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Gadgets:

3 Ways an Inventory Management System Can Help Businesses

Technology has revolutionized the way that today’s businesses operate. One type of software that can greatly help with ordering and maintaining correct stock quantities is inventory management software. Here are three ways that businesses in many industries can benefit from this technology.

1) Increased efficiency

Keeping up with a large number of products can painstaking if you have outdated techniques. This is especially true for mid- to large-sized businesses that are dealing with thousands or tens of thousands of products. Using an inventory management system gives business owners a high level of control so they can tell what the exact quantity of a particular product is at any time. Many platforms will automatically notify the right person ahead of time if a product is running low, so it can be reordered without disrupting operations. This way customers always have what they’re looking for and stock quantities can stay at the right number.

2) Comprehensive reporting

Another advantage involves the fact that businesses continually accumulate data. Besides having access to real-time data for an instant view of inventory quantities, the software will analyze data so long-term trends can be identified. For example, if a particular product was experiencing sales spikes at certain times of the year, a business owner could order larger quantities just before the anticipated surge. If a product has witnessed a gradual decline in popularity and is simply wasting shelf space, it could be discontinued to make room for a more popular product. This makes it easier to devise ordering strategies based on solid evidence.

3) Better profit margins

Thanks to the added level of efficiency and smarter ordering, businesses that implement this system can also expect to see higher sales volumes. By ordering the ideal quantity of each product, this makes the process much more cost-effective than simply guessing or going on intuition. Companies are less likely to get stuck with unwanted product lines that they can’t move and the products they do order should sell relatively quickly. It’s also easier to keep track of order management and financials, and the chances of human error are greatly reduced. A platform that integrates with Quickbooks increases efficiency even more because businesses can still use a familiar interface. This makes the implementation process easier and puts businesses in a position to thrive.

Gadgets:

3 Must-Have Stress Relieving Gadgets

 

Everyday life can get pretty stressful. It’s no secret that stress can have negative effects on your body as well as your mental health, and that it can accelerate illnesses and injuries.

Sometimes you just need to turn off your computer, leave your phone at home, and go somewhere to relax. If you can’t do that, there are still ways that technology can help you relieve stress and boost your focus. There are tools available to help you de-stress your life, and thereby boost your productivity, focus, and happiness.

Here are three excellent gadgets that can help you.

1. The PIP Biosensor

Sometimes it’s hard for us to realize when we’re actually stressed. The PIP Biosensor was created through a Kickstarter campaign for the purpose of monitoring stress levels.

The small, teardrop-shaped sensor is connected to an app that shows you your current stress levels. Once you can start to visualize your own tension levels, it’s a lot easier to learn what causes your stress and how you can control it.

2. JumpStart

It’s been shown that you can control stress levels, and even improve your overall health, just by controlling your breathing. The JumpStart app can helps you to do just that by leading you through ten-minute breathing exercises that you can do anytime, and anywhere.

3. 20 Cubed

Many of us spend our days staring at a screen, whether it’s for our job or on our own time. It’s important to take a break every once in a while, otherwise you’ll end up putting a lot of strain on your eyes and your body by sitting still for so long.

20 Cubed is a browser extension that counts down every 20 minutes and tells you exactly when to take a break.

If you’re still looking for further stress relief during your day, you might look into downloading some audio podcasts or guided hypnosis and meditation. There’s a lot of great content out there, some of it available for free; and the right music, podcasts, comedy albums, or meditations can be a welcome escape from your hectic day.

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last update: August 1, 2014

Mobile:

5 Apps That Save You Money While Helping Others During the Holidays

Holiday spending can sometimes get way out of hand. When we think of our families, we sometimes think of others who can’t afford a gift-laden Christmas like us.

Some of us may feel there should be a way to curb our spending and help us to focus on what really matters during the holidays, such as helping those in need.

There are at least five apps for smart devices that can help us reduce our holiday spending so we have more to donate to charities. Some can even provide assistance to others more directly. Here they are.

1. Money Dashboard

With easy access to all your accounts, you can control your spending much better. This application shows your account balances across the board and has countless features to help control your money-spending issues.

2. Easy Envelope

This system is much like the old-fashioned practice of placing your money in separate envelopes to keep track of how much is spent and for which merchandise.

The application is handy, neat, and easy to learn to use. With everything kept in order, you are more likely to spend less and save more.

Charity applications that save and help out

3. Just Give

One way to curb holiday spending is to donate to a reputable charity foundation. With the Just Give application, you can browse all the charities and discover the one that’s right for you.

4. Instead

This app helps by suggesting changes to your daily routine. Changes such learning to cut your children’s hair instead of going to a salon, or brewing your own coffee, are good suggestions for saving money.

The money you save on these practices can go toward charities where the dollars will be used for a better cause.

5. Check in For Good

If you feel you must make lots of purchases during the holidays, then try this application as a way to help out. With the participation of certain businesses, a $1 donation will be made for every customer that enters the store. Check for stores that honor this donation and shop at their outlets.

Even though your family has needs during the holidays, there are surely other people who need more. Try to recognize the need and help support those who cannot do things for themselves.

Children’s homes and shelters can always use any help they can get during the holidays. Go ahead and make Christmas special for everyone by reaching out and providing for the needs of those who have little.

Lifestyle:

How Technology Is Keeping Athletes Safer

Each sport gets to determine the type of gear the athletes will wear, and pro athletes can be penalized for not following all the rules. No matter what type of equipment the athletes need, all of their gear is design to help keep them safe.

Gear has changed over time, and it continues to evolve constantly. Scientists and engineers are always working on ways to minimize athlete risk and keep them safer. Check out some of the most recent innovations below!

Football

With the threat of pee-wee concussions becoming a real concern, football engineers have been looking for ways to improve the helmets the players wear. They analyze the shape of the helmet, the arrangement of the pads inside, the placement and size of the holes in the sides, and the shape of the facemask.

All of these seemingly minor details can make a huge difference when a player gets hit. Next time you watch a football game, take note of how different the helmets are based on the position the athlete plays.

Mixed Martial Arts

Although these talented fighters wear minimal equipment, their gloves are an integral part of MMA fighter safety. They usually wear small, open-fingered gloves that weigh 4 or 6 ounces.

These provide sufficient padding to protect the fighters’ knuckles and hand during the impact of a strike. But they have another (possibly surprising) safety feature. Receiving a blow to the head with an MMA glove is far safer than with a traditional boxing glove. The latter are much heavier, which would lead to harder blows.

Soccer

The most important piece of safety equipment for a soccer player are going to be the shin guards. These are usually made out of some sort of padded material designed to absorb the shock of player-to-player contact during the game.

Getting kicked in the shins might not seem like a big deal, but repeated trauma to the bones in the lower leg can lead to stress fractures as well as several types of bone cancer. The shape, length, and amount of padding on the shin guards varies greatly: Scientists are working on designing materials that are lighter and more comfortable but deliver the same amount of protection.

Some professional soccer goalies also wear soft padded helmets. A goalie diving for a ball and striking his or her head on the side of the goal post is not an uncommon occurrence, and some soccer players have suffered concussions or neck injuries. Currently, these are not required, but the leagues may decide to mandate goalie helmets in the future.

Science:

How Technology and Physical Therapy Work Together on the Road to Recovery

Technology isn’t just for kids who want to play games or adults who want to keep up with the latest on social media. It’s for everyone and everything — especially for the health industry.

In ways most people cannot even imagine, technology makes it possible for those who thought they’d never walk, talk, or regain motor functions again to do just that.

In the medical industry, technology is used for everything from diagnosing injury and disease to surgery and organizing patient records. Technology also plays a significant role in physical therapy, by helping patients overcome their trials.

Physical therapy and the iPad

You might use your iPad for shopping, game playing, or browsing social media, but you may not know that physical therapists use iPads to help patients with speech problems learn to articulate their words.

Use of the iPad in speech therapy has been shown to promote healing at a faster rate. Patients who’ve suffered illness or injury that resulted in speech problems learn to communicate faster and with more accuracy.

Electrical therapy

Another way technology has improved physical care is through the use of electrical therapy. This involves the placement of small tech devices on patients’ hands and legs during physical therapy.

Therapists use this to stimulate the muscles and help the patient regain use and control of appendages. The technology has proven highly successful and is now being utilized in more physical therapy applications than ever.

Technology and physical therapists

No matter how much technology a physical therapy specialist has at his or her discretion, nothing replaces the stellar therapist. Patients need emotional support: a therapist who is willing to listen and has confidence and enthusiasm in the process of therapy.

If your therapist doesn’t show this kind of attitude, it may be time to replace him with one who does. Without a knowledgeable and capable therapist, all the technology in the world is unlikely to help.

While it might seem as if technology can take the place of caregivers, it simply cannot. As beneficial as it is, it simply can’t furnish the emotional, human factor involved in physical therapy.

Technology is one of the main reasons that so many people live longer their ancestors. While a healthy lifestyle helps, technology has made it possible for those who shouldn’t be here to survive and prosper. Life-saving techniques cannot be performed without the proper technology, which makes it invaluable to the medical profession.

Without technology in physical therapy, the process of recovery is long and arduous. Even with it, some injuries and illnesses involve so much damage that patients will spend years in therapy working to recover; but technology can speed up the process.

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Gadgets:

How Modern Technology Is Improving Traditional Home Security

Your home is your castle. While you want security and safety, you also don’t want to turn your castle into a fortress.

Home security systems are a great way to protect your house against fires, break-ins and even more mundane matters such as lights and faucets being needlessly left on.

With cable companies increasingly getting into the home security business, homeowners have more security systems options than ever before.

But home security is a lot different today from what it was even 10 years ago. Technology has created some amazing advances in home security, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with these before you make any purchases.

Typically, all security companies offer motion alarms for your doors and windows. Those are monitored by the company, which then contacts the proper authorities in the area when those alarms get triggered.

Most companies also offer a wide variety of additional features; how much security you want is entirely up to your budget and wishes. Consider the following options.

Cloud storage

You’ve probably heard about cloud storage in other capacities. It’s a method of storing data off-site. When it comes to home security, cloud storage is useful for recording images from security cameras.

Even if something at your home goes wrong — a wire gets cut or unplugged — video is still captured and stored, usually at the security company’s facility.

Your connection to your security firm is a very important aspect of home security, since the company is going to be calling the police when it becomes necessary. So you want to ensure you always have a reliable connection.

Additionally, you want a company that operates 24 hours a day. You also want representatives who are trained in security, first and foremost. This is certainly a topic you want to bring up when you’re considering buying a security system from your cable company.

Remote access

Until recently, there has been a serious problem with home security systems: When you weren’t home, you had no control over them! Today, however, remote security access is a major new industry feature which fixes that problem.

With remote security, you control your system through your phone, tablet, or laptop. And you can do more than just turn the alarm on and off. The possibilities include real-life views of your house through your security cameras, the ability to operate your lights and water, the capability of locking and unlocking doors, and much more.

While you still want a quality security company running everything, these remote access options give homeowners a whole new level of control.

Done well, home security can be unobtrusive and easy to use. So if you have a family, you might want to look into your security options; it can bring peace of mind to your entire household.

Social:

Best Shopify Themes for Fashion and Clothing

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When it comes to artistic and aesthetic businesses, it’s important to have a website that reflects the thoughtful craft you’re offering to your customers. Designing your fashion or clothing site can seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. For Shopify users, it’s easy to choose from one of the many great themes, both free and paid. Fashion and clothing sites benefit from highly visual and image-friendly templates, and with these great Shopify themes, it’s easy to have your fashionable site up and running in no time.

There’s more to clothes than simply appearance. Fit and durability are becoming increasingly more important. If you want to cater to those that want a lifelong product, and those that buy based on sight alone, check out these four fashionable Shopify themes for the best of both worlds.

Clothes – Clearflex

Setting up shop for clothing requires a lot of images. You want to provide pictures of the items themselves, as well as the items on models, paired with other clothes and accessories, and in various sizes. Clearflex to the rescue. With the option of four different styles, and complete customization, this Shopify theme is the perfect way to sell your products with a story. The four different styles are versatile yet different, and each is best for different products. We like the Boutique style theme for online fashion magazines, and trendy clothes.

Bags & Accessories – React

Yep, this one’s free, but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. React comes with a wooden paneling backdrop, and we like it for everything from bamboo sunglasses to fashion belts and scarves. With full social media integration, as well as MailChimp incorporation and secure checkout, it’s an easy site to use for any style or product. Take advantage of the clean look, and easy setup, especially if you’re just graduating from etsy to your own Shopify site.

Jewelry – Atlantic

One of Shopify’s most popular themes of all time, Atlantic is a perfect blend of easy user interface and ultimate customization. The four styles are great for a variety of fashion products, but it’s a top choice for jewelry of many different styles. You can keep the coloring of Chic to pair perfectly with boho-California style. Chic is great for long and chunky necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, while Minimal is cleaner and simpler, excellent for classic Audrey Hepburn-style studded earrings, necklaces, elegant gloves, and other accessories.

Shoes – Radiance

For shoes, we like Radiance primarily due to the layout. Radiance is another free theme with lots of room for customization. It’s incredibly easy to set up, and allows room to list specs and descriptions of every style of shoe you could possibly want to list. You can include the important stuff – size, width, heel height, etc. – and just about any other sizing or color information you deem useful.

Lifestyle:

3 Ways to Use New Technology Toward Your Fitness Goals

New technologies and applications can be incredibly useful in getting you closer to your fitness goals, but they’re only helpful if you take advantage of hem. One of the reasons more people don’t utilize these tools is that they’ve had a bad experience with one that isnt effective.

There are lots of fitness-focused technologies and apps out there, so which ones are legit? And how should you use them? These are great questions. Here are three answers.

1. Diet

Diet is the most powerful potential contributor for positive results with your fitness plan. The best analogy here is to compare your body to any other machine that requires fuel.

If you filled your car’s gas tank with sewage and garbage chemicals, would you expect the vehicle to run well? Of course not. In much the same way, you can’t expect solid results from your fitness plan unless you’re closely monitoring your diet as well.

The diet-related technology we recommend is 100% mobile. Why? Because you need to make this as easy as possible and not add an extra step of having to get to a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer.

Here are five of the best applications for fitness-related dieting and food consumption. Make sure to check other “top five” lists frequently, in case you might find an app that works even better for you!

2. Goal-focused

Lift is a great new app that makes your journey a socially supported one. Whatever your fitness goal may be, on this app you can find a training plan and a group of people who are trying to accomplish the same thing you are.

3. YouTube

YouTube is a great resource to learn new types of exercises, and see exactly how to do them properly. The power of a visual tutorial is helpful and faster than written resources.

Downsides of application-based fitness

Of course, no technology or application can provide quite the level or quality of direction of a qualified fitness coach, but it’s a good start toward the accountability of coached exercise. It’s fairly easy to do the right exercises in the wrong way, and at this point in technological history, it’s not possible for an application to tell if you’re doing the exercises the right way (or resting correctly).

It’s also difficult for an application to replace the positive reinforcement and excitement that human coaching can provide, which can be the extra boost we all need to achieve long-term fitness goals and the creation of excellent habits!

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