Well, I finally did it. A few months ago I upgraded my cell phone and finally got with the times. I fought upgrading my phone due to the cost of a new phone. I waited until my contract needed renewing so I could get a discount. As we celebrate Independence Day and think about the Declaration of Independence which gives us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I realize my 4G Galaxy cell phone ensures every day is Independence Day. I have been liberated from having to carry my laptop, Ereader, Flip, camera, GPS and visiting the bank to make a deposit. I’ve even been able to leave the client files home. I am able to pursue happiness without so many gadgets.
Some of my favorite free apps that ensure everyday is Independence Day so that I can continue my pursuit of happiness are below.
1. Social media – I can check in using Foursquare, post my Tweets and chat with my Facebook friends around the globe using their various apps. Tweetdeck even has an app.
2. Contact Management– I love using ABBY BCR Lite and Bump – both of these apps allow me to enter the contact information from either a business card or a person’s phone. This saves me time from having to manually enter the information. It also eliminates the need for me to put the card on my rolodex and I don’t risk losing the card.
3. Dropbox – In order to avoid the risk of losing files on a hard drive or thumb drive my business has started using Dropbox. Dropbox allows me to upload files and share them with specific staff members. Not everyone has or needs access to every file. I no longer have to carry client folders with me or worry about getting a phone call and not having their information handy. Dropbox allows me to view the files on my phone. There are various other file management apps you can download.
4. EReader – there are free apps for both the Kindle and Nook available for download to your phone. I thought it would be horrible to try and read a book on my phone but I find it is actually very convenient.
5. Magazines or News – I admit to being a news junky. I love being able to read Entrepreneur, FoxNews, Time, and News & Weather from my phone. I can stay abreast of current events without turning on the tv or radio.
6. Banking – USAA has an app for the phone that allows me to take a picture of my check and make a deposit into my bank account. How cool is that? I love it. I have two business bank accounts and I purposely keep the one with USAA for depositing checks so that I do not have to make time to go to the local bank. This app saves me time, provides me quicker access to my money and allows me to earn interest faster too.
7. Music – I can now leave the iPod home. I can listen to music from various radio stations such as K-Love or I can use Pandora, Amazon MP3 or other various applications. Again, I can leave the laptop, MP3 player or iPod home; one less gadget to replace when it goes kaput.
8. Camera & Video – if your phone has a camera which it probably does you can now leave the camera home. My phone actually has a higher pixel than my camera that now functions as a paperweight. I own a Flip but my phone also can record a video so again no need to drag around one more gadget. The camera can also upload the photos or video to my social media accounts. I can also send the photos to my friends’ phones or email accounts. Again, this is saving me time. We all know how time consuming it can be to find the cords and docking station to transfer photos off the camera or how annoying it is to find that you did not save them the memory card.
9. Video & TV – there are various apps you can download to watch tv. I have personally not used any yet. But, my phone came with several installed i.e. T-mobile tv, tv.com, and media hub. I could see where these might come in handy on a long flight or when traveling. Again, allowing you to leave the laptop or portable dvd player home. There are also several free workout apps that I have downloaded i.e. squats, arm workout etc.
10. Navigation – my phone also came with the navigation app, Navigation, that allows me to leave my GPS home. I can either type or speak my destination. Being able to speak my destination is much safer than trying to type and drive.
11. Square – This is my favorite app. I use Square to take debit and credit card payments. This is a great resource for those who need to accept payment when away from a cash register or who only occasional take a debit or credit card payment.
This is just a short list. I did not mention the availability of checking email or playing games. Now I know this is going to sound lazy but it is cool to be able to check one last time whatever I want to check from my bed before I fall asleep using my phone. I no longer drag my laptop from room to room in my house. Technology is always changing. No matter how hard we fight change sometimes when we finally give in and adapt we realize how much money we can save by upgrading one gadget that can eliminate at least half a dozen other gadgets. Upgrading your cell phone can save you money and save your shoulder. Your briefcase will no longer be weighted down with gadgets.
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