Busy Moms and Dads! Use Your Smart Phone to Keep Up.

by Melanie Edwards on March 17, 2010 · 18 comments

in Wahm, Working Mothers

If you’re a blogger and user of other social media applications, you know that it can sometimes be hard to keep up with everything. You’ve got blog posts to write, PR emails to answer, comments to keep up with, and a social media presence that needs to be constantly updated. Add all that to your day job or freelance/client work, plus your family and household responsibilities, and it’s a wonder you’re able to do anything!

In order to try to alleviate some aspects of this busy life, I use my smart phone. Of course, my phone can’t clean the house or cook dinner, but it can help me organize some details of our household and allows me to stay up to date with various social media accounts. Let’s dive right into how this works for me.

smartphones

Image from Volker on Mobile

How to Use your Smart Phone to Increase Productivity

Using the Memos or Notes Feature

I use this feature to jot down quick notes as I’m out and about. For example, I could be in the store or in the car and get an idea for a blog post, so I’ll quickly note it in my “blog post ideas” memo. Some other memos that I constantly have in my phone and update as needed:

  • Grocery List – If I notice we’re out of something, I add it to the list so I can later reference it when planning a weekly dinner menu or preparing to go to the store.
  • Music to Download – Sometimes I hear a new song on the radio that I like, but know that I won’t remember it later. I write down the name and artist for downloading on iTunes later.

Calendar

Unfortunately, my Palm Treo does not have the capability of syncing its calendar with the Google calendar. However, if I’m not in front of my computer or not at home, I can quickly add an item to my phone’s calendar and later add it to my Google calendar. I also use the reminder feature on my Google calendar to send myself text message reminders of important events.

Those of you who have phones that allow for syncing these calendars, can constantly keep up to date with your agendas since you’ll always have your calendar on either your phone or on the computer. I’m a little jealous. {ahem} Moving on…

Tasks/To-do List

There are actual to-do list applications for some phones; others simply call it a task list. You can add an item you remembered you have to do and even assign a due date and set a reminder. Sometimes, though, I just use my memos function to write up a quick list of things I want to achieve on a particular day. It’s a bit old-school, but it works for me.

Email on Mobile Phone

Image from Artillery Unit Blog

Email on your Mobile Phone

Of course, email is one of those features that allows you to easily stay connected. You can quickly send out an email to a friend if you’re at the doctor’s office or waiting in the car. Or you can easily respond to a PR email to let them know you’re interested in the opportunity – or not. Sometimes, I just go through and clear out the “junk” type emails so that when I sit down at a computer to actually answer my emails, there are less to go through in my inbox.

Social Media Maintenance

This is probably what I use my smart phone for the most. I’ve found that I can keep up with my social media presence much better by using the phone throughout the day to fill in those gaps when I’m not near a computer. I’ve often received comments from others about how I manage to “be everywhere” and regularly update my social media profiles. How do I do this?

  • Text Messages – I can easily send a text message to update my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn status. I use other tools as well to update multiple accounts at the same time – all via one text message. It keeps my profiles up to date and maintains a live social media presence.
  • Web Browser – I check in on Twitter and Facebook by using their mobile sites. This is another area where my Palm Treo lacks in functionality, since I cannot easily respond to replies on Twitter. It’s not impossible, but it’s a little annoying as there are a few steps I have to take. That said, I can still respond to comments on both sites if I feel it’s time-sensitive and can’t wait until later.

If you don’t already have a smart phone, I suggest you buy one. Some people feel it complicates their lives even more. But, I think if you use it effectively and in moderation, it can actually enhance some aspects of your life and help keep you organized.

If you have one, what are some of your favorite ways to use your smart phone? Do you use one feature more than others?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisela March 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I don't have a smart phone, but I really want one! Especially for social media. As far as notes and calendar, I use my Franklin Covey planner (so far nothings beats a paper planner for me) and Evernote to keep track of things I like online. My problem is that I spend my day on both sides of the border (MX and the US) so the roaming charges for internet connection would kill me! What to do, what to do?

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modernmami March 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Oh, wow. I wonder if there's an Internet plan that would cover both MX and US? I keep hearing about evernote and have to try it. Some phones have Evernote apps, so that might work for you.

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PJ Mullen March 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I use my iphone to browse the web, go on Twitter and Facebook and monitor the email addresses I have for myself, my blogs and my two clients. I've also found that the app store is filled with free stuff to entertain my son with, which came in quite handy at the doctor's office the other day.

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modernmami March 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm

We have an ipod Touch, and love love love the apps/games available. They *do* come in handy at times.

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Kris Cain March 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Great post! I wrote one similar a while ago on Type-A Mom. (http://www.typeamom.net/9-iphone-apps-to-stay-o…) I must say that having my iPhone really helps so much. Otherwise I cannot imagine how much more behind I would be than I am right now!

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modernmami March 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm

iPhone envy here. I do like my Palm Treo, but it doesn't have as many apps as the iPhone does.

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Carrie @ Tiki Tiki Blog March 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

Smart cookie. Awesome tips and reminders of how technology can help us, and not just suck our time away!

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modernmami March 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I love technology. Always have and I am always amazed at the newest things that can help us. Thanks for including me too in your round up. :)

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Jai March 28, 2010 at 11:34 pm

That first paragraph pretty much sums me up. If it wasn’t for my blackberry I honestly wouldn’t know how to keep it all together! Great post!

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Jai March 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm

That first paragraph pretty much sums me up. If it wasn't for my blackberry I honestly wouldn't know how to keep it all together! Great post!

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modernmami March 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Some days, I feel extremely overwhelmed, but know that at least I can keep up with a few things better with my phone.

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modernmami March 29, 2010 at 12:10 am

I’m so glad I’m not the only one! Some days, I feel extremely overwhelmed, but know that at least I can keep up with a few things better with my phone.

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Jai March 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

That first paragraph pretty much sums me up. If it wasn't for my blackberry I honestly wouldn't know how to keep it all together! Great post!

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modernmami March 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Some days, I feel extremely overwhelmed, but know that at least I can keep up with a few things better with my phone.

Reply

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