January is well and truly over and whether you have already decided your goals for 2018 or not or started working towards them by now, you probably wouldn’t mind making life a bit easier for yourself, saving a bit of time and maybe even some money.

With today’s lifestyles we generally have more things to do than time to do them.  To help us with this we often look for ways to make everyday tasks easier.  For those that consider themselves more of a hands-on person (like myself) by finding ways of doing this you could improve your productivity considerably.  The potential for making simplifying and getting various things in life done faster appeals to all and sometimes we just need to be made aware of areas where we can make life a bit more… effortless.


Use Your Smart Phone For More Than Just Social Media

I have noticed that some are afraid to use their phone for anything other than calls or social media. I have to admit I don’t do all my work on my phone but have been using it much more in recent years to help me get work done faster especially when I go to press events or for restaurant reviews.

Those that don’t have a smartphone by now are most definitely in the minority because just about everyone and their grandmother seems to have one these days.  Even my dad sends work emails from his phone.  iPhones, Samsungs, Google Pixels, Huaweis and many others are as common place as cars in this day and age. Then again, there is nothing to be surprised about considering how useful they are and also the amount of entertainment they bring into everyday life.  Phones are an excellent procrastination tool just like PCs or even books the potential that all of these things have is near immeasurable. So, next time you need to get something done why not pick up your phone and use it for something productive like sending an email, shopping, you can even get Microsoft word and Excel on phones to help you get work done on the go.


Shopping

You can do your online shopping from the comfort of just about anywhere you happen to be with the modern day apps available for Android and iOS. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and whatever other popular online outlet happens to be hit at the moment.  Nearly all of them have specifically designed apps to let you shop and browse from your smartphone or tablet anytime from at anytime anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.  These apps also now mean we can have food delivered fast too, book restaurants and much more.

Public Transport

Travelling has become easier than ever if you have a smartphone. Most big cities now have their own apps for checking bus times or train times which can help you stay more time efficient, allowing you to make that morning coffee before work as long as possible. You might even be able to use your phone as a ticket nowadays. If your local buses accept contactless payments from credit cards you can get a credit card app which allows you to use it just like a contactless payment card. Alternatively, sometimes you can even get a specific travel card app like the Oyster app in London.

It’s The Little Things

Speaking of contactless payment as you are all aware you can now replace your debit or credit card when paying contactless.  Apple Pay and Android Pay do the job for their respective operating systems well.  These apps are easy to set up on your phone and can be handy if you ever find yourself in a position where you’ve left your card at home like I have, opsy!

You can even get your medication easily rather than standing around in queues at the chemist, just visit NHS prescriptions online this not only saves time but can be really useful if you are not feeling well.

Apple and Pomegranate (on the left), Black Cherry and Almond (on the right).

Travelling

If you have tried any of the translation apps such as google translate or bing translate you will be aware that you need to type in anything you need translating.  Not a problem unless a word requires a range of accents – how do you enter them???? Or uses a different alphabet, sounds pretty confusing right! Okay so I would normally ask for help from a local as I’m that way inclined but luckily for those that prefer not to ask for assistance you will be pleased to know that the Google translate app now allows you to take pictures of items within the app.  It then quickly tries to pick up whatever is written in the photo, then translates it straight away from there. Of course, due to the nature of photos, the lighting, the shaky hands, the angle, it is nowhere near a perfect solution and does not always work as intended, but it works surprisingly well for what it is and may probably prove itself as a lifesaver on numerous occasions.

For those that like to go the extra mile and just learn some language basics in preparation for a trip your smartphone can help. Duolingo has been the go-to language app on the market for quite a while now and people have certainly been happy with the results.  I have been using it to help teach my children Greek.  They have learnt so much and I’ve found it’s a great way to introduce people to a new language.  This is suitable for adults and children.  The app claims that a mere 34 hours of use is equivalent to a whole semester of university-level teaching.  Despite how unbelievable it may sound the app has certainly seemed to have helped my children.

 

Have you ever used your phone to book flights, hotels or car hire through apps such as Skyscanner?   I haven’t yet, but I know people that have and honestly they make it sound super easy.  Sometimes it’s just the thing you needed to book a last-second flight while stuck on public transport and you might even find a great deal depending on how last minute you book. Considering that online checking in is a common thing with just about any airline nowadays, your plane ticket purchasing can be easier than ever, making your journey more effortless and as worry-free as possible.  We check in online each year that we go abroad now it’s amazing how far things have progressed really isn’t it.

So next time you pick up your phone consider how much more you could be using it for and how much time / money it could be saving you too.

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