Drew Hawkins

A native Kentuckian living the dream in Atlanta, Drew Hawkins spends his days as the director of digital and social media at DeMoss PR, a public relations agency specializing in work with the nonprofit sector. By night, he enjoys dating his wife and reading, and is a chronic loser of chapstick and pens. You can see what else keeps Drew up at night by checking out his blog (www.brainwads.net) or following him on Twitter (@drewhawkins).

recent posts

Bluetooth Your Fitness

Wireless earphones are kind of cool. Wireless earphones that track your pace, heart rate, steps, cadence, and oxygen saturation, and act as a bluetooth headset for phone calls—well, that’s a lot of cool. Imagine going on a run and listening to music without getting tangled up in cords. Now, take that scenario a step further: Imagine doing that while gauging nearly every aspect of your fitness along the way. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign (parent company Bragi raised nearly $3.4 million), The Dash Smart Earphones are [... more]

A Virtual Whiskey Sommelier

A glass of bourbon after a grueling day can be a refreshing thing. So can a nightcap out with old friends. Choosing the right bourbon is half the battle. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. Distiller is like having a whiskey aficionado living inside your iPhone or iPad. You choose the setting of where you’ll be enjoying your drink (on the patio, at a bar, by a fireplace, etc) and your taste preferences, and Distiller creates a tailored list of recommendations, complete with tasting notes and a [... more]

Picture Perfect

Taking videos with your phone represents a great technological achievement—provided you hold your phone correctly. One of my biggest Internet pet peeves is videos shot by “videographers” who record while holding their phones vertically. Sure, it looks fine on your phone, but once you post it online, the two black bars take over most of the screen. The Horizon app offers a solution to this problem by helping anyone compensate for a bad shot. The innovative app, available on iOS, allows you to shoot horizontal video from [... more]

Any Day of the Week

I’ve been a fan of local craft brews as long as I’ve lived in Atlanta so I was immediately drawn to Monday Night Brewing’s selection, especially their IPAs. Just last year, they opened a new brewery  and tasting room. Walking in, you’re greeted by a wall full of ties with the message “Tie One On” and it’s exactly what you do—Monday Night encourages you to donate a tie to the wall. Throw in a shuffleboard court, a giant framed mustache, and a deck and it’s the perfect [... more]

Make Your TV Smart

When we moved our old TV upstairs to a spare room, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it besides watch old DVDs. Sure, I could spend $100 on a Roku or other smart TV box and stream Netflix and Hulu to it, but why? Enter Chromecast, a digital media player by Google. This $35 size-of-a-large-thumb-drive device can turn any TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV in minutes. Plug it in, run through the five minute setup process with your Google [... more]

High on Octane

It’s true, most coffee shops are very similar. They sell coffee. They have a hipster vibe to them. They are filled with people on laptops that may or may not be doing something important. Confession: I’m usually one of them. What makes Octane Coffee in Atlanta different? Octane has been a hub of startup tech companies in Atlanta the last several years. Companies such as Scoutmob have been birthed out of their store. The owner has even said he feels like a startup incubator. Octane offers high-quality [... more]

Free Wheeling, Vintage Style

When I was growing up during the controversy-free days of the Tour de France, everyone loved the expensive Trek or Cannondale bikes that were so light you could lift them with a pinky. I’ve found that people still love to ride bikes—but a different kind. Cruising up and down the belt line in Atlanta, you see more vintage-style bikes on the trail. They aren’t “high performance” models, but they have a classic, timeless look with old wheel guards, chrome finishes, and Brooks-like leather saddles. I’m working on [... more]

Back in the Saddle Again

Vintage biking is a huge trend in the bicycling world right now. To me, it appears that no vintage bike project seems complete without a leather Brooks saddle. Born out of England, Brooks’ saddles don’t appear to be the epitome of comfort. However, my grandfather (a long-time bicycle enthusiast) swears by them. Over time, the leather conforms to your seat and makes for a very comfortable ride. The price of a Brooks is steeper than most bike seats but you’ll only ever have to buy one if [... more]

Digital Storyteller

Of late, whenever Facebook launches a new mobile app, it’s a lackluster affair. The app doesn’t catch fire and eventually fizzles out. However, with their new Paper app, I think they may have finally figured out mobile. Paper offers a user experience very similar to Flipboard. Basically, it arranges information the way the mobile version of Newsfeed should. It helps you organize your feed into different sections (i.e. News, Humor, Tech, etc.) and maintains all the Facebook functionality you would find with its original app. You can [... more]

Meeting Essential

When my Evernote moleskin finally ran out of pages, it was a sad day for me. I used my moleskin for taking meeting notes and loved it. But rather than replace it, I decided to try something different. Luckily, Action Method had something in mind. If you’re like me and take a lot of notes in meetings but can’t remember (or find) the action items to accomplish later, this notebook will be right up your alley. The Action Book has a runner along the side of the [... more]

Tune Up Your Home

If you want an iPhone docking station in your house to listen to music, you could go out and buy a new station and speakers. But wouldn’t it be easier to just use the ones you already have? That’s where Beep comes in. It can transmit music to any speaker with an RCA jack or aux input. To setup, just connect Beep to your speakers and input your WiFi password into the corresponding app (available for both iOS and Android). Voilà! You’ve transformed that old speaker into [... more]

Show and Tell

If you have ever seen photos in your Instagram feed with text overlaid and wondered, “How’d they do that?”, this is the app that does that. Over allows you to use beautiful typography to give a little more flair and personality to your photos. Add a witty caption or use text to convey the emotion that the photo elicits at the moment. Text is fun. Photos are fun. Blending the two makes for an amazing photo-sharing experience. Over is iPhone-exclusive (for now) and is only $.99 in [... more]

Attractive Outlook

Weather apps are a dime a dozen. What makes Weather Dial stand out among those from The Weather Channel or Yahoo? First and foremost, the design. Weather Dial looks amazing and worthy of an Apple product. But it isn’t just about beauty. It also contains the brains to back it up. Self-described by the company as “a digital version of what Einstein and George Clooney’s baby would have looked like,” the app taps Forecast.io’s advanced weather tracking technology to give you the most precise forecasts possible in [... more]

Making Chores Fun

There’s an app for everything. Even for getting your kids to do their chores. But ChoreMonster makes responsibility fun for both parents and kids. Parents set their own login that allows them to create to-do lists, a reward and points system, and due dates for different chores around the house. Kids can then log in to see what they need to do that day and receive parental approval for completed tasks to earn points. Points can be redeemed for custom rewards such as an extra hour of [... more]

A Clock You Enjoy Looking At

Sometimes, looking at a clock gets boring. Not so with ClockTHREEjr. In lieu of numbers, this clock lights up words displaying the time of day in a stylish fashion. A winner on aesthetics alone, the clock is beautiful and doesn’t need any additional framing to hang on a wall. But its hackability is what really sets ClockTHREEjr apart. It comes ready for use out of the box—but is also hackable for the adventurous tinkerers out there. All of its hardware and software is completely open-source. For example, [... more]