Do you use your phone to help you organize your holiday to-do list?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
With the decorations all put up and almost always a cup of something hot next to me at my desk; it’s easy to see that the holidays are in full swing. Aside from the cheerfulness of cocoa and decorations, however, comes the daunting stress of shopping for presents and organizing get-togethers and dinners with loved ones. When it all comes down to it, do you use your phone to help you organize and plan your holiday events?
There are several functions already built in to our smartphones that allow us to better organize our lives in general, but since we’re primarily focusing on the holidays here, we’ll highlight some features that can steer you clear of holiday stress.
One feature I find particularly helpful (albeit simple as ever) is the Notes function. My phone is running on iOS, but most phones have a similar feature. This is surprisingly one of my most-used apps now, as oppose to a year ago where I mostly resorted to a pencil and paper (which I would always lose) for whatever reason. My phone is always with me, and I’m not always near a physical note pad to jot down my thoughts or ideas that I need to remember at a later time. So if I’m out and about at one store and suddenly remember I need to stop at another store for a different reason, I can just whip out the old phone-a-roony and type it right in. All I need to do when I need to remember “that thing I needed to do but can’t quite put my finger on what it was” is get my phone out and check out the notes. Voila!
My other go-to feature that’s already on my phone is the calendar feature. While I used the calendar from time to time on my previous phones (even flip phones) I’ve never tried quite as hard to make a use out of it as I have with my iPhone. I think it’s the fact that I’m an adult and have other financial responsibilities that don’t really justify me spending $200-$400 on something I would otherwise only use to call and text some people. Regardless, I’m actively trying to use more features on my phone and the calendar has become one of my favorites. It’s simple to find a date, click on it, add the event and the time, and set it up. Then I get reminded. If it wasn’t for the reminders I’d totally use the calendar that hangs on the fridge. (Well, maybe not the one currently there as it’s from 2010.) Since that’s not the case, though, I recommend utilizing the calendar feature on your phones to keep you alert and organized.
Then of course you have the basic functions like your phone and your dialer pad, but do I really need to go in to detail on that one?
Now comes the good part: the apps. With our smartphones we’re lucky enough to be able to access app stores, which help us in numerous ways including being able to shop and save in one fell swoop. Shopping and saving directly from your phone can come in handy at all times of the year, but during the holidays when retailers go mad with sales is when I try my best to avoid physically going into a store unless it’s necessary… or a weekday morning. Either way I much prefer to shop from my phone. Most places I shop from have an app made specifically for that website and designed to make the entire shopping experience flow seamlessly. If there’s a favorite store you like to shop at, but don’t necessarily want to be amidst the masses of other shoppers fighting for the same deals you are, I suggest checking out your platform’s app store and seeing if there’s an app for the store you want to shop at. Or you could use your computer, but phones are just so much more convenient. Computers are complicated anyway because they have the keyboard, and the mouse, and the… well, you catch my drift.
So while the holidays might be some of the most stressful days for you this year, the number of ways to reduce stress on yourself during the season are increasing all the time. With that being said – do you use your phones to help you plan your holiday season events, PhoneDog readers? Let me know about some of your favorite features on your phone that help you out!