Landline phone is an office in a base

Try touting the merits of a landline phone at a meeting with fellow geeks. Cue nervous laughter and tsk-tsking. But the Link-to-Cell Bluetooth Convergence Solution is impressive on many fronts.

First, both the base unit and handset have large keys. No need for glasses when dialing. The speaker feature on both the handset and the base produces clear, volume-adjustable sound. There also is an answering machine on the base.

Where the phone shines is its ability to make and answer cellphone calls, or to even hand off a cellphone call to the phone’s base. Up to two cellphones can be paired, via Bluetooth, to make and receive calls. Contacts’ phone numbers can be imported from the cellphones. There’s a talking caller ID. Setting up group calls is straightforward. And locating a misplaced cellphone simply requires pressing the “locate cell” button.

You can manually turn off the ringer, or program it to do so itself for the hours you choose. If you want to receive a call from a certain person, the night mode can be programmed to override the do-not-disturb feature.

While the $169.95 is the retail price for the base plus four handsets, many sites have the system discounted.



Hashtag feature makes app very useful

Keeping a journal is an excellent way to keep track of the challenges each day brings. Bear is not specifically a journaling app, but its note-taking abilities are fantastic and it can also be used to make a useful journal-like document.

What makes Bear stand out is its tagging system to organize notes. You can use hashtags to label whichever piece of text you like; you can look up notes by typing the hashtags into a search field. By managing use of hashtags, notes can effectively be put in topic folders. Photos can be imported into the text, and notes can be exported in a wide variety of formats.

The iOS app includes helpful guides to using it, and has many free components. Paying to upgrade ($15 annually) unlocks even more features, including cross-device syncing and more themes to change the look of your documents.