Are You Smarter Than Your Smart Phone?

With the advent of the Smart Phone has come the beginning of our journey toward becoming paperless and relying on fewer gadgets. I started to think of the many uses that I now use this one gadget for as compared to the paper and other electronic gadgets. I am starting to realize that maybe my Smart Phone really is now smarter than me. I recently asked my MS. Simplicity fans on Facebook what they use their smart phone for and I was happy to find some new ideas. I joke about how attached I am to my phone, but it really has replaced so many things in my life and it is the source of so much of the stuff that use to be stored in my brain, on paper or on other devices I choose to see it as a good addiction. My theory is as long as I don’t check it while I am having a meal or visiting with friends, I don’t have a problem. If I am at home, it usually sits in another room from where I am at, so I am telling myself that I can be without it at my hip.

GPS: gone is my old GPS and having to make sure I would have it charged when I needed it as well as the added bonus of no longer having to print out directions using MapQuest

MP3 Player: gone are my old sources for listening to music. Everything is loaded on my phone which I then play though my car stereo system. Also gone are any physical CD’s and their cases. We took those to the library and donated them about two years ago.

Online Calendar: gone is my old paper calendar that I would carry with me in my purse. By the end of the year it was usually stained and torn. Now I have my calendar synced on my phone, ipad and my laptop never having to worry about losing the contents. An added benefit is the reminder that goes off 15 minutes before each appointment to help make sure that I am on time.

Alarm clock: Gone is my bedroom clock. My favorite function is the fact that I can set alarms for different days. So weekends I don’t worry about forgetting to turn off my alarm, as I set it 5 months ago to not go off on weekends. I have an insulin dependent dog that needs shots twice a day. My husband has that alarm set on his phone.

Email: I take my laptop with me less and less when I travel now. I am hopeful that at some point I can write my blogs from my smartphone and eliminate my laptop.

Facebook and other social media: my target demographic for my business uses Facebook a lot, and it is important to me to be able to update and interact with my Facebook fans in order to grow and market my business. I can do that with a simple app on my phone.

Flashlight: I was told that my eyes really aren’t bad, I just need better lighting! This couldn’t be truer in a dark restaurant. Now when I need to read the menu, I simply grab my phone and turn on the flashlight and I can suddenly read!

Food and exercise journal: one simple app to keep track of it all. No longer do I have a paper journal to keep track of it and have to try to figure out calories. I scan of a bar code can do that for me. When I am at my doctor I can easily pull up my records.

Mileage log: I need to track the miles on my car for business purposes. No longer do I have the paper copy in my glove compartment.

X-Box live: the ability to play games and so much more {honestly, I only play solitaire on my phone but my kids and my husband play many more games on their phones}

Conversation starter: when you carry a cool phone, you have something to talk about with people who you thought you had nothing in common with. My hot pink phone brings out conversations with the guy who does my nails and teenage girls.

Online cloud storage like OneNote, SkyDrive, Evernote, or DropBox, to keep important documents at my fingertips no matter where I am. They have easy search capabilities that allow me to type in one word and it will pull up everything that has that word in it.

Pictures: I take pictures of all sorts of things.


  • When I park in a parking ramp, I snap a picture of where my car is in the ramp


  • My license plate of my car, so when I have to write it down when I am checking into a hotel, it is one less thing I need to remember


  • Insurance cards: no longer taking up room in my wallet and I can always email the card to a provider if they need a copy of it. Take a picture of the front and back.


  • Medical issues: have a questionable rash or allergic reaction, snap a picture of him so when you go to the doctor you can describe to him/her with better detail


  • Recipes: if I am at a friends and want the recipe, I just snap a picture of it


  • Magazine articles: if I see an article that I want to reference or an article that I can’t rip out of the magazine because the magazine isn’t mine, I take a picture of it to read later


  • My pictures can sort by date so If I need to remember when something happened I can usually figure it out by looking at the picture on my phone.

Obviously, there are many more Smart Phone applications available that are replacing physical things with a digital equivalent. You just need to look to see what interest you or will make you more efficient, productive and less likely to carry more stuff.

Please make sure that you have a phone that is backed up automatically as when you use your phone for these many needs, you want to have your mind at ease in case you ever take a fall in the tub and it lands in the water {yes, been there, done that!}

Truth be told, if I had to admit, I would say that my Smart Phone is smarter than me. But I am thankful as it is allowing me to spend more time with my friends and family because I now only have to worry about one very smart gadget!


To Joyful, Simplified Living,


MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at