Mobile devices

Published on August 29th, 2017 | by Guest


Using Smartphones to Add Hours to the Day – How to Save Time Using Your Phone

Smartphones have often been lambasted as one of the biggest productivity killers out there. Whilst there may be a point given the number of Angry Birds (over 3 billion) downloads, using smartphones to add hours to the day is actually a very feasible option.

That’s because for every time-sapping King Piggy laughing in the face of failure, there’s a multitude of tips, tools and methods to help whip the day into shape. Ranging from out of the box apps to helpful installs and clever tricks to seemingly hidden features, using smartphones in the right way can work wonders.

Push the Push Notifications

Many smartphone apps feature push notification options, letting you know whenever something needs your attention. A lot of people tend to leave this feature enabled and it can work in two ways.

The average smartphone user has roughly 30 apps on their phone. With a barrage of push notifications coming from each, a fair bit of time can be wasted each day simply looking at the screen and not acting. That’s because many apps spit out useless notices that are neither appealing or of interest. Feeling a vibration or hearing a sound and looking at the screen may not sound time consuming but repeated over and over, it all adds up.

By eliminating needless notifications, the distraction and temptation disappears. By the same token, when a push notification is received, it will be from an app that is of importance. The notice can be acted on straight away thanks to the fact it has been presented immediately.

Get Set for the Day

To-do lists are great and when used effectively have been one of the biggest productivity hacks for centuries. This hasn’t changed with the digital revolution. In fact, co-ordinating time and getting everything in order has become even easier.

The two most obvious smartphone features are the calendar and notes applications. These come bundled with the phone and offer great, if somewhat limited, functionality.

It doesn’t stop there, though. There are literally hundreds of calendar apps available from application marketplaces. Memos, meetings and almost anything can be entered making sure you stay on top no matter what is in store.

Recurring event or task reminders can be set up just once, linked communication with relevant personnel, including notes sharing, makes collaborative contact straightforward and push notifications mean you’ll never miss a beat.

You won’t have to wait until you get somewhere specific to check what’s happening or forget you’ve supposed to have been doing something else. The power is in your pocket – all without wasting time on less important matters.

Harness the Power of the Cloud

Especially for people with a fair numbers of media files, smartphone memory space can be limiting with some handsets. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to get rid of apps, photos, videos and other media to make room for more important ones.

That’s not to say, however, that those ‘deleted’ files are entirely unnecessary. In a lot of cases, they’re incredibly important.

Although, they won’t physically be on a device, many will be retained elsewhere. That doesn’t mean that they’re completely inaccessible, though.

Thanks to the cloud, media not kept on a device can still be accessed. Storage platforms, such as Google Drive and Dropbox offer a place to keep those important files. Simply navigate to the content in the browser or app.

Anything you could need is available on the go. Whether you’re looking for business documents, an unfinished blog post or table reservation details, you can find it on your phone without it taking up precious storage space. There’s no need to frantically rush to the computer or scramble through loose papers.

Convenient Automation

Not many things are as convenient as automation. With a few rules set up, tasks can automatically be performed error-free and at a rate that suits you. Whatever those tasks are, or how much time automating them can save, depends on what it is.

Platforms like IFTTT can genuinely shave minutes and even hours from your time log.

IFTTT is an acronym for ‘if this then that’. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s simply a case of determining a set of automated rules to help with your day.

You can set it up for a wide range of scenarios including sending a tweet out when a new blog post is live, sending an SMS when it is a friend’s birthday, being alerted of new subreddit activity and many, many more. You can create your own rules or browse a handy list of user-generated options.

The deeper you dive, the higher the level of automation that can be reached. Time-consuming social media posts, finding stories you want to read and calendar flicking can all be reduced pretty easily and effectively.

Stay Active

Modern smartphones now have so much computing power that they are capable of many things that simply weren’t possible five or ten years ago. As testament to how powerful they really are, smartphone systems are stronger than computers in the Orion spaceship, NASA’s spaceship on a mission to Mars.

Many people consider their phone as an extension on their PC, almost in a portable desktop fashion similar to a laptop and much simpler to use at will.

Emails, messages and calls, publishing suites, social media and a whole host of other tasks more closely associated with having to wait until reaching a desktop are readily available on phones.

Downtime can be turned into productive time. Pay a bill, write a blog post, check the news and more without compromising time needed later on. A great deal of tasks can be completed whenever and wherever.

An Everlasting Cycle

As time goes on, we can only expect that smartphones will be able to do and assist with even more tasks. Advancements and upgrades in tech will lend to even more scope for time saving.

Of course, the whole concept of time saving is one that requires much human input. There’s no denying, though, that smartphones are the perfect devices to help along the way.


About the author:

Tonia Baldwin works for A1 Connect. As a smartphone specialist she helps people make the most of their handsets, including finding ways to save time and be more productive.

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