It seems earlier this year I, along everyone was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the iPhone 4 to the Verizon Wireless network. Many folks who work at home were debating about which is the best smartphone to use – the Motorola Droid or Apple iPhone. I finally upgraded to the iPhone 4 in order to get more done.
Last July I had purchased the Android smart phone but only kept it for one week before I turned it back in for a LG Fathom. Although the Fathom served me well for awhile, I couldn’t really keep in constant contact with the social networks and groups I belong to on Facebook and Twitter. Using the iPhone smartphone also helps me to keep my email in-box up-to-date by responding promptly to the PR requests I get for product reviews and brand ambassador campaigns.
Not working mom, not only do I have to keep track of my household schedule and social engagements, as a grandmother I also have to keep track and stay on top of the dates when I’m called upon to babysit!
After doing my research, I purchased a new iPhone 4 online, and couldn’t be happier. This mid-life baby boomer likes to consider herself a techie geek grandmom!
The following guest post provides some information that will clue you in on how to get things done and remember everything by using a smart phone:
Simply being a good parent can be extremely difficult and stressful at times. It’s like a second job but even more important and challenging. Particularly once your children are old enough to visit places and go to school but too young to drive, the amount of things, errands, and appoints you’ll have to remember could fill a book. It’s just about impossible to remember it all.
Productivity Apps to the Rescue
Luckily we live in the age of technological innovation and cloud computing. Yet still, many people who even have their hands on the right technology aren’t fully aware what their capabilities are. Let me tell you that if you own a smartphone – which includes an iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone 7 – you have no excuse to ever forget anything. With the plethora of productivity apps out there across all phone platforms, there is something for everyone.
Filing and Reference
For anything that you ever observe and think, “Hey, I might want to remember this later,” there is Evernote. I use it as a complete reference file system for anything worth remembering.
- Receipts – If I make any significant purchase, I will take a snap shot of the receipt in case I need to return it and need proof of purchase.
- Ideas – If I see an item I’d like to purchase or would make a great gift, I also snap a photo and tag it under gift or shopping. Browsing the web (on my computer or phone), I will clip anything interesting or of use to Evernote for further reference.
- People – I also use Evernote to record business cards of people I meet. Sometimes I’ll upload a portrait of them if there is ever a non-socially-awkward way I can snap their photo.
- Mind Dump – Say, it’s not that I’ve seen something that’s given me an idea, but an idea just comes to me. While typing in a smartphone, for me at least, isn’t the most ideal way of recording my thought, talking to my phone would be. Especially if I’m driving and there’s no way of using my hands. Later I can transcribe the idea or process it into a task.
Evernote is available for all smartphones, android or iPhone, and is an extremely versatile, productivity powerhouse. Everything you record, you can find online. Finally, you can have a small, portable system that has everything you would ever need, down to the last receipt.
Getting Things Done, Project Management
For those of you not familiar with the getting things done (GTD) system, I suggest you check it out and maybe even give the book a read. Essentially, it simplifies project management by turning projects into a series of actionable items rather than an arbitrary list of “stuff.” For instance, say you have a long list of “stuff” you need to have solved, and one is “get a job.” That is kind of a moot list item; wouldn’t it be better to put “edit and update resume,” “search on craigslist and monster,” and other things like that?
Well once, you have all these actionable items defined, you can them categorize them into respective categories, and some of them to your todo list today. A great tool for managing all this actionable items is Nirvana. It’s simple but still allows you to organize actions and projects, as well as actions with waiting periods or scheduled actions. I use this as a project overview app once I’ve processed reference material in Evernote into actions. Like Evernote, Nirvana is available for Androids and iPhones. For Windows Phone 7 users, I recommend the Microsoft native OneNote app.
Remember Your Appointments and Errands
While Nirvana and Evernote can be enough to suffice for a complete productivity system on your smartphone, there are easier and more convenient ways to schedule appointments and make quick or “rough” todo lists. For this purpose, I recommend ReQall, which allows you to make appointments which send alerts and reminders straight to your phone, all by voice. Simply tell the phone what you want to remember, and when you want to remember it. That’s it! Yes, there are plenty of other features that you can have with this app as well, but I mainly use it for the convenience of quick, on-the-fly scheduling and reminders. For more important or long-term projects, I’ll schedule them in Nirvana as well. ReQall works for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and pretty much any phone that can receive texts, so you don’t even need a smartphone for this one (thought the app is nice).
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.