.