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Give gift of Time and Organization with OneNote for Mother’s Day!

Disclosure: Sponsored Post

 

Mother's Day Gift Time

On Mother’s Day, the gift options for that special Mom in your life are endless. One of my favorites is the gift of time with my family, friends and myself. Both organization and automation are essential to freeing-up that valuable time and Microsoft OneNote really helps.

 

New updates to OneNote are pretty exciting and I shared several in my last blog post. It’s available across my wide variety of family devices, and the perfect way to help get better control of my time. Better yet, my family helps by organizing their lists as well on OneNote so we ALL have more time!

 

Here are some of the ways you can give the gift of time and organization to your Mom (or if you are a Mom, suggest to your family!)

 

CREATE/UPDATE FAMILY PHOTO ALBUMS: Scan and organize old family photos into a OneNote notebook to create family albums. OneNote’s integration with apps like Office Lens (for Windows Phone) and Genius Scan (for iPhone, iPad and Android) give you a OneNote scanner in your pocket, so getting your family photos into OneNote is a snap!

 

ORGANIZE WEEKLY RECIPES: Have the whole family find recipes they want to “help” cook for dinner and scan those or save the online links into a OneNote Notebook. Then save in a “special occasion” notebook some fun recipes to cook for Mother’s day or other events. You can even download this customizable OneNote recipe book!

 

MOTHER’S DAY CARD: Have your family create their own pictures as well as find special memento’s or photos to scan for a Mother’s Day OneNote Notebook.

 

GROCERY LIST: Have the family help create a weekly Grocery list on OneNote that can be shared across devices so the family can all help with shopping! Even kids can read OneNote shopping lists on their parents’ phone to help find items at the store!

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE: Have the family create a weekly schedule in OneNote that can even include screen shots of school lunch schedules, after school activities, scanned calendars and online links. A family that plans together has MORE TIME together! The schedule can also include TODO’s for the week so no one will forget to practice guitar, baseball, tennis or coding (hint hint to my kids!)

 

VACATION LIST: Create the family vacation “wish list”: A OneNote Notebook with vacation idea pictures, links and information so the family can plan special places to visit. After you’ve decided on your destination, download this OneNote travel planning template. Once all your research and planning details are in this OneNote, it’s easy to recall a particular detail at any given moment. You can even use Instant Search in the bar on the top right to recall anything you’ve ever put in OneNote.

 

GIFTS: Have the family create a OneNote notebook recording the gifts everyone wants for special occasions. Add a section detailing ways to earn rewards by completing homework and household chores. For example, if my kids want toys outside of holiday’s or birthdays, they need to create a plan to earn them!

 

ENTERTAINING: Our family realized that we have not been entertaining family and friends as much as we would like so we decided to create a OneNote Notebook with a list of who we want to invite over and meal ideas.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored series. I am an Office Champion and have received sponsorship and products. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

OneNote And Office Updates: iPad, Feedly, IFTTT and more

I am excited to participate as one of the Office Champions because Microsoft Office was already my go-to productivity tool for work and home management. I was also interested to keep updated on the new product releases, lately there have been exciting announcements! While we have many PC’s in our house, my teen uses a MAC. Because of our Microsoft Office 365 subscription he uses Office on the MAC. He also uses OneNote on his iPhone. So the recent announcements will offer him more ways to use Office and OneNote. I also can’t wait to try the new productivity features of OneNote that will help my day including the ability to send blogs and news articles directly to OneNote via Weave, News360 and Feedly. I can also connect to OneNote through IFTTT rules, send scanned documents using printers, scanners and apps as well as sending handwritten notes on paper with a Livescribe Pen. Here are the fun details below.

 

ONE NOTE FOR MAC

PRESS UPDATE: ” OneNote for Mac is now available for the first time, and for Free. Now, you can use OneNote on all the platforms you love including PC, Mac, Windows Tablets, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, Android and Web (phew!) We are also offering a freemium version for these platforms—so even if you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, you can enjoy OneNote anywhere and everywhere.”

 

 

OneNote for Mac

 

NEW FEATURES FOR ONE NOTE:

 

Along with the update was information on OneNote were also recently released new features related to note-taking, travel planning and organizing (three things busy families always could always use digital help with!):

 

  • Web clipper lets you quickly save web pages to your OneNote notebook.
  • me@onenote.com service lets you email notes directly to your notebook.
  • Office Lens lets you capture documents and whiteboards with ease using your phone. It even flattens the image (even if taken at an angle) so it’s easier to read, and makes the text searchable so you can find it later!”

 

 
OneNote

 

 

The press update also included the below information on the partnerships that add new digital note-taking functionality to OneNote:

 

 

 

 

 

To keep the new announcements going, yesterday Office announced Office for the iPad. Here are details on Office from iPad from the Office blog:

“you can download Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad from the App Store.  The apps have the robust capabilities and familiar look and feel that is unmistakably Office, while offering a fantastic touch experience built from the ground up for iPad.  With the free versions of the apps, you can read your Word documents, view your Excel data and present with PowerPoint. Your documents will look as good as they do on your PC and Mac®, and better than ever on your iPad.  With an Office 365 subscription, you can edit and create new documents with the iPad. When you edit a document, you can be sure that content and formatting will be maintained across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone. And, you always have access to your up-to-date documents in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.”

 

 

How does your family stay productive?

 

 

Disclosure: I am an Office Champion and have received sponsorship and products. This is NOT a paid post, it is a press update. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

Office 365 Anniversary: One Year, Lots of Productivity

*sponsored series

 

It has been one year since I went to NYC to celebrate the launch of Office 365 Home Premium and shared the key features in my post. Now Office 365 Home Premium has more than 3.5 million subscribers!

 

Felicity Huffman sharing her productivity tips with TechMama at the Office 365 Home Premium Launch.

Felicity Huffman sharing her productivity tips with TechMama at the Office 365 Home Premium Launch.

 

A single subscription to Office 365 Home Premium allows the use of Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs shared among all users in the home and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher. Upgrades are now automatic. Subscribers also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time. This subscription also includes 60 minutes of Skype world calling per month and 20 GB in the cloud storage site called OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, in addition to the 7GB every Microsoft Account holder gets for free. Subscribers can stream full Office apps to any Internet-connected Windows 7 or 8 PC with Office on Demand. With Office Web apps you can view, create and edit Office files on virtually any device, enabling sharing and collaboration. Office 365 Home Premium applications allow the flexibility of writing, typing or using touch.

 

Tech For Modern Parenting

 

Since then, I’ve enjoyed incorporating many of these key features into my workflow. As the family technology manager, I am in charge of setting up new computers and tech devices. With the Office 365 Home Premium subscription, I just log into my Microsoft account and it installs Office 365 on new computers within our house.  Even if I am not at a computer that has Office 365, I can use Office on Demand to stream full Office apps to any device I am using.  I can also install it on a total of 5 mobile devices (including iPhone and Android), so it is easy to use on the go as well.  Office 365 has all of the tools needed for me to manage family projects and more!

 

The OneNote app on my mobile phone is a great tool to keep my notes, research and information organized on the go. I sync my OneNote app with OneDrive so I can have access to my OneNote notebooks across devices. We also store Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in OneDrive to have access across devices. This allows me to be productive on the go during open slivers of free time. As busy parents know, you need all the tools possible to utilize those free “slivers” of time to stay on track.

 

To start writing this post, I had one hour of free time while my kids were at their sports lesson and was disappointed I forgot my laptop. Then I realized that I had the OneNote app on my phone and started jotting down my key points. When I got home I opened my laptop and via OneDrive I accessed my OneNote notebook to finalize the post. I also use Word, PowerPoint and Excel for my work, and my kids use them for all types of homework assignments.

 

To truly test out the ease of using Office 365 Home Premium subscription, I went through the renewal process after a year. I received the notification to update my subscription, let the date pass by accident, then logged in and received a renewal note. It was as easy as going to the Office 365 Home Premium website to renewal under my Microsoft Account.  When I logged in again I was all set to access the Office suite on my 5 devices.  I also decided to set up auto renewal which would make renewing even easier!

 

Office 365 Home Premium (digital subscription) has made it easy to be productive with a big family like mine juggling two busy parents, three active boys and multiples of tech devices to keep track of! Now if I could only find an easier way to keep track of my boys.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am excited to be one of the Office Champions. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

 

Tech Tour of Microsoft: Windows 8.1, One Note, 3D, Xbox One and More

 I previously shared the top 5 ways I use Microsoft Office 365 to #GetItDone and explained that I am excited to be an Office Champion. Last month fellow Champions and I had the opportunity to learn lots of new information at the Champions Summit up at the Microsoft Campus in Seattle. Here are some of the fun highlights and I will be sharing more during the coming months.

 

 

Here are a few of us getting ready to start the tour!!!

 

 

The features of Office 365 Home Premium, Windows 8 (8.1) and Windows devices enable me to be so productive. At the Champions Summit I  took notes using Microsoft OneNote,  which synced across my smartphone and Windows laptop via SkyDrive. I used a Windows Phone for pictures, SkyDrive to store them and OneNote, Word and PowerPoint to create my blog post. Best of all, I was able to embed my PowerPoint presentation showing the highlights of the event into this blog post via SkyDrive and the PowerPoint Web App:
 


 
Listed below is a summary of information covered at the Champions Summit. But there were so many great tidbits, that I will also be sharing more in future blog posts!

 

WINDOWS 8.1

 

We started with a demo of Windows 8.1, the news update to Windows. I have already updated the family desktop, but laptop was still running Winows 8. What I like about Windows 8 (now 8.1) is that no matter what Windows device I am logged into with my Microsoft account – I see my same “desktop” with my live tiles configured consistently. While Windows “tiles” are similar to what people know as “app” icons, they differ in that they are constantly updated with the most current information.

 

Windows 8.1 has many new and exciting features resulting in a fast and more fluid experience:

  • Swipe from the right to pull up the date and Windows charms.
  • Swipe from the left to see the other current apps/information open on your desktop, then drag the screen (app) next to another open screen (app) to create a  split screen. Then drag it down to close.
  • When you are in an app, swipe from the bottom to see additional functionality.
  • Pinch in and you can move around whole sections at same time.
  • Additional new  capabilities include the ability to customize groups of apps to sort by different categories and to purchase Microsoft app gift cards.
  • One more feature I enjoy using is the Bing Smart Search. My standard technical benchmark for search is to type “Ryan Gosling” and check if all the information I need is in one, easy to view location. Seriously, it’s a great topic to test the quality of Internet search.

 

The Microsoft website has lots of information about upgrading to Windows 8.1, including tutorials such as this post on upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8..1 My tip is before you do any upgrades make sure your Windows updates are current,  which is usually automatic.

 

ONE NOTE

 

 

Picture credit: Microsoft

Next, we discussed One Note, which is a note taking app used for jotting down ideas, information, adding pictures, audio, video, web – a true digital scrapbook. You can place things anywhere in a page. The concept is similar to a three ring binder with sections on top and pages underneath (you can create as many pages as you want). I use One Note for so many things, and for this conference I used One Note to organize my travel information and keep track of the day’s discussions. All notes were automatically synced via Skydrive to all of my devices.

 

One Note came in really handy when I decided to finally upgrade my laptop to Windows 8.1 during the conference. I was able to have the software upgrade running on my laptop and take notes on the smartphone One Note app – picking up exactly where I left off in my notes. Before, (comma inserted) I used to jot down some handwritten notes on paper notebooks and then type other notes. Unfortunately, it always seemed like I lost the notes or forgot the file name. Now, (comma inserted) with One Note, I have “notebooks” for different events with all of my notes, research and important information (such as travel information) filed and labeled appropriately. The search feature in One Note is also powerful enough to sort through all the text in my notes just in case I forget the location of specific information.

 

Here are some of the key features we discussed:

 

  • So Many Uses: Use OneNote for work, home, school projects or class notes, to-do’s, recipes, flight, hotel, schedule, documents, people, map and more. You can TAG info to be searchable. Or search by keyword in the search box. If you have recipe book with lots of recipes  – you can search for what is in your fridge and it will bring up recipes with those ingredients (i.e. spinach, chicken). Important documents such as a passport with the associated travel information can be kept in One Note and accessed anywhere in the world with an internet connection (via SkyDrive). One Note can be the place to store household paperwork to live a paperless life.
  • Digital Clipping: You can add screen clippings (insert tab), pictures from SkyDrive or locally, images found using Bing, scanned images and recorded audio and video. Choose “screen clipping”, go to internet page and then click and drag to drop clipping into a section. Put all your information in one place. If you just want to include reminder it will include a URL for reference so you can go back.
  • Storage: OneNote/ SkyDrive offers 7GB of content for free. Evernote limits to 60 MB per month for free. If you have Office 365 you have 20 GB plus the 7GB.
  • Co-Authoring and Sharing: With One Note you can have simultaneous co-authoring for free. Evernote Premimium does not support simultaneous edit. One Note Notebooks can be shared so that everyone can edit and view, seeing not only the changes but also who made them and even share with people who don’t have OneNote.
  • Online and Offline: No internet, no problem: Office access  offline is included for free. This is premium feature for Evernote.
  • Across devices and platforms: ” OneNote comes with Office 2010 and 2013, and Office 365 for PCs. OneNote is also available for free on the Web, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and as a Windows 8 application for tablets.” One Note also works with the rest of office, so I can even insert PowerPoint presentations or other Office documents and then annotate it!
  • Value Proposition: Office 365 Home Premium is $99 per year, and is a full suite of products, delivering a better value than Evernote Premium at the price of $45..

 

*NEW* ONE NOTE FEATURES

 

I really enjoyed the demo of the now announced update to the touch enabled One Note app in the Windows Store.  Here are some of the key details covered in the  One Note update announcement: “Capture it all: Capture your screen with the share charm and capture documents, magazines and whiteboards with camera scan, Browse and find your notes easier than ever: Search for text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition and find your notes faster than ever before with recent notes and page previews, Annotate and take your own notes on the things you’ve captured: Write better with ink and see your notes in full screen! “

 

With Windows 8.1 you can capture and send it to One Note using the “Share Charm” . It’s  exciting that I can use the camera in my touch enabled device to take a picture of the screen, documents, whiteboard or other important information and then “scan” it to One Note using the camera scan function. Here is a video:

 

 

Even better, after I use that camera scan feature (with a receipt for example) I can then use the text recognition capability to search text in One Note (and then find it later when I need it!).

 

Here is another video of the recognize and search text:

 

 

For more information, check out OneNote.com.

 

OFFICE 365 HOME PREMIUM

 

We also discussed what is included with Office 365 Home Premium and the top ten features.

Here’s some information from the press release fact sheet highlighting key features:

:

“Top 10 Features of Office 365 Home Premium:

  1. If you are reading, not writing or editing, click or tap View, then Read Mode in Word to hide the writing tools and menus.
  2. On your Windows device, re-open a document or presentation and keep reading right where you left off with Resume reading in Word and PowerPoint.
  3. Like a data assistant that finishes your work for you, Flash Fill in Excel detects what you want to do and enters the rest of your data in one fell swoop, following patterns in your data.
  4. Dress up your data with conditional formatting such as bars and color scales through the Quick Analysis Lens in Excel.
  5. Tired of trying to precisely match the colors of shapes and pictures in PowerPoint? Let Eyedropper in PowerPoint do the work for you.
  6. With an improved Presenter view in PowerPoint, the audience views your slides on a main screen, while you control the show on another screen that only you can see.
  7. Inline replies in Outlook allow you to reply with one click by typing your response right in the Reading Pane.
  8. Grab a quick glance at your schedule, an appointment or your to-do list with peeks in Outlook, without having to switch from email to calendar or other modes.
  9. If the sound of typing is distracting, you can handwrite notes in OneNote instead of typing them. This is also useful if you’re faster at writing than at typing.
  10. Instead of re-typing information or relying on links to documents, feel free to embed files in OneNote to keep them handy online or offline.”

 

 

MICROSOFT ENVISIONING CENTER

 

Next was a fascinating tour of the Microsoft Envisioning Center. We were not allowed to bring our cameras, but luckily there is information on the Microsoft Website about the Envisioning Center..

 

We were not allowed to bring our cameras, but luckily there is some information about this research center on the Microsoft Website.

All I can say – is that I want the kitchen of the future NOW… But really, everything covered in the Envisioning Center tour was the perfect match of technology, home and community working together in a much more efficient way than we do it now. Luckily, the future is not too far away.

..

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The new Envisioning Center explores how technology will transform the way we live, work and play in the future.
Envisioning Center - March 01, 2013. The new Envisioning Center explores how technology will transform the way we live, work and play in the future.

 

 

 

MICROSOFT’S 3D BUILDER APP

 

 

Then if I was not already excited enough about the technology in the Envisioning Center, we had a demo on 3D Printing and learned about the newly released Microsoft 3D Printing app. The Windows blog post explains more about the 3D Builder coming to Windows 8.1: “A few months ago, you may have heard that Windows 8.1 makes 3D printing possible because it is native to the operating system, meaning the OS offers plug-and-play support for printers, understands 3D file formats, and connects lots of apps with lots of hardware to deliver offering a seamless printing experience for customers. Now, with the 3D Builder app, we’ve made it even easier for people to create and print objects in 3D” .

 

What I find interesting is that while 3D printing used to seem like some sci-fi fantasy, now it is not only becoming more accessible with all types of 3D printers hitting the consumer market but is also includes 3D apps (such as Microsoft 3D Builder) that help design objects. With Microsoft partners such as 3D Systems, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, MakerBot, netfabb, Materialise, Stratasys, Tiertime (PP3DP) and  even MakerBot at the Microsoft retail store – I am getting closer to soon seeing a 3D printer in our family workspace soon.  Of course I started thinking about all the cool things I could create with my kids. Especially after seeing this 3D printed version of a DNA. Now that would be a science project my boys could be extra proud to bring to school!

 

 

Our last stop was techie heaven for me, located in a conference area that had selection of Microsoft Devices to demo.  The tour included a product and technical deep dive into the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, which packs many features making them very productive tablets.

 

 

We also had *drumroll* a demo of the Xbox One that just became available to the public. While I have not given one a test drive just yet, it is tops on our list, especially for our Xbox gamer sons! I can’t wait to play with the new capabilities of the  Xbox One, especially the advanced voice and gesture commands, entertainment options and innovative features that will really make it an all-in-one device.
 

 

 

 

What new technology are you looking forward to trying (or just started using)?

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.
 

 

 

Top Five Ways I Use Microsoft Office 365 to #GetItDone

 This is a sponsored post.

I use Microsoft Office 365 to help manage my busy life as a working mom, so I am excited to now be one of their Office Champions, sharing my favorite tips and learning new ones. My day requires flexibility and Microsoft Office helps me get work done regardless of where I am. I’m clearly not alone in my need for flexibility, A recent study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Microsoft found that “more than half of office workers (53%) would be willing to work more hours—and one in five would be willing to take a pay cut—to have more flexibility in where and when they get work done”. This Infographic shows some stats on mobile work habits.

 

 

Here are the top five ways I use Microsoft Office 365 to #GetItDone:

 

5. Get Work Done While Waiting: With Microsoft Office 365 productivity tools and Skydrive cloud storage, I can use my mobile devices and Office Mobile to work while waiting for my kids to finish baseball practice or while on the road between business meetings. I have the flexibility with Office 365 to use touch, type or a stylus while either offline (sync later) or online, later syncing online via SkyDrive.

 

4. Get Cooking Done: I use One Note to keep track of recipes, entering them in my recipe notebooks or embedding recipes I find on the web (keeping the web links so I can refer back to them). I also have One Note Notebooks for shopping lists. Because my One Note is synced to my mobile devices using SkyDrive, I always have access to that information while mobile, making grocery shopping much more efficient. The One Note search also helps me find recipes to fit what I have in the fridge for those “oh, no, what I am going to make for dinner” days!

 

3. Get Homework Done: Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium can be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs, and 5 mobile devices. This means my whole family can take advantage of using Office. We have Office installed on our family desktop and laptops. All three of my boys has access when they need it to use Powerpoint for class presentations and Word/Excel for class projects. Our kids can organize research, take notes and even use an equation editor for math homework using One Note.

 

2. Get Household Organization Done: We use Outlook to create a shared family calendar with different colors for each person. We use Excel to track our family budget, expenses and household projects. The spreadsheets can be then be embeded, plus any online links, pictures, video or audio, into One Note notebooks. Family vacations are planned with One Note notebooks and pictures uploaded to SkyDrive albums.

 

And the Number One way I use Office 365 is to Get My Personal Dreams Done: For years I had a dream to write a book. Luckily, I had my handy Office 365 to help me reach that dream, creating research notebooks in One Note to create the outline of my book. I then used Microsoft Word to write the book, track changes with my editor and verify the book’s format using “read” mode.  Now that my book “My Parent Plan” is out, I can check off that dream and then see how I can use Office 365 to get my next dream “done“.

 

There are so many additional ways I use Office 365 that I can’t fit all of them in this post. I’ll provide more product tips in future posts.

Are you ready to get it done? Then visit www.Office.com/getitdone and share via #GetItDone how you get things done with Office and Office 365. For more information, check out the Microsoft Office 365 “Get It Done” press release.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.
 

 

 

Midnight Launch of Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 #spon

*Sponsored giveaway. See giveaway details and disclosures at the bottom of this post. UPDATE 10/22 Winner was chosen and notified.

 

Our family desktop computer and my work laptop are all running Windows 8. I appreciate the seamless integration between the devices, including single account sign-in and one common user interface. The next step is to add a Windows 8 tablet to the mix, aiding in productivity and mobility for the entire family. Want to win your own Surface 2? Meet me at the Microsoft Store in San Francisco for the midnight launch, tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight! The details are towards the bottom of the post.

 

 

*******In preparation for my participation in the upcoming Surface2 and Surface 2 product launch event, I was sent product information. Here are some of the features that I’m most looking forward to checking out at tonight’s Microsoft Surface 2 (10pm to) Midnight Launch event (where I will be able to take my first test drive!)  You’ll learn more about the cool things happening at the event below.

 

 

PRODUCTIVITY

 

  • The Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro are great not only for parents always on the move like myself, but also to help kids stay productive in between school projects and their many activities. The Surface 2 has a Tegra 4 chip with always on and the Surface 2 Pro has 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell processor, which is especially important for parents who need fast devices to get things done during the few free moments in their busy day.
  • The machines come with multiple storage options. The Surface 2 comes with either 32 or 64 GB of memory and the Surface 2 Pro has up to 512GB flash. Both models include a hearty 200GB storage on SkyDrive, a full-size USB and a microSD card slot for adding as much storage as your heart desires.
  • Both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro have out-of-the-box (pre-installed) productivity with touch optimized versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote, along with 1 year of unlimited4 free voice calling to landlines in over 60 countries and free Wi-Fi at Skype hotspots .
  • Beyond the convenience of a tablet, they also convert to a laptop form factor with a kickstand angle and  two cover options:

 

The  TOUCH Cover 2 is similar to the original Touch Cover – it acts as a both a keyboard and screen protector. It now features backlighting and is thinner and lighter than the previous model, measuring only 2.75mm. The magnetic cover easily snaps on and is pressure-responsive so you won’t accidentally type while it’s closed.

 

The TYPE Cover 2 , now also with backlighting, is similar to a regular keyboard where you get to feel the keys work. It has a QWERTY keyboard, a full row of Function keys (F1-F12), shortcut keys, media controls, and trackpad. It’s also more rigid, offering a better experience when you’re using the Surface 2 in your lap.

 

 

  • The Power Cover  (coming out soon) will also be new for the Surface 2. It will offer a similar experience as the Type Cover while extending the Surface 2’s battery life up to 70% and the Surface 2 Pro’s up to 50%. If you’re constantly in action, this one is a great choice!

 

BATTERY LIFE

 

  • The Surface 2 has up to a 10 hour battery life and is ultra thin and light (less than 1.5 pounds and just 8.9 mm thick.) Ten hours of battery life will get me through my day, even though the days of work and kid management can seem endless (but fun!)

 

DOCKING STATION:

 

  • If you’re looking to replace your laptop, try using the Surface 2 Pro in conjunction with the new Docking Station. It can literally transform your mobile experience to desktop, connecting to an external monitor while charging both the tablet and a cell phone. You can also run an external hard drive while making a Skype call on a USB headset.

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

 

  • Surface 2 offers a full entertainment experience including a widescreen Full 10.6″ 1080P ClearType HD touch display (Resolution: 1366 x768) providing a large view of your TV shows and movies. The audio has stereo speakers and microphone, as well as sensors (including Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Magnetometer) that will bring gaming to life with interactivity that my kids (and I) enjoy.
  • With the Surface Music Kit you can even mix your own music. My teen son has always wanted to DJ for either his friends or at school events. The music kit will allow him to mix his own music and share it using the Microsoft Surface. For more information, check out the #RemixProject website.

  

 

GIVEAWAY & LAUNCH EVENT DETAILS!

 

If you live near San Francisco, JOIN ME TONIGHT from 10 p.m. to Midnight for the launch of Microsoft Surface 2 & Surface Pro. You can win a gift card for a Surface 2 of your own! Here is the link to the event page: http://bit.ly/SFsurface.

 

 

Event details:

  • There will be a DJ, food and beverages and giveaways (hats, tees, gift cards, etc.) throughout the night
  • Microsoft Store will also be hosting a series of challenges for a chance to win a trip to the Orlando Store opening tomorrow morning, complete with a live performance and VIP meet-and-greet with Pitbull.
  • Three-time Super Bowl Champion Roger Craig will also be in attendance to meet and mingle with fans. He’ll be giving out autographed photos to the first 150 guests at the event!

 

Win your own Surface 2! In addition to the activations sponsored by the Store, you can also win a $550 gift card for a Surface 2 of your own from me! It’s easy to win, just answer the question: “How can you do more with Surface?” between 10 p.m. and midnight PT tonight!

 

Everything happens via social media, so you must do these two things in order for your entries to count:

 

 

I’ll be selecting the winner tomorrow and notify them via DM. Check out the complete rules here .

 

 

DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post and giveaway. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

 

Sharing Family Memories with Microsoft SkyDrive and Skype

 
Time goes by so fast, and as a Mom and the family historian I want to make sure I am keeping track and sharing family memories. The first step in this effort was learning to copy all digital pictures from numerous cameras to my PC in a timely manner. Next was the challenge of sharing photos and movies with family and friends. A big time-saver in this content management exercise, with multiple devices taking pictures and offering quick connection with cell or WiFi access, is to send pictures directly to the cloud. I store my digital photos and documents all in one place in the cloud using SkyDrive, which allows me to send a link to these great memories if I want to share. I not only have SkyDrive on my PC, but also have the SkyDrive app on my phone to enable photo loading to the cloud no matter where I am!

 

Check out my video where I shared my trip to Montana with Grandmom using Skype and SkyDrive.

 

 

 

 

 

Skype compliments SkyDrive in family archiving. Video calls with family and friends are just a click away, and if I want to give them a peek at the kids’ homework, art work or class projects, Skype easily allows screen sharing.

 

 

Both sets of Grandparents know that the only way they will be able to keep up on what is going on in our busy lives is with regular Skype chats while viewing our family SkyDrive digital photo albums at the same time. Our Office 365 Home Premium subscription also makes it more economical for our family to chat with friends and family all over the world because it comes with 60 Skype minutes each month.

 

How do you share your pictures with friends and family?
 

 

NYC Adventures With Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium : The Video!

 

At the recent launch of Office 365 Home Premium in New York City’s Bryant Park, I had the opportunity to experience the new features of Office while talking to some very exciting people (keep reading to find out who!). The Microsoft Office 365 experience center showcased the services and applications (for example Word, Excel, PowerPoint and check out OneNote) that together comprise the new Office and demonstrated how they work together for a great experience that helps you amaze, share, connect, explore, create and imagine.

 

These days, I’m constantly amazed at when and where I can actually get things done. The new Office provides me with instant access to my documents and information offline or online, enabling me to be more productive by utilizing brief segments of my day to get things done for my family and myself. The option to use Office 365 on five devices (including PCs, Macs and Windows tablets), stream full Office apps to any Windows 7 or 8 PC, and use Office Web Apps on mobile devices also gives me the flexibility work how I want. After all, being more efficient during the day simplifies my life, and makes my nights less hectic.
 photo c2feab5e-537b-4131-9200-9df0b8adf6ce_zps8a69a1e2.jpg

 

 

Check out my new video on BlogHerTV that not only shares a VIP tour of the launch but also showcases interviews with interesting people. See what busy mom and Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman says came to her rescue managing her life as a mom. Hear what my blogger buddy Jen Singer from MommaSaid.net can do from a waiting room at the Vet and learn tips from Office Insiders regarding how they are using the new Office to make their life easier. Of course, considering where I was (Bryant Park on a beautiful winter day), I had to put on some ice skates for a New York City winter adventure. Luckily, Jen Singer decided to join in the fun!

 

 

What is Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium? A Game Changer For Families.


 

The new Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium is out and quite simply, it is a game changer. I just came back from the new Office 365 Experience (launch) at CitiPond at Bryant Park, NYC where I had the opportunity to work with BlogHer to gather tips and ideas on how to use new Office to be more productive. The Office Experts were at different activity hubs within the Office 365 Experience to discuss connecting, sharing, personalizing and exploring.

 

 

Office 365 Home Premium

 

 

As a busy mom pressed for time, having my documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos and videos in different silos was not working out very well. I spent too much time trying to remember the location of the latest version a document, or location of a photo…. did I have access to it from my online device or offline on my desktop? And my “office” location rotates on a daily basis from my desk, to a client’s meeting room, to a coffee house and even inside my minivan while waiting for my kids to get out of school. Enough was enough, managing my information was stressing me out! Especially with the new reality that the 9 to 5 workday is history, I need access to all of my information across all my devices no matter where I am.

 

Office 365 Home Premium

 

 

For quite some time, I have used Microsoft Office 2010 for my social media work and my whole family has used Word, Excel and PowerPoint for homework, creative projects, communication and all things productivity. So when I received an advanced copy of the new Office a week ago, I looked forward to seeing how using Office 365 Home Premium could change my daily workflow. I also looked forward to learning new tips from the Office 365 Experience launch.

 

Many cloud-based productivity suites already exist, but what impressed me about the new Office 365 Home Premium is the seamless workflow between devices, online and offline. For me, that seamless integration not only simplified my day, but gave me the confidence to know how to access the most current version of my information no matter where I was working. Adding in my new Windows 8 PCs meant that I could also use the new Office with touch or a stylus as easily as a mouse and keyboard. My day seemed to flow so much better, it was simply a game changer for my work and home productivity.

 

Here are some of the exciting features of the new Office.

  • A single subscription to Office 365 Home Premium allows the use of Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs shared among all users in the home and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.  Upgrades are now automatic.
  • Subscribers also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time. This means that instead of Office belonging to one device, it belongs to the subscriber across devices.
  • This subscription also includes 60 minutes of Skype world calling per month and 20 GB SkyDrive storage in addition to the 7GB every Microsoft Account holder gets for free. Additional Skydrive storage is available.
  • Office 365 Home Premium is available in both physical and online stores for $99.99 billed annually ( a great deal at  $8.34 per month).   A free 30 day trial is also available online.
  • Subscribers can stream full Office apps to any Internet-connected Windows 7 or 8 PC with Office on Demand.  With Office Web apps you can view, create and edit Office files on virtually any device, enabling sharing and collaboration.
  • Office 365 Home Premium applications allow the flexibility of writing, typing or using touch.

 

At the Office 365 Experience, I also had the fun and fabulous opportunity to interview well-known actress Felicity Huffman, blogging buddy Jen Singer of Mommasaid.net and Office Insiders.

 

Felicity Huffman sharing her productivity tips with TechMama at the Office 365 Home Premium Launch.

 

 

Beth of TechMamas.com and Jen of Mommasaid.net on skates at #Timeto365? More details of their adventures in the soon to be released video..

 

 

They all highlighted how the new Office has changed the way they manage their home and work lives, online and offline. I especially enjoyed their tips on how they use Office to organize their day as busy parents and professionals. A video of the interviews along with a VIP tour of the Office 365 Experience will be posted soon on Techmamas.com and BlogHer.com.

 

Here are some of the pictures from the Office 365 Experience at CitiPond at Bryant Park (photos in PowerPoint stored in Skydrive):

I will be sharing additional details and tips about the New Office in future upcoming videos with TechMamas.com and BlogHer. The New Office 365 Experience will be at Bryant Park until Saturday – so if you live in NYC stop by to discover more about the new Office. If you are not near NYC, visit Office.com to learn more.

 

 

 Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

Building Success: Using Bing Webmaster Tools

 

As part of my preparation for BlogHer PRO, I had the opportunity to speak to Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program. He will be leading the lunch Keynote titled, “Lunch, and Keynote Brought to You by Bing — Growing Your Audience and Influence with Social + Search”.  Forrester explained to me the details of his personal journey: to share with others how to build success and how to leverage your business assets to become successful. He also believes that to deliver a quality product you need to have customer interaction.  His two books, “Turn Clicks Into Customers: Proven Marketing Techniques for Converting Online Traffic into Revenue” and “How to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your Blog” detail how a business can increase customers and generate revenue with blogs.

 

We discussed many different topics related to blogging and one was of particular interest. Forrester discussed the new features of the Bing Webmaster tools including the “Link Explorer, SEO Analyzer/SEO Reports, and updates to current tools such as our Keyword Research Tool (beta), and our URL Removal Tool.” Bing Webmaster tools (available to anyone) detail standard info including queries, your site’s ranking and where you were shown. The tools also send alerts and when combined with Bing crawler you can proactively manage bandwidth by time of day. Another option is to set controls that someone else manages for your website. With Link Explorer you can not only see who is linking to you, but also who is linking to your competitors. BingBot offers the ability to have a crawler fetch your blog’s URL then have a search engine assess the code on the page and come back with a status. For example, you can watch out for signs of hacks in your websites such as really long links. Forrester shared important advice for all bloggers: we should get to know what “normal” code looks like on our website so we can spot when it has been hacked.

 

In addition to all of these tools, Bing is now the first search engines to provide SEO advice to users. This is accomplished with SEO Analyzer, which scans a URL then shares what SEO work needs to be done.This tool helps you know what SEO work needs to be done now, helps you learn more about SEO from a trusted source and can help you test fresh areas of your site quickly.
When I checked out the Bing Webmaster Tools online, I was happy to see blog posts from the Bing Webmaster blog that explains key product areas. For those who want to find out more, there are Bing Webmaster Guidelines blog posts and  free recorded webinars . The Bing Webmaster Getting Started Checklist is a great place for the user to start outlining the process and tools to build workflow. This checklist covers areas such as how to configure your site reports and data, Webmaster diagnostic tools and SEO Analyzer.

 

Here are some of the blog posts that are great resources not only for Bing Webmaster tools but also for SEO and reporting:

 

For more information, check the BlogHer Pro live blogs.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.