Simple Ways Your Phone Can Make You More Efficient
Simple ways your phone can make you
Task: Donate old phones to a domestic shelter.
2 Cor 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Whether you are a bustling business women or a stay at home mother, your phone can be used for more than Facebook and phone calls. Below are a few simple ways that a cell phone can help you become more efficient.
- Lists, lists, and more lists: Lists help us remember what to do and what to buy. I love that I never forget my grocery list on the counter because it’s always on my phone. The simplest list to use is built in your phone under “notes.” You can add as many “notes” as you’d like and they are stored on your phone. There are also many apps available for Android and iphone to help you make lists. I prefer simple apps, so my favorite are Grocery IQ and Wunderlist. Other popular ones are Errands, Remember the Milk, etc. Many of these apps also sync to your computer so you can add from multiple devices.
- Reminders: Not a day goes by that I don’t tell Siri “remind me at 1pm to bring in the Honda” or “remind me tomorrow at 9am to bring snacks to Jessie’s class.” There is a reminder feature built into your phone and your calendar so you never forget. It’s perfect for all those little things you would put on a sticky note on your counter, but when you’re out on the road there are no sticky notes. I always think, “Oh I’ll remember to turn the hose off…” famous last words. Eeee!
- Timers: I set the timer on my phone often. Studies show our brains work best in 20 minute increments with 5 minute breaks. When I need to stay focused, I set the timer on my phone and get to work. Twenty minutes flies by when I don’t need to be checking the clock. Setting the timer helps me get more accomplished.
- Calendar: I was always a paper calendar kind of gal. I love to have paper that I can write in the margins and look at the whole month at once. Three years ago I bought a smart phone and started using the calendar feature. And I will admit, having your calendar on your phone is a life changer. You can make appointments on the fly and when you are at the dentist there is no need to call them back to be sure the date fits on your home calendar. You have your calendar in your purse! I love the Google calendar and I love how you can color code events and share calendars with family. Release the paper and embrace the convenience. (Confession: I do use a paper calendar for planning my weeks, but not for scheduled appointments. Guess paper still has a place in my heart.)
- Evernote: This is an app that has changed my life. Sounds cheesy, but it has really helped me stay organized. Evernote is a place to keep anything you need to remember or access time and time again. It is basic and easy to use. Think of a shelf of notebooks – they’d each have notes in them about different topics. That’s essentially what it is, but in digital form and you can access it from all your devices. I keep all my recipes, notes for clients, gardening plan, sewing machine tutorials, airlines mileage numbers, conference notes, and other random things that I always need to reference on the fly.
- Podcasts & Audiobooks: These might not seem like things that keep you organized, but I think they help me stay efficient and mentally alert. I listen to podcasts and audio books when I’m driving and when I’m exercising. They keep me mentally on the ball and energize me with new ideas. It’s a way to collaborate with others on my commute and an adventurous novel audiobook motivates me to go for a walk!
- Photos: I take photos of things I want to keep for reference, but don’t want to have the clutter. Genius Scan is an app that’s great for scanning and Forever is a great app and cloud storage solution for accessing photos across devices and always having them backed up.
- Mail: checking email on the go is great, but I turn off notifications. I don’t need every email that comes in to flash on the screen, or I wouldn’t be able to resist checking it, which quickly sucks away my time. Schedule in times for addressing emails.
The options are endless with how to use your device to maximize time and reduce physical and mental clutter. My advice is to use your phone to it’s potential without blocking out all the amazing people around you. And be sure to check your pockets before you put your coat in the wash!
Written by: Michelle Kuiken, The Proper Place