It’s the season for family and fun. Tracking down the perfect gifts, decorating the house, cooking one day and then traveling the next – the holiday season can still get surprisingly stressful.
Contrary to what I expected, technology can add even more stress. Last year, I wanted to replace my laptop with my iPhone for all my holiday tasks – the shopping list, taking/posting photos on Facebook and using it as a boarding pass. What I didn’t count on was a comedy of errors, like drained batteries, scorned relatives who find Facebook “evil,” malfunctioning plane ticket scanners, and a tablet ruined by a stray splash of soup.
This year, I figured out the secret. Print everything out. With paper, you don’t have to worry about batteries, soup or irate holiday travelers. And holding an actual photo in your hand really is more emotional than swiping through images quickly on a screen.
Regardless of your device or where the holidays take you this season, saving time and sharing memories with the family is now just a few taps away. That’s because this year Android has joined Apple and Amazon with built-in printing technology. This means you can easily print from your most commonly used mobile apps on iOS, Fire OS and Android. Check our Solutions Finder for even more mobile printing info.
Here are few ideas for reducing stress during the holidays:
- Holiday Lists Galore: My wife and I provide the extended family with gift lists for our kids since my parents are tech challenged (pretty sure my Mom won’t read this). I found that a printed list never seems to get lost. It’s also a much more engaging experience to take my 5 year old son to the toy store and check off his sister’s gift choices from a clipboard as we pick them up.
- Holiday Food Traditions: If your family is like mine, a big part of the holidays is preparing the holiday meal together. With so many chefs in the kitchen last year, some soup destroyed my wife’s iPad. This year, a printed recipe will be used so it can get destroyed in the chaos instead. And when your family asks for the recipe, you can print it out a clean copy from your tablet when your hands are finally clean.
- Holiday Travel: After a second round of holiday food at the in-laws, it’s usually time to check-in the family with the airline app. I’ve learned to always have backup prints in case my battery dies or we run into scanner issues at the airport. The last thing anyone wants is a delay as you’re rushing the kids through the TSA line. So I plan to wirelessly print out boarding passes from my phone to my in-law’s Epson printer without using their computer.
- Holiday Photos a Plenty: When friends and family get together, it’s always time for group photos with the mobile phone. I’m pretty good at picking the best ones and posting them up on Facebook quickly, but I’ll also have 4×6 photo paper ready to print a few of this year’s best pics. That’s because some of my relatives refuse to use Facebook but still want memories of our time together. It’s funny, but last year my non-Facebook relatives also asked for printed photos of our kids throughout the year once they saw how many important events were chronicled on Facebook. It turned into a great bonding experience for the whole family with keepsakes in hand.
How did you stay connected and sane this holiday season?