Adventures & Learning Articles

SignNow & iTranslate: Two useful apps when traveling


Sign­Now is an app for the web or your smart­phone which allows you to anno­tate and add to pdf doc­u­ments as well as sign and date them with your very own elec­tron­ic sig­na­ture.  Super easy to use and very sta­ble.

We were faced with hav­ing to sign and send a num­ber of legal doc­u­ments while we were in Spain with no ready access to a print­er, not to men­tion the has­sle of mail­ing a hard copy of the doc­u­ments all over the world.  After a search on-line we found Sign­Now, a free app for the iPhone or oth­er smart phone.  Its is super easy to use and very straight­for­ward to append your (or mul­ti­ple )signature(s) or add text to a pdf.  When com­plet­ed the app lets you email a copy of the signed doc­u­ment to the recip­i­ent.  Easy as that.

The folks we have dealt with recent­ly were over­joyed to have an elec­tron­ic ver­sion of the doc­u­ments, as were we to have saved timer and mon­ey as well as have an archived signed copy of the doc­u­ments in our files.


 iTrans­late is a must have app if you are trav­el­ing to a coun­try that does not speak your lan­guage. We used it exten­sive­ly in Spain (even to do some of our lan­guage class home­work!).  Real­ly fast to use in the moment when you need to know a word, like beer, in a for­eign lan­guage.  It even speaks the word for you if you want to under­stand the pro­nun­ci­a­tion.

The only pro­vi­so in using this app is that you will need wi-fi or a local cell sig­nal to use it.  Not always pos­si­ble when on a short­er hol­i­day.


Technology–Cell Phones

image of iPhone 5
iPhone 5

In pri­or trips to Europe we’ve always car­ried both our US and Euro­pean cell phones and engaged our Euro­pean ones once we reached these shores.  In line with our needs we decid­ed this time to try and car­ry only one phone.

We both had iPhones under con­tract with ATT with about 6 months to run.  The only way to access a local sim card sce­nario was to have an unlocked iPhone.  After run­ning the num­bers we fig­ured it was actu­al­ly cheap­er to pur­chase a new unlocked iPhone now, ter­mi­nate our ATT con­tract and start a pre­paid plan with T‑Mobile.  The sav­ings on the month­ly con­tract more than off­set the addi­tion­al costs of ter­mi­nat­ing the con­tract, buy­ing the new phones, and hav­ing a new pre­paid (pay-as-you-go) plan—well near­ly.  Part of the deal was that we sold our old phones to an out­fit called “”.   They paid us a very good price for the old phones, all the ship­ping, and it was has­sle free—no deal­ing with eBay nego­ti­a­tions etc.

So we’ve had our new phones for about four weeks now and they work great with bet­ter cov­er­age here in Anthem than we had with ATT.  As an added bonus the guys at T‑Mobile were a delight to deal with and helped us port our old cell phone num­bers over to the new plan.  Sort­ed!

One thing to be aware of is that the sim card on the iPhone 5 (nano sim) is about 1/3 the size of a reg­u­lar sim—this makes insert­ing and stor­ing the sims a real chal­lenge espe­cial­ly if you have large fin­gers and tend to mis­place small things!