For the past dozen years or so, I have emailed a Thanksgiving letter where I reflect on the blessing of things like family, friends, a great country in which to live, and other big picture themes.
These blessings remain true, of course, but for this year’s letter I want to share some thoughts on three things that I like because I think you will like them too. And I’m also guessing that Thing #1 might make you a hero at the Thanksgiving table this year if you share the idea with your family and friends.
If you are inundated with unwanted telemarketing calls, you will love NoMoRobo. Sandy and I signed up this summer and those computer-dialed calls that deliver annoying recorded messages (Robocalls) have completely stopped!
NoMoRobo intercepts illegal calls by cross-checking incoming calls with its log of suspected robocallers and blocks the number after just one ring if it’s a match. The service does allow certain automated calls to get through, including school closings, doctor’s appointment reminders, emergency warnings and prescription pickup alerts. Also, if you ever notice via caller ID that NoMoRobo has inadvertently blocked a wanted call, the number can be added to a whitelist for it to be allowed through the next time.
The service is free for landlines and $4.99 a month for mobile phones. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.nomorobo.com/
2. Photo Scan by Google
Google released a new app this week and I love it! If you have boxes of old photos or have little-viewed photo albums, you need to drop everything and get the new PhotoScan app. It lets you easily turn your old prints into digital photos, letting you save them to the cloud with a single tap. PhotoScan is available for your iPhone or Android device and lets you quickly scan tons of photos with excellent results.
The app opens to the camera and instructs you to position a photo within the frame (you don’t even need to take the photo out of an album). To scan it, you move your phone over four dots which appear in your viewfinder. Once you’ve done this, the photo is scanned – and you can immediately slide the next photo under your phone and repeat the process. It’s easy.
Photos are automatically cropped, rotated, and color corrected. You can save them to your Photos with one tap – and then, when you want to find them, you can just search for “scans” inside Google Photos or whichever photo app you use and they’ll all come up.
Here’s the link to Google PhotoScan: https://www.google.com/photos/scan/
3. The Self Journal by Best Self™
The summer before I left for college, my dad gave me a small leather daily planner called a “Day-Timer”. I remember it clearly; it was made from black Morocco leather, had a loop for holding my Cross pen, and was small enough to fit in the back pocket of my jeans as long as I didn’t mind that the top part of it extended above my pocket. For years, that thing was my constant companion. It kept me organized, helped ensure that my homework got done on time, and was a place for me to keep my class schedule.
After I graduated, the planner moved from the back pocket of my jeans to the breast pocket of a suit jacket which I wore to work at the Bank of New England each day. It was a part of my daily routine. When I eventually left banking and joined my dad’s financial planning firm, the Day-Timer came with me of course. But then, as time and technology marched on, I stopped using my planner and started using an on-line calendar and to-do list. While I love how technology allows me to sync my calendar from my desk computer to my iPhone, and vice-a-versa, I have somehow missed the feel of a book in my hands.
Earlier this year I went “old-school” and purchased a hard copy journal. It’s not exactly like my old Day-Timer but I love it just the same. The journal has become my goal-setting roadmap and I use it every morning to start my day. The premise behind the book is centered on creating 13-week goals. Part of the process is to then develop actionable steps, set daily “targets” (the three most important things to get done that day), and begin and end the day with reflection about the things for which I’m grateful. I can’t overstate how much I’ve enjoyed this process and how helpful it has been in improving my productivity, and even happiness.
If you want to learn more, the company offers a free PDF version of the journal. The first 30-pages provide a thorough overview of the concept. You can check it out here: https://bestself.co/pages/self-journal-pdf
Personally, one of the things I’m most thankful for is the opportunity to work in a field that I love, and with people whom I like and respect. On behalf of my family, I would like to offer you my thanks for your trust and confidence. To earn a living doing this work is a great privilege and one that I don’t take for granted. Thank you.
PS. It was President George Washington who first declared a national day of Thanksgiving. Here is more information about his proclamation from October 3, 1789: http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/thanksgiving/
And now a message from the LPL Compliance Department:
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult me prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Research material has been prepared by LPL Financial. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted. Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal, and potential liquidity of the investment in a falling market. Because of its narrow focus, specialty sector investing, such as healthcare, financials, or energy, will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly across many sectors and companies. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a nondiversified portfolio. Diversification does not ensure against market risk. Investing in foreign and emerging markets securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, political risk, and risk associated with varying accounting standards. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks. Commodity-linked investments may be more volatile and less liquid than the underlying instruments or measure, and their value may be affected by the performance of the overall commodities baskets, as well as weather, geopolitical events, and regulatory developments.