How to Use Your Phone for Good
I can’t remember life without a microwave, but I can definitely remember life without a home computer, smart phones (or even just cell phones), streaming movies, iPods and digital music, Amazon, GPS and FitBits. In the late 90’s when AOL Instant Messenger was a novelty, I thought I was hot stuff, typing to my then-boyfriend/now-husband in real time from my dorm room when he was several hours away in his college dorm. Who knew that in a few years, the chat window on my huge computer monitor would be replaced by text messages on a pocket sized device? For those of us old enough to remember when at least some of our daily lives were analog instead of digital, the pace of change in technology can be overwhelming. It’s hard to keep up, and some don’t even want to. I am just old enough that I wasn’t immersed in social media during my youth (thank goodness!) so I understand the older generations’ confusion about the appeal of some technology, but yet I enjoy it and don’t want to be left out. Technology is supposed to allow us to be more productive, stay better connected, and even be healthier. Do you feel like you’re accomplishing these things with your technology?
I saw the new Jumanji movie last weekend, and there was a line that cracked me up, but my kids just didn’t understand. One of the characters new to Jumanji whose phone had disappeared when she was transported into the game kept asking if anyone had seen her phone, then continued to complain about not having her phone, and incessantly talked about her phone! The character who’d been in Jumanji for the past 20 years, said, “The word ‘phone’ must mean something different in the future.”
We are connected, if not addicted, to our phones. Some because of games (Candy Crush, anyone?), others because of how it ties them to their work, some who feel the need to document everything with photos or videos, and many who live for the rush of seeing how many likes they got on social media. Our phones can distract us from spending face time with our families, and that's what prompted me to craft my "Be Present" box for when I need a physical barrier between me and my phone. Read how to make your own "Be Present" box here.
As many negatives as there are about smart phones, there are so many positives that can really help us accomplish the things we want to do. I want to share how I use my phone for productivity, keeping me connected with my friends and family, and improving my health and well-being. Full disclosure - I’m an iPhone person, so this will be Apple-leaning, but many of the apps are available for other types of phones as well.
That’s a LOT of apps - so how do we keep them organized and accessible? I've seen some people's phones that have several screens full of apps that they have to swipe through to find what they want. It's so easy to organize apps into folders based on app category. You literally just drag and drop and name your folders something descriptive like "Finances" or "Social Media." This will allow you to fit many apps on your main screen. You can also reorder apps in a logical way based on how you use them and when you want to access them! Check out this video on how to organize your apps:
Do you have other apps that you recommend or thoughts about how to keep your phone as a productive tool instead of a distraction? Please share with us in the comments!
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