How to Use Technology to Make Christmas Gifts

Christmas gifts

Warning: This article is only for tech savvies!

Being a tech enthusiast implies having different technology skills and relying on technology in everyday life. Not only can you rely on technology to fulfil daily business tasks, but you can also use your tech skills for carrying out tasks from personal life as well. With Christmas around the corner, it’s high time you wrap up the Christmas gifts. It’s commonly known that you can purchase tech gifts, since almost every online magazine provides you with a list of Christmas gifts for tech lovers, but if you are on a tight budget, or you just want to make a present on your own, don’t forget to turn to technology for help.

So, how technology can help you make Christmas gifts?

There are various online tools and mobile apps that can help you in the process of making a Christmas gift. Most of them are free and all you need is a bit of creativity and these guidelines:

Use Prisma to print your photos in the artistic way

If you have art lovers among your friends and family and you don’t have money to buy paintings, use Prisma to turn your digital photo into a wall painting. This is a perfect example how a tech tool can help you in choosing a Christmas gift. What is more original than a photo taken by the camera and afterwards revived on paper? You just need to go through your phone gallery and pick up the best photo that will become a true art.

Create digital photo albums of smaller size

For those friends and family members who prefer to have modern photos and not paintings,  maybe it is a better solution to make a photo album saved in a digital form. The file format that keeps text and images preserved is PDF. This file format is the most convenient for document printing and sharing and it keeps the text and images in its original form. However, if your photo album or a scrapbook is too large and thus hard to send via email, use PDF compress app to shrink the size of that PDF.

Make Christmas labels for your gifts

If you are a DIY enthusiast, we bet you prefer to make Christmas presents on your own. Whatever it is, you may rely on one more technology tool and give a final touch to your gift-box. There is a tool for creating custom Christmas labels with already available holiday graphics. In just a few simple steps, you can make your own label and have your Christmas present stands out from other presents.

Use Microsoft Office to make Christmas cards

There is probably no such tech savvy on this planet who doesn’t use MS Office or any of its alternatives.  Apart from using MS Office programs for business purpose, you know that you can use them for personal purposes as well. So, before you put away your desktop computer and go on a digital detox, don’t forget to go through Office templates and find your best Christmas card template.

Craft personalized ebooks

Besides using technology to make photo albums and paintings, to have your personalized Christmas cards and custom-made gift labels, your top loved ones maybe deserve even more effort and time spent on gift making. If you want to give someone a unique present, consider making a personalized book. While producing a real paper book can hurt your budget, for crafting an ebook you only need time, patience and a bit of creativity. This may be an ideal present for your life-long friends. With so much adventures you’ve gone through together, there is a book material.

No matter how experienced you are with technology, hope these tech tips will help you out in making original and hand-made gifts this Christmas!

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The Quickest Way to Create Professional Looking Videos

Creating great video content can seem a daunting prospect for any small business owner. Abby Gowing, Marketing Executive at Kendlebell answering service recently put YouTube Director to the test to see if it delivers on its promise to make video content creation accessible for all.

YouTube Director is a free app aimed at businesses who want to make a video promoting their product or services, but possibly find the process a bit daunting. Through a range of easy to use templates, professional looking videos can be made in under 20 minutes. The app offers a variety of styles to choose from and step by step guidance to take the fear out of self-producing a video with scary technology. Videos made can then be used for promotional purposes and sponsored advertising.


The app is easy to set up and use, all you need to start with is a Gmail account. Some of the features include:


  • Range of templates
  • Voice-over recording
  • Selection of license free background music
  • Editable titles and captions
  • Easy editing and cropping tools
  • Examples of published videos using the templates
  • Publish direct to YouTube

Here what Abby says about her experience with YouTube Director:


To see how this app worked I tried making 2 different kinds of videos in different styles. The first was a shorter ‘watch me cook’ style video where I attempted to make a lasagna. I chose the template from the ‘Overview’ range, it consisted of 8 different shots each of which had a guide of what should be included and how long it should last. However, it is easy to vary from these suggestions should you have a better idea of what you’re after. This video was a fun taster (no pun intended) to get familiar with the app’s features; however, after finishing my recordings I encountered a big problem as the video wouldn’t publish to YouTube. I tried everything from restarting my phone to reinstalling the app with no success. This was a really disappointing glitch in the app which left me with nothing to show for my work.

create videos

So I tried again, eager to see how it would look if I was presenting myself as a small business (and if another video would upload). Having recently moved to the other end of the country and making the most of the tourist hotspots available in Glasgow, I wanted to showcase these in a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ tourism way. I chose a different template from the ‘How-to’ range that meant my video would be a bit longer. See below the different shots it suggested and the timeline in which I should do them. The extended length of the video did mean that it took me significantly longer than 20 minutes to create, but the outcome is alright for just pressing a few buttons. The app decided it liked this video better and uploaded it within 10 minutes – you can view it here.

youtube director


The main positive for this app is that it is just so easy to use. The design is sleek and simple and it really does simplify the complicated process you anticipate in making a video. Businesses of any size can readily make a professional video in no time and the pointers and advice the app suggests certainly creates a solid structure to work with. There are also examples of finished videos from other businesses, so you can explore how the template transitions to reality which is a really useful feature for those inexperienced in video editing.



Not all the videos you try to produce are eventually uploaded on YouTube. For some unknown reason, the problem encounters when you want to upload certain videos. Moreover, the captions of some videos are cut off in the corners and the end shot, so they video end rather abruptly.

Although you are able to view examples of work using the templates, you can’t fully preview the templates themselves before committing to downloading them. This means that you’re not fully sure of the amount of shots or detail required. You will probably need to check all templates until you find an appropriate one. The other annoying thing about this is that you can’t delete said templates off your feed once you’ve decided they’re not for you. In terms of technical features, once you take a shot, you couldn’t shuffle the structure around. For example, say the opening shot would have been better than the closing clip, there would be no way to do this once you hit record.

In conclusion YouTube Director is a really useful app and a great tool to make the most of – especially as it’s free! The range of different styles and templates available mean that businesses can easily make several videos to showcase each element of their company. For example, client testimonials, how-to tutorials, general overviews and product descriptions. The app is so easy to use which is great for allowing all kinds of businesses to expand into a digital world they may not have previously thought of.

This article is written by Abby. Abby is a Marketing Executive at Kendlebell. She writes on a whole host of subjects including Marketing, Customer Services, technology, apps and small business support.


Essential Thanksgiving Apps for iPhone

thanksgiving apps

Most people are in high spirits when it comes to holidays because of family reunions, nice atmosphere in downtown and non-working days. At the same time, holidays usually require serious preparations and great time management skills. Looking forward to the holiday can easily become a nightmare if you are a hostess and you are expecting cousins and relatives to come over your place and spend holidays in your home.

Thanksgiving is around the corner so the question arises, have you prepared everything? With all regular daily activities, it’s hard to keep track of everything and it wouldn’t hurt if you turn to some help. Luckily, there are tons of iPhone apps that are specially made for Thanksgiving and here we have listed those that cover all aspects of Thanksgiving.


Decorate your home

One more holiday thing that we all fancy are home decorations, they give a new and glamorous look to a house and you don’t need to wait for Christmas to decorate your home. Home Decoration Ideas is a brand-new app that provides you with a wide range of Thanksgiving pictures that will give you inspirations on how to embellish your home.


Meal preparation


Big Oven app will help you find all the Thanksgiving recipes you need, from starters to main dishes and Thanksgiving desserts. On the top of that, once you choose the recipe all ingredients necessary for that dish will be automatically added to your grocery list. You can easily swipe and remove the ingredients you have and save only those you need to buy. If you count on help of your family members, create a shared grocery list and ask them to help you with groceries supply.


What to drink?


You don’t need an app to decide what beer or juice you will buy, but choosing wine is a demanding task. Not all types of wine go with every food, so don’t forget to consult this little wine helper and find the most appropriate wine for your Thanksgiving dinner.


At the table

While sitting around the Thanksgiving table with your family, sipping wine and enjoying all these delicious Thanksgiving dishes, there probably will arise some family matters or provoking questions that are rather not to be answered. Use some of the Thanksgiving jokes to break the ice and change the conversation in another direction.


Send greeting cards to your friends


Be original and make your own customized card with Thanksgiving day greeting cards app. No matter how busy you are with hosting your guests, don’t forget about those who are not with you and surprise them with a greeting card.


Time to chill out


If you are bored and just not into family conversations, hide somewhere in the corner and chill out while playing Thanksgiving game on your iPhone. Select one of the four turkeys available and collect coins while running through the Thanksgiving village. It would be a matter of time when other family members will join you for a race.


If you are not staying at home


If you don’t want to spend time on cooking, home decorations and cleaning after your guests, chances are you will choose to eat out. Since working hours are often different during the holidays, make sure your favourite restaurant is opened. Whether you will spend Thanksgiving in a local restaurant or in a totally other town or country, try this app out and a get last-minute reservation instantly.


Bonus Thanksgiving app


It’s morning after and you are satisfied how Thanksgiving preparation went smoothly. Don’t forget to save Thanksgiving recipes and DIY ideas you used so next year you have even less work to do. And not just that, share the Thanksgiving ideas and tips with your friends and let them host next dinner instead of you!

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How to Go Paperless with Your Smartphone


Most smartphone users are not aware of what they can do with their smartphones and tablets. Apart from using your iPhone for Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook you can also use it for more productivity-related activities. In the digital era, it’s a pity you don’t contribute to saving environment and go paperless. On the top of that, not only will you contribute to saving the environment but you will also save time and complete daily tasks more efficiently.

Track your expenses

No matter how old are you and what is your job occupation, you certainly have to be responsible when it comes to money management and to track your expenses. The best way to do that is to scan receipts and store them somewhere in your phone or a computer. With Image to Excel app you can even convert the image of a receipt to Excel and organize your spendings more neatly. Once you download the app from itunes or google play store or a and open it, just open the Gallery or take a photo directly. The image of a receipt will be converted to Excel and you will need to open it in any Excel viewer to edit the converted document.

Save time on retyping

Next time you want to save a recipe, no need to retype the whole recipe from scratch when you can snap a photo of it and even convert it to Word for further editing. You can capture any kind of a paper document and get a digital and editable form of it. In situations when you need to save the information from a cork-board, don’t think of retyping any more.

Send a Fax with Your Phone

Fax machines are a matter of the past- clean your office space and use your smartphone to capture a document you want to fax, edit it with Image to Word app and then send it over via email. No matter where you are, you can always stay productive and organized if you take advantage of your iPhone or a smartphone.

There are probably even more situations and examples of saving the environment by going paperless. We would like to hear them all, so don’t hesitate and contribute with the examples by leaving a comment below.

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How to free up storage space on iOS devices

free up storage space on iOS devices

Are you a digital nomad?


Imagine going on a trip to a breathtaking destination and realizing that your iPhone has run out of space so you cannot store your travel photos. Your first reaction to this frustrating situation may be to uninstall apps and delete previous photos, but there are more efficient methods of freeing up storage space in your iOS devices.


Managing iOS Storage Space


When you make your travel planning checklist, remember to check how your storage situation looks for your iPad or iPhone prior to your departure. You can accomplish this by tapping Settings, followed by General and Storage.

Pay attention to the top two metrics, which reflect local Storage: Used and Available. The bottom figures reflect iCloud storage, which will come in handy later. For now, you should tap on Manage Storage and look at the installed apps and the space they occupy. If you can connect your iPhone or iPad to a desktop or laptop running iTunes, you can click on Settings to view your storage situation.


Moving Files to the Cloud


If your iCloud available storage quota shows a good amount of free space, you may want to activate the option to store your Camera Rolls here by tapping on Settings, iCloud, Photos, and finally Optimize iPhone Storage. By doing this, your pictures and videos you made on the road will be reduced in terms of file size locally and sent to iCloud in full resolution.

You may also wish to use another cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Photos. If you have time to purchase a subscription before your trip, install the cloud storage app and activate the option make an immediate backup of all files and delete local files. If you use your iPhone or iPad for work, you may have lots of documents taking up storage; in this case, you can install a dedicated cloud app such as CometDocs.

free up storage space on iphone

Deleting Old Messages


Most iOS versions store text and multimedia messages indefinitely. You can override this feature by tapping Settings, Messages, and Keep Messages. Choose the option to store them for 30 days to delete the backlog.

Managing Offline Data

Whilst traveling it is not always sure to have reliable WiFi and mobile data plans but as long as you can enjoy some, you may want to disable the offline podcast and reading list option in Safari.

Clearing the Browser Cache

Safari is known to be a hog in terms of caching items for improving browsing experience. Clearing this cache is easy; tap Settings, Safari and Clear History and Website Data.


Resetting the Device

If you do not usually reset your iPhone or iPad, doing so could free up quite a few megabytes of RAM and iOS cache. You can do this by pressing down on the power and home buttons simultaneously for longer than 10 seconds. Once you see the Apple logo on the touchscreen, you will know that your device will reset.

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