Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Use your cameraphone to keep your head straight


The life of a fixer-upper can be pretty chaotic. And I’ve got terrible short term memory. TERRIBLE. I sometimes wonder if I have early onset dementia and will soon be putting the dogs in the refrigerator instead of their crate. I don’t think it’s a crappy brain so much as too many things to remember. I am a type-A multi-tasker with a very short attention span. At any given moment I am usually doing 2-3 things at a time. Right now, for instance, I’m writing this post. But I’m also looking for used cars (in 3 seperate browser tabs), petting Nero, drinking a cup of hot tea, and thinking about a design job I have to finish by Thursday.  Which could explain why I feel a bit scatterbrained at times.

I have developed lots of little of tricks to keep myself on track. I have post-it’s everywhere. I carry a pen and an organizer wherever I go. I keep to-do lists in multiple places, both electronic and analog. And I use Gmail’s calendar to send myself reminders of any events/meetings/deadlines I have each day. But lately, I’ve been finding getting hooked on using my cameraphone as a tool for more than just communicating and snapping pictures of drunk friends. If you get creative, your phone can be your memory bank. Here are a few ways I use mine:

1. I send myself scheduled text message reminders using a task-list web application called Remember the Milk. You can set a “task” up, then ask to be reminded via cellphone. At the specified time, it’ll send the message to your phone. I use this often to remind myself of something I need to pick up on the way to or from work – like sending “Stop at Lowe’s to pick up primer” at 6:30, when I will most likely be sitting in my car singing along to the radio and forgetting about my errands.

2. I take photos of things I am thinking of purchasing, and I save them on the phone. I usually also snap a photo of the price. When we were considering options for beadboard, I went to Lowe’s and snapped pics of the various materials so we could sit down together and talk about them. On my phone right now I have photos of flowers I want to put in the garden, lighting fixtures I considered for the bathroom, and a house with a great exterior color scheme. It’s not always convenient to carry a camera around, but I always have my phone on me!

3 . I use it to remember locations, especially when traveling… if I’m in a big parking lot, I will snap the lot sign my car is next to so I’m not wandering around IKEA muttering “Row 4 F” under my breath all day. I also occasionally snap storefronts or restaurants I’d like to visit so I don’t forget about them.

Those are just a few ideas. I’m sure you guys are using your phones in creative ways too – got any good tips/techniques I could use?

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Mary Beth had this to say on 06.06.07: is also great for lists that you can retrieve via texting from your phone or email, you can also add items to lists via text or email. This is especially great for those grocery lists that you (I) keep forgetting to actually take to the store when you go. Also good for task lists, wish lists, list of books you want to read or movies you want to see.

April had this to say on 06.06.07:

I am soooo glad to hear I am not the only person who does that! I compulsively take pictures of the description tag on the shelf of something I am going to buy so I will remember all of the details and the exact price when I go to the next competetor. Came in especially handy when we bought our last computer. I just couldn’t keep track of the specs with out it.

I also ‘forget’ to buy new ink for our printer alot. So I am always looking something up on mapquest and then photographing the screen and directions with my camera phone so when I am driving I dont’ get lost.

Kristin had this to say on 06.07.07:

I’m a big multitasker, too. I can’t stand to wait, so I always have at least three browser windows open and hop back and forth. That Remember the Milk thing sounds absolutely perfect for me. I can’t remember ANYTHING unless I put it in my Outlook calendar and my computer pops up a reminder.

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