Long Commutes

During the month of July I expect to have long commutes one day a week. Of course my OCD-like behavior (as well the well-known dreadful Atlanta traffic  conditions) has me researching how to best maximize my travel time to/from work. There are lots of services available out there that seek to capture and keep your attention, so how do you pick which services/features to pay attention to? How do you know where to start? Keep reading below for my recommendations!

Since the obvious goal during a long to commute is to get home as quickly and safely as possible, we MUST start with a travel app. There are many available including Google Maps, Apple Maps, Mapquest (yes… that still exists 😳) and Waze. I’ll just jump ahead and tell you right now that Waze wins and will be at the center of my long commutes. Not because it’s such a great app (it is! users report crashes, cop sightings, slowdowns, etc.); but, more so because Waze plays nice with others.

Let me explain. Yes, I will be commuting; but, I also want to do other things to help the time go by faster and ease the pain. I want to do things like listen to music, audiobooks or podcasts. When I say Waze plays nice with others I mean it seamlessly integrates with other apps or services. For music, it’s Spotify. For Podcasts, Stitcher and for books, Audiobooks. These tight integrations or hook ins allow you to select songs/playlists/books right from within the Waze app itself. There’s no need to leave the Waze app itself to start listening to another service.

(By the way, this post is a great synopsis of what I do for a living… software and process integration. I spend my days focusing on optimizing user experience for the software we use to run our business for things like taking orders, billing customers, etc. and automating those processes. I identify opportunities for integration/automation, lead projects to implement them and also streamline (or lean) complex processes to make them simpler #techie 💁🏽‍♀️)

WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA

Now, you may prefer Apple Music over Spotify; but, for me the days of tech giants producing great isolated products/services are over. Partnerships (or tightly integrating with others) will always prevail and Apple is not so good at that part yet. Waze, on the other hand, makes integrating easy. Because Waze will be at the center of my long commutes and I value integration, I choose the following:

Now, don’t get me wrong. All of these services are great and honestly, any one in isolation will do the trick; but, if you want MORE, go with services that tightly integrate with other services/features you also value. Your life will be easier because of it!

5 reasons you’ll use Waze over Google Maps


 

Traveler’s Delight

mapquestI remember a time when Mapquest used to be THE go-to place for driving directions. Now, mobile phones have most of our minds mesmerized with Apple and Google maps. Today, I discovered why Mapquest is STILL one of the best options for travel planning! (I also ❤ Yelp and EyeWitnessTravel).

In a few days I’ll be off to sunny San Diego. Before I select one of the many Marriott options, I like to see what’s nearby and calculate the #WalkScore for my temporary home. (I rarely drive at home so driving while on vacation is definitely not in the cards.) After becoming frustrated with Google’s new layout, I randomly decided to check out Mapquest to see what their interface was like and I was pleasently surprised! (it’s been a while since I’ve type that URL….)

After entering the address to the hotel, the legend was very easy to navigate and  I was able to quickly find what I was looking for: restaurants, shopping, travel services, local activities and more! Each category offers drill downs so you can make your search more specific. Though the simplicity is what hooked me, what’s even better is that you can overlay multiple categories on the same map and EASILY see where things are because the categories you selected are color coded. This is exactly what I was looking for!

(The mobile app is equally impressive.)

Signed, #MapquestFan

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