Latest on Mileage Tracking Solutions, Windows 10 and Home Automation Help

John Vrooman | May 2016

John Vrooman
John Vrooman

Let me guess, another year has gone by and you once again failed to regularly and reliably log your personal vs. business mileage. Let me guess again, you said to yourself after filing your taxes, “This year I’m going to log my miles!” Let me guess just one last time, you’re once again not logging your mileage, or not doing it as well as you should!

If the above describes your mileage logging situation, maybe it’s time to try an app that can automatically log your mileage for you (as long as you have your Smartphone with you). If you like the idea of having your mileage logged automatically and want to learn more about what’s involved and what your options are, a quick web search can help. A web search that uses search criteria such as “iOS automatic mileage tracking app” or “Android automatic mileage tracking app” will yield links to both apps and relevant articles on the topic. Unfortunately, my brief exploration of the topic found that many of the higher-rated solutions are not free, but they do seem to be worth the investment if you decide to use them.

To help jump start your effort, the following two links will lead you to mileage tracking apps that appear to be highly rated and available for use on both Android and Apple Smartphones.
www.mileiq.com
www.everlance.com

Tip: You may want to take a look at Triplogik’s TL1000 GPS Mileage Log Tracker if you would prefer a dedicated mileage tracking device that doesn’t rely on 1) requiring to have your Smartphone with you, or 2) having to keep a mileage tracking app running on your phone. To learn more about this product, please visit the web page below and when you get there, I suggest you watch the how-to videos and also browse the support area to see what types of information and help will be available to you after purchasing the product. Here’s the link…
www.triplogik.com

Windows 10 Tweaking Utility

Are you comfortable using Windows 10 yet? If so, would you be interested in doing some fine tuning and tweaking to your computer system? If you answered “yes” to the questions, I would suggest you take a look at a free utility called “Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10.” This free utility offers a lot of basic to advanced system tweaks. Two tweaks that I think a lot of people will like is the ability to add “Move to folder…” and “Copy to folder…” commands to your Windows right-click context menu. If you keep dumping files onto your Windows desktop, these two commands can help you to move, copy and organize files more easily. To learn more about this nifty utility, please visit www.thewindowsclub.com/ultimate-windows-tweaker-4-windows-10

Easy Photo Resizer

I haven’t discussed photo resizing software for quite some time, so I thought it was time to circle back to the topic. Instead of covering multiple products, I’m just going to cover one this time. The software tool that I typically turn to when I need to quickly and easily resize individual or groups of photos is a free software utility called “Image Resizer for Windows.” What I like about this program is that it’s accessible from the right-click context menu. To use the utility, you just 1) select one or more photos, 2) right-click on one of the selected photos, 3) select “Resize Pictures” from the context menu and 4) when the picture resizing application window appears you just select the resizing option(s) that interest you and then 5) click the resize button. That’s about all there is to it! If you would like to learn more about this handy utility here a courtesy link to the product’s home page…
https://imageresizer.codeplex.com

Helpful Home Automation Website

When it comes to implementing various home automation solutions, a common issue that many people encounter is that not all home automation solution providers’ products are compatible. To help you with home automation product selection and to help you avoid and/or work through compatibility problems, I suggest you pay a visit to the SmartHomeDB website. Among the things that you can do at the website is the ability to look up “Playbooks” that identify how others have achieved home automation solutions that are the same or similar to the type of solution you want to achieve. What you’ll typically find in a Playbook are the products, approximate prices, apps, compatibilities, how-tos and notes that other people have used to achieve their desired home automation solution(s). The benefit here is that you can quickly and easily learn from other people’s home automation project solutions and experiences. The SmartHomeDB website is an interesting and helpful resource that I think anyone who is interested in home automation should check out. Here’s a courtesy link…
www.smarthomedb.com

Tip: The Yonomi app looks quite interesting to me. I would encourage those who are interested in home automation to check out. The app helps you integrate and manage many different home automation devices and tasks. If you decide that you want to use the app, just make sure that the home automation devices that you get are on the apps’ list of compatible devices that you can find at the apps’ website. To learn more, please visit…yonomi.co

If you have comments, suggestions, tips, questions or just want to say “Hi,” you are invited to contact me at john@johnvrooman.com. I always enjoy hearing from you!

John Vrooman
John Vrooman is an experienced Realtor who enjoys staying on top of real estate, technology, gadgets, marketing, new media, and small business trends/developments. He gathers information from a diverse range of resources and enjoys sharing tips, thoughts, and discoveries with others – using a “something for everyone” approach. John has been authoring this column since August 2000 and enjoys receiving comments and suggestions from his readers.