How To Use Your Phone To Your Benefit
Our smartphones are our modern day lifeline. While we always try to find ways to practice a digital detox, these little gadgets are indeed smart and can be used to make our lives easier and even more efficient. Here we round up some of the best ways to use it to our benefit based life's most demanding tasks. Find a list of recommended apps at the bottom.
Calendars + Organizing
This category is an umbrella that covers many different areas - from our day to day work, errands, social commitments, milestone occasions, kids activities, medical and self-care check-ups, etc. In general, we all have different moving parts of life we want to organize, not worry about, and/or sort out, in order to feel a little more put together!
USE YOUR CALENDAR APP WITH ALL IT'S ACCESSORIES
Your calendar app can literally act as your personal assistant slash manager if you use it to its max. Set aside time to organize and create different calendars for different parts of your life [e.g. home errands, family things, work stuff, work subcategory, social, religious, self-care, etc.] and color code them!
The categories that are related and involve other individuals can be shared with them via an invite within the calendar [which get emailed to them]. If using apple products, these calendars will sync perfectly with your laptop, phones, and iPads [if your kids need to view on there too]. Alternatively, you can use Google calendars with just as much ease. Any events created will automatically sync on all calendars - this is great to avoid any situations with schedules overlapping, times, and dates are clear, etc.
Additional Tip: Add travel time to events, to further efficiently map out your time/day as well as allow for the right amount of time to get to and from somewhere.
There’s An App For That
If you ever have something you wish could be done, chances are there's an app for it. Did you know you could check your heart rate with your phone's flashlight option, and a relevant app? You can use your phone's mic as an actual mic and connect to a speaker via Bluetooth for a popup audio system? There are multiple possibilities, search it up, and you should be able to find a solution within minutes.
Audit Your App Collection
Cluttered phone, with too many pages of apps.
To keep your phone organized, and your mind sane, every so often, go through your apps, subscriptions, and folders on your phone to audit your apps. Perhaps you downloaded an app for just one instance, or you do not use it anymore. Delete it. Declutter your life - yes, even digitally. Organize them and delete ones you don't need. Look over your iTunes' for payments and bills.
To Do List
Too many things to do, too little time. Are you forgetting everything that needs to get done, and just can’t seem to keep a track of it all?
Use your notes, reminders, Google sheets, excel spreadsheet applications, or other dedicated apps, to note down any thoughts you may have, or tasks that need to be done. Use these lists to check through completed and pending items, or even cross-reference this list with your calendar, plug in personal deadlines based on your to-do list [as explained above].
Referencing all saved recipes and food inspiration in one space.
Our social media pages are flooded with delicious recipes, and fitness, nutrition, and food bloggers release fun new ways to enjoy healthy foods every day. A great way to keep these organized [so you can actually pull them up and use them] - depending on your preference - is:
A great resource to file away inspiration. Repin recipes you find on there [among other great ideas and inspiration for life] as well as bring in recipes you find on other sites, your inbox, etc.]. If you prefer to keep your dietary sins private [like our food board that is 90% pasta - but no shame in the game], you may choose to keep your board private too!
With Instagram's option to save photos and even create labeled folders/boards, the process emulates Pinterest's in that you can save recipe and food ideas into a dedicated folder. However, you can only save what you find on the app and not upload anything from outside the app].
Screenshots + Photos Folder
We all do this, screenshot something in the moment to hold onto, only to never look at it, forget about it, or have it build up in our endless photo gallery/cloud. Spend the extra 30-60 seconds and create a folder that is dedicated to recipes. Keep things consistent and use only this as your method of saving recipes, or upload these screenshots into your Pinterest board [also a 60-second process] to keep things in one place, or at most, two.
Just as you save and reference food ideas as described above, travel destinations, ideas, and lists can be organized similarly. In addition to just referencing and organizing, a few travel hacks include, using your google maps offline [details here] and even saving locations on Google Maps for an easy visual reference, as well as creating a shared note, or google doc, with your travel partner[s] for itineraries, ideas, lists, etc. You can add photos, links, screenshots here as well!
Finding and referencing different workouts easily.
Streaming workouts are more popular than ever, and totally do-able with your phone. With apps like Sweat, Nike, Youtube, or even a simple graphic breakdown on Pinterest, you can find step by step instructions that you can follow easily at home, or the gym, for a cardio and strength training based workout.
While other streaming services like Obé, or Melissa Wood's subscription, you might want to use your laptop or TV, the portability of your phone comes in handy when traveling, even for these options, so you may use it for a no-excuses-to-skip-the-workout workout!
Make It Happen Faster
Getting things done.
Multi-tasking, kind of. Using your phone’s features to help get things done faster, or done in ways that you wouldn’t traditionally otherwise.
Talk into your phone
You can talk into your phone to draft and send messages, emails, to do lists.
speed it up
Play podcasts and youtube videos on 1.5x speed, sometimes, depending on the piece itself, and the use. They will play faster, meaning they will finish faster, and most of the time you can barely tell it’s playing faster. Most conversational speaking speeds are relatively relaxed. If it is already at a pretty decent speed, you will feel more comfortable playing it at its regular speed.
Your phone can be a reminder to slowing down in both ways - with or without it.
WITH YOUR PHONE
With a variety of apps of for guided or sound meditations, complete with notification reminders [if you work better with reminders for new or current habits] you can slow down for a few anywhere you are and the tip of your fingers.
On a spiritual note, many spiritual texts and such are downloadable or alternatively accessible as an app, so that referencing or reading them isn’t contained to a certain place or moment.
WITHout YOUR PHONE
Just as we are glued to your phone. Having your phone there, looking at it, can be a great reminder to put it away in another room, or your bag, for a certain amount of time to just switch off and disconnect mentally. Better yet, turn it off, or take advantage of your phone running out of its battery!
Being able to edit photos and curate an album or feed.
There are multiple great apps out there, according to your preference and comfort level that can help you touch up and edit your photos - whether for personal or professional use! Play around with them a little, and you'll feel like a pro!
Giving Back / Community
Giving back, with easy online donations, and accessing your favorite community events or charity websites is faster and easier since you can access these websites or accounts straight from your phone. Wether it’s directly through their page, certain apps specifically for making financial donations, even via online banking [most smartphones can securely save your CC info] , or apps for certain organizations / networking groups so you can find events to be a part of.
LIST of some recommended apps:
Splitting The Bill - Tab
Scanning - Scanner Pro
Calendar - Google Calendar
Apple apps such as iCal, Notes, Reminders, Photos
Notes/Writing - Google Docs
Notes/Organizing - Google Sheets
Fitness - Nike
Fitness - Sweat [formerly BBG, by Kayla Itsines]
Fitness - StretchIt App
Meditation - MNDFL
Meditation - Headspace
Anxiety Management - Pacifica
Inspiration/Mood Boards - Pinterest
Photo Editing - VSCO
Photo Editing - Lightroom
Photo Editing - Snapseed
Cloud Saving - [iCloud], Box, Dropbox, Google Photos
Analyzing Finances/Saving - Albert
Analyzing Finances/Saving - Digit
Finances - Your specific bank’s app, e.g. Chase
Instagram Feed Planning - Planoly
Instagram Feed Planning - Buffer
Instagram Feed Planning - Plann
Project Management - Asana
Team Communication - Slack
To Do Lists - TeuxDeux
To Do Lists - Wunderlist
To Do Lists - Microsoft ToDo
To Do Lists - Things
To Do Lists - TickTick