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Archive for Product Reviews

So I have been using the Verizon Palm Pre Plus (read my first post on the “Mom Palm“) for the past few weeks and really putting it through the paces of my ultra crazy, busy, technology dependent life.  I thought I’d share with you what a cell phone really has to do in order to keep up with me! And if you keep reading to the end, you can find out how to win a $50 Visa gift card from Verizon!

A Day in the Life of a Mom Palm

  • 6:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off. Feet hit the floor, head down the stairs to the coffee pot! While coffee is being made, I quickly check my email on the Palm Pre Plus (ok, I’m impatient) and let the dog out.
  • 6:30 a.m. – Get first of 3 kids up for school – others staggered by 15 min. each. Check the weather and my calendar for the day on the Palm Pre Plus and look up a recipe for dinner (using the What’s for Dinner app) while making lunches.
  • 7:30 a.m. – Everyone in the car and drop off kids at school – get a text message from my walking buddy wanting to do our workout at 8 a.m.
  • 8:00 a.m. – Take Palm Pre Plus on the walk. Since we are trying to get back into running shape we use the cool countdown timer app to alternate 2 minutes walking with 2 minutes running.
  • 9:00 a.m. – Back from workout, showered and plug the Palm Pre Plus back in to charge while I work. Get text messages from hubs and friends in between.
  • 12:00 p.m. – Alarm on Palm Pre Plus goes off reminding me of a conference call I have.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Afternoon craziness officially starts and this is where the Palm Pre Plus seriously gets a workout. Head out to pick up kids from school. Check email in carpool lane and can actually open the PDF file (thanks to the built in PDF viewer) containing event sheet for upcoming swim meet and read them (big improvement over my last phone).
  • 4:00 p.m. – Drop off two kids at swim and head to grocery store with third. Use shopping list created from Whats for Dinner app. Drop off third child at gymnastics. Check in with husband via phone in between.
  • 5:30 p.m. – Back at the pool waiting for swimmers to be done. Check email, upload a cute picture of kids to Facebook, use TweeFree to check in with online pals on Twitter, make notes on favorite websites using Evernote app – and did I mention I can do all of this with my headphones on listening to my favorite music?
  • 6:00 p.m. – Youngest one done with practice waiting for older one. Let her play Flash Cards on the phone followed by Crossword Light (I seriously love this app) while we wait.
  • 7:00 p.m. – Back home and time for dinner. Pull up our dinner recipe on Whats for Dinner and get dinner started. Check email in between and respond to client questions without walking into the office.
  • 7:45 p.m. – Chill out time with family.
  • 9:00 p.m. Get text message from my daughter who is still at gymnastics practice to let me know her carpool is on its way to the meet up point. Pick her up and head home to make sure all homework is done and get all three kids in bed.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Palm Pre Plus goes back on the charger while husband and I hang out, watch TV and surf on our laptops (not always but most nights) – we are a multitasking family!

Now that is a cell phone that works!

Overall, how has the Palm Pre Plus scored during my trial with it? I’d give it an A-. Minus? Really? Yep, because while this phone rocks, but there are a few little things that are either missing or could be better. For example, the camera is great but there is no capability to take video yet (coming in version 1.4);  I’d really like to be able to assign different notification tones for email and texts; and I like the Google Maps but wish it had the built-in free navigation (I’m sure that is just a matter of time, too).

Now something good for you!!

I have been given a $50 Visa Gift Card from Verizon to give away to one of my lucky readers. That’s $50 to spend on what ever you want!

How do you win?

Leave a comment on this post no later than midnight March 16, 2010 answering one of the following questions:

  1. What is your favorite feature on your cell phone (or mine ;-) )?
  2. How do you use technology to keep your busy life on track?

Get an extra entry by getting social – use any of the buttons at the bottom of this post to spread the word about the giveaway. Leave a separate comment telling me whether you tweeted, stumbled, or otherwise shared this post using one of the social buttons. I will select a winner using and will post it here.


Disclosure again – I have been given the Palm Pre Plus and the service package for it by Verizon for a few months, they are providing the gift card for the giveaway as well. I am also being compensated for my time.


UPDATE: We have a winner!! Lucky #21 Courtney. Thanks again to all who entered.

Categories : Product Reviews
Comments (309)

Like many of my friends, I am a Mom on the go. I juggle running my own business, raising 3 very active kids, coaching gymnastics part-time, and sneaking in time for myself (and the occasional date night with my husband) – and I really couldn’t do it without today’s mobile technology. I’ve written about my mobile office and how I rely on my cell phone to help me keep my business movingI truly am the poster child for today’s plugged-in Mom. My previous mobile phone just wasn’t getting the job done like I needed it to – so I set out on finding a new phone. As luck would have it, I have been invited to be a part of a group of Mom’s chosen by Verizon and their agencies to review the new Palm Pre Plus for the next few months. Talk about timing!

So, in full disclosure, I am letting you know that I have been given a Palm Pre Plus and the service package for it by Verizon for a few months. I am also being compensated for my time and will be hosting a giveaway in the upcoming months to go with the review. However, knowing that I am a truly a geek girl – you know the one that asks for a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet for Christmas, totes a pink Vaio laptop and has been known to dress her cell phone in red leather, you can bet that I will be giving the Palm Pre Plus a serious workout and will give you the real scoop on the phone.

When the phone arrived last week I had to seriously fend off the rest of my technology crazed family. The kids hovered around me as I opened the box and my middle school aged daughter immediately declared that she wanted a Palm Pre Plus of her own and if I didn’t like the phone, could she have it? Uh, no. It’s. MINE. Of course my teenage son immediately went into a full fledged monologue touting the features of the Palm Pre Plus (because he started researching it the day I told him it was on its way) and how it runs on the Palm webOS operating system, has 16GB of flash storage and 512 MB of RAM, uses multi-touch technology, has a 3MP camera with a flash, and on and on and on. I couldn’t get a word in edge-wise.

After declaring it the “Mom Palm” the kids finally let me have a few minutes to play with my new phone without their commentary. I totally LOVE the way the Palm Pre Plus feels. It’s smooth finish and rounded corners make it very comfortable to hold (unlike the smartphone my husband has which feels like you are holding a brick). The Palm Pre Plus is also small (and mighty) – measuring 3.9″ x 2.3″ x .67″ – it even fits in my favorite red Vera Bradley wristlet that goes with me everywhere!

The Palm Pre Plus is a combination touch screen phone with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. The touch screen area uses something called “gestures” which are simply movements of your finger across the screen in a certain motion that cause things to happen. For example, sliding your finger from right to left across the bottom of the screen takes you back one screen; you can close applications on the “desktop” but sliding them upward off the top of the screen; and you can zoom in and out on pictures by placing two thumbs near the center of the photo and “pulling” out diagonally. The keyboard ROCKS. It has a “clicky” feel to it much like a full size keyboard would.

Once I got finished playing with the gesture area and oohing and aahing over the keyboard, I started to set up the Palm Pre Plus. Within minutes I had made the Palm Pre Plus “my own” - by simply logging into my Gmail account I instantly had my complete contact list, calendar and email. This is exactly the type of functionality I need. Additionally, I synced the contacts with my Facebook account so not only can I call, text, Google Talk (IM), and email my friends right from the contact list – I can also see their Facebook status updates, profile photos and add notes to their contact details.

By syncing the calendar with my Gmail calendar (you can sync it with your Outlook calendar and others, too) I can keep track of my commitments from anywhere and get friendly reminders so I don’t miss a thing. If I add an event to my calendar from my phone it immediately shows up on my desktop. I have shared calendars with my family and with some clients and the calendars all show up in different colors on the Palm Pre Plus so I know at a glance who the appointment belongs to. Too cool!!

In addition to the standard Smartphone features of phone, text, email, web, camera and calendar, the Palm Pre Plus:

  • acts as an MP3 player,
  • lets you watch videos – with amazing quality too,
  • has a cool “corkboard” for writing yourself memos,
  • has a great to-do list (my favorite),
  • can give you directions to anywhere in a flash using Google Maps (no GPS unless you want to subscribe to the Verizon Navigator service for $9.99 a month)
  • and through the App store you can find free and low cost apps for just about anything you want to add to your phone.
  • No news yet if it will be released in T-Mobile 4g, anytime soon.

Having used the Palm Pre Plus for just under two weeks now, all I can say is WOW! It may be small, but it sure can do a lot and look fabulous doing it! This phone and I will be spending a lot of quality time together – from my home office to the carpool line, pool deck and everywhere in between. I’ll keep you posted along the way – especially as I find out what other amazing feats this phone can help me conquer in my busy life.

Categories : Product Reviews
Comments (4)

Recommended Reading: Blog Blazers

Posted by: Char | Comments (2)

Want to know the secrets to creating a high profile, high traffic and profitable blog? My advice is to learn from those who have already done it. Rather than having to identify who is successful and then track them down, author Stephane Grenier has already done it for you. In his new book, Blog Blazers he interviews 40 top bloggers and shares their secrets first hand.

The list of bloggers interviewed is very impressive – there are the obvious leaders:

But there are 35 more bloggers interviewed who have taken their niche, voice of authority, and passion and created a successful blog.  The book is by no means an exhaustive list, but the easy to follow format makes it a quick read.

Each interviewee is asked similar questions like:

  • What’s your best tip for writing a successful blog post?
  • What are your main avenues for marketing your blog?
  • What was your most successful blog post ever?
  • What’s the most common mistake new bloggers make?
  • What turns you off most when visiting a blog?
  • What’s the best way to make money from your blog?
  • Which books and websites do you recommend to new bloggers?
  • Which five blogs do you regularly read?

In the end, this book does not give you an exact formula for success or guarantee you anything other than it gives you direct access to the answers to the questions you would love to ask the leaders in the field.

Categories : Product Reviews
Comments (2)


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