Mary Wu, Virtual Assistant

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Shave Time Off Your Commute

waze

waze (Photo credit: tenz1225)

 

In honor of Administrative Professional’s Week, I’m doing a 5-part series with tips to simplify your life in some way. Today I’m going to tell you about my new co-pilot. On our recent vacation I was driving my friend. John was giving me directions by using his phone and an app called Waze. Like any GPS, Waze will give you turn-by-turn directions, but Waze has the added feature of crowdsourcing your drive.

As with any navigator, you enter your destination and it figures out a route for you to take. However, unlike my GPS unit, it determined the best route by using real-time GPS and traffic reports from drivers. Wazers are able to report to other drivers about traffic or accidents or cars on the shoulder.

If you choose to link it to Faceook, you can even report to your Facebook friends when you will arrive at a location.

Like any navigation tool I’ve ever used, it is a good idea to have some knowledge of your route. (The other day I was at a Starbucks and wanted to cross a major road. Waze would have had me driving around through an industrial park in order to make my left turn. I just drove through a hotel parking lot to turn around.)

While on vacation (and with another driver in the car), my husband and I would often report about minor accidents and cars on the shoulder. I do not make any reports when I’m alone in the car.

But every now and then I’ll be driving along and hear a report of “police ahead,” which might be a useful warning for people who might possibly sometimes tend to drive maybe a smidge above the posted speed limit. Think of it this way, this free app may save you time or traffic hassles, or it may even save you from a speeding ticket.

Waze is available for free on most smartphone platforms.

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