I'm a big user of apps and widgets. I order food, buy books and do all of my banking that way. I also book hairdresser appointments, shop for shoes and order taxis via apps on my iPhone, iPad and via my favourite websites. Lifestyle organising is becoming increasingly convenient and I have fully embraced the digital lifestyle paradigm.
I have even downloaded the iTorch4 app on my iPhone so that my phone now doubles as a really effective torch. I Shazam songs at parties and on the radio that I don't recognize and compile my family event photos into photo albums (using just my thumb) via Keepsy. Those are some of the tools that have added ease to my life, some of them necessary, some just because I like them.
If you were looking closely yesterday you might have spotted a new tool for the time-poor working woman on our site. As we're committed to offering you convenience, we've decided to do a (non-financial) deal with Shortcuts to host their online booking service for your next hairdressers appointment.
I discovered this wonderful widget a year ago when I was publisher of the beauty website Primped. My usual hairdresser was booked solidly and I needed to find an alternate solution for an impromptu haircut. Hairdressers hate me because I can only ever get to them once or twice a year. I am far too busy to frequent a salon as often as they recommend: every six to eight weeks. Inevitably when a small window of opportunity opens up in my diary I can never seem to match the time with my favoured hairdresser. So I go searching for a nearby salon with availability at that time.
A year ago the number of salons that had signed up to this booking service was not quite as comprehensive as it is today. But with the appetite for digital access to most services on the increase hairdressers have found a way to make it easier for their customers to book the service they want, when they need it and with whom they prefer.
You can search by the service you are seeking, your favourite salon if you have one or by postcode. I've used the service when I have been interstate for an event. I don't have a preferred hairdresser in Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth but I often need to get my hair styled for a specific occasion when I am there for business. In the past I have conducted a last minute search of nearby salons seeking an available hair stylist for a blow dry. Sometimes that search has proved fruitless.
With the My Local Salon widget I can search online until I find an opening, without ever needing to pick up the phone. It has saved me an enormous amount of time and frustration. Give it a try and let us know if it works for you.
Do you gravitate towards time-saving widgets like this?
Marina Go is GM of Hearst-Bauer, publisher of Harper's Bazaar, ELLE and Cosmopolitan. She is also chair of the Wests Tigers, a director of Odyssey House McGrath Foundation and a member of the advisory boards of the Walkley Foundation, The Remarkables Group and Women's Agenda. She has an MBA from The AGSM and is a member of the AICD. Her new book is Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders.