January 11, 2021 - 12:15 pm

The Tech that Kept Us Ticking in 2020

By 20Fathoms

Over the past year, we have learned to live, work, learn, and socialize differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was oftentimes technology that helped carry us through.

We asked our 20Fathoms community to share their favorite technology from 2020. What did they most appreciate and what would they recommend to others? Here’s what they had to say.

Technology for increased efficiency

“I got efficient this year with the use of a voice recorder and AI transcribing software. I use the LiveBird voice recorder. It has more than 6000 5-star reviews and for $3.99, it’ll automatically upload recordings to Dropbox. For transcription, I like The transcription is 3.5 cents a minute or $2.10 an hour. I upload the file from Dropbox to and it transcribes it for me.” – Lauren Bigelow, Executive Director, 20Fathoms.

“Our team uses Twist instead of email and it integrates seamlessly with ToDoist – my favorite to-do list app. I love these two apps.” – Jessica Kane, Project Manager/GIS Developer, Line 45

“The tech that has been the most exciting to me in 2020 is not really a tech solution but rather a newsletter. I’ve been following Pitchbook for several years. It provides a quick and valuable snapshot for VC, PE and M&A deals – and also gives me a fresh perspective with ideas about new trends, who’s hiring and what companies may have employees looking for new opportunities.” – Erich Wuhrman, Head of Talent Acquisition, 20Fathoms

Technology for increased connectivity

Skyroam has been my favorite tech purchase this year. It’s a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that lets you take the internet anywhere.” – Kelly Hanson, Shopify Developer, Swiftcurrent Web

Wi-Fi video and sensor technology is one of my favorite technologies and has become ubiquitous, and a bit controversial. But, like all technology, if you make it work for you instead of you working for it, these devices can be a godsend. Just recently, my sister’s 80-year-old mother-in-law was dog sitting while my sister’s family was away. Her mother-in-law fell while letting the dogs out and was unable to get back on her feet. My sister received an alert via the security camera app on her phone and she was able to talk to her mother-in-law through the device until EMS showed up. I am a big fan of Wi-Fi enabled video and sensor technology.” – Jack Miner, President of HealthSpark, 20Fathoms

“MeetUp was great this year in trying to keep up some sense of community/networking in 2020.” – Jessica Kane, Project Manager/GIS Developer, Line 45

Technology for entertainment and everyday life

Ubisoft Assassins Creed series. I’ve never been a video game person, but in 2020 I needed new at-home entertainment options.” – Laurie Lapp, Director of Business Development, AXIOS HR

“The Hoglet mouse: it’s a local startup with a membership in TCNewTech!” – Jennifer Szunko, Executive Director, TCNewTech

“I was not a part of the YouTube generation. But during the pandemic and its lockdown, I was introduced to Yoga with Adriene, and now I’m addicted. I’m able to do yoga in the privacy of my own home, and so I try stuff I wouldn’t normally attempt in a studio class. YouTube has brought a little bit of wellness into my life, and for that, it’s my tech of 2020!” – Maria Purvis, Engagement Manager, 20Fathoms

“This has been a really challenging year for restaurants, but I’ve enjoyed how tech has enabled so many of them to pivot to online ordering. My favorites in Traverse City Workshop Brewing Company, Dish Café, Hop Lot, and The Good Bowl. Online ordering and curbside pick-up has been a convenient and safe way to continue to support our local businesses.” – Keri Amlotte, Director of Marketing, 20Fathoms

And finally: 2020 Favorite technology, a poem

Raspberry Pi with VS Code window
Zoom meeting breakouts that team members can show
TP-link transmitters with long distant pings
These are a few of my favorite things.” – Keith Kelly, Program Manager of tccodes/tccyber, 20Fathoms