I had a “dumb phone” for a very long time. I never felt the need to get a smart one because what could it do that my current combination of phone and laptop could do? Then my dairy farmer husband started talking about getting one. He figured it would be helpful for when we installed milk robots on our farm so he could access the whole milking software system and all the cattle records from his phone. He dreamt of being able to walk through the cows, see a number, and have her whole health and production record at his fingertips. I was skeptical. I mean, he didn’t even have an email address at the time!
So I did what I do: I Googled it. And then I decided that he was right. It did make sense for him to get one. So, after some more research, we chose a phone that we figured would be a good fit for him.
I played with it. I installed a Bible app on it. And I was hooked. It was so cool to be nursing my toddler down in bed at night and be able to catch up on my Bible reading. That was the primary reason I decided to get my very own smart phone.
So for the last couple years I’ve been able to experience a whole new word of touch screens and Facebook on the go. I also discovered how valuable it was to have not only a Bible, but a whole library of free Kindle books in my hand during my many hours of “down time.” Nursing my little one, sitting in the car in the garage while enjoying the quiet of the boys sleeping in the backseat, reading stories to my boys while we waited at various appointments.
And there’s more.
I now have the ability to send off a quick email about orders while watching the kids in the sandbox. I can take notes when I’m talking to a mom about her order and not have to worry about losing the note. I can keep my lists neat an organized with due dates and reminders and I have access to it anywhere I go. I can jot down writing ideas when out and about without having to carry anything extra.
Here is a list of my favorite and most used apps (all free in the Android market and automatically sync with a computer, not sure about Apple but similar apps exist):
YouVersion: I have a widget that tells me a daily verse and another widget that helps me keep track of my daily Bible reading. It also reads my Bible out loud for me so I can eat or knit at the same time.
Our Groceries: We used to have a list on the fridge that we added to when anything was out but I was constantly forgetting my list. This app allows my husband and I to sync our lists and I pretty much always have my phone on me so I never have to worry about leaving my list at home. Bonus: my 5 year old loves to help me find the words as we put items in the cart and “strike it off.”
Google Calender: I sync with my husband so he always knows where I’m at. Plus my calender fits in my pocket which makes it easier to book appointments and plan playdates.
DGT GTD: The ultimate to-do list. You can set up a very customized repeat schedule with alarms and labels and projects and checklists. It’s pretty overwhelming when you first look at it but just pick and choose the features that are important to your lifestyle. I use this as a quick list if I have too many orders or if I’m working on a project with a number of steps. I even have an alarm set to remind me when I need to water my plants!
Evernote: Last, but certainly not least. This is my absolute favorite app. You can add photos, voice recordings, and written notes. If your phone allows widgets, you can do this at the touch of a button. I have a “shared” notebook that my husband has access to (can you say “Honey-Do List?”) and a number of other notebooks and sub categories in them. This is the app that has replaced my sticky notes and spiral notebooks. (Mostly. I still like my paper sometimes!) I write my blog posts in this program, either through my phone or through my laptop. It can store PDF files, web pages and much more. It is one of my top used apps, and for good reason. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Quick tip to prevent becoming obsessed with your phone: Turn off Facebbook, Twitter, and email notifications. Add a time into your schedule to check them and stick to that schedule. Learn to use your smart phone as a tool without becoming a slave to it.