Life & Lifestyle

Well, Why Don’t You Just Use Your Phone?

There’s an infinite number of devices and apps that do all kinds of whiz-bang things, but sometimes I just want a fast and simple way to get something done. In my quest for efficiency, I often forget that technology usually has all the answers.

I first used my smartphone for calling and text­ing, but over time I have found myself using it just to get stuff done.
For example:

Sending texts to myself

Using a notes app is fine, but to really get my own attention I text myself from my phone to my phone! It is an easy way to refer back to the task or make a reminder that’s hard to ignore.

The alarm and timer

Whether baking cupcakes or recalling when to let the dogs in, the many different alarm sounds on my phone work as a great reminder.

Take a picture before taking apart

Recently I took several photos of an old switch and its wiring before I purchased and installed the new one. This enabled me to refer to the picture to be sure I installed it correctly (I did).

Flashlight app

My phone is usually far more accessible than a flashlight. Since it’s always on my person, it’s perfect to “light the way.”

Bubble level and measuring apps

Similar to above, it is easier to find and use on my phone than to locate any of the levels or tape measures in the junk drawer.

Record my doctor visits

Most helpful when I try to remember what he told me not to forget!

Magnifying app

It is always nice to zoom in and read nutritional labels or how-to instructions which I then realize are written in French.

Take a snap while filming

There is usually a button onscreen you can tap while shooting a video which stores still shots in your gallery. Consult Google to learn how.

Take a picture of a price tag, barcode, product number or item description

I’ve used this method as proof of prices at the register, while comparing prices, and researching on a website or in a store for measurements, colors, and features of possible pur­­­chases.

Not recommended, but…

I have also used my phone to secure a tilt for my SLR camera, hold open a window, propel items under my colleague’s locked office door, as a doorstop, to shove thumbtacks into walls, and to squish a rogue spider.

I have also tried to use my phone to keep a pesky café table from wobbling, but everyone knows you can only push technology so far.


Broc Sears

Broc Sears is an assistant professor of professional practice at TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication and also works with the Texas Center for Community Journalism. He has more than three decades of experience in the news, advertising and marketing industries and earned recognition from the Society for News Design, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, APME of Texas and the Dallas Press Club. He and his wife enjoy the best days of their lives here in Dallas with their family.

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