The following is a guest post by Alli Worthington.
Some of us are born with a level head and the seemingly innate ability to develop systems to get organized. Me? Not so much, I was drowning in loose pieces of paper and post-it notes. I wrote everything down, had great plans to stay organized, but never could keep up with where the paper went.
Then I fell in love with my trusty camera phone. I’ve gathered some of my favorite tips that work with both Apple and Android phones. Ready to get started? Great, here we go.
1. In the Kitchen
When I’m in a rush and don’t have time to write down exactly what we need in the kitchen, I just take a picture or two. With a picture of what my fridge and pantry look like, I can easily pick up the staples without ever writing a note to myself.
We also store sugar, salt, and flour in french canning jars and mason jars that are not labeled. (Now sure, I could label them, but where is the adventure in that?) To keep us from forgetting what ingredient goes in what jar, I took a picture and added the label with a text labeling app. You can use any text labeling app you like best. I used Phonto for these pictures because I like to upload my favorite fonts from my computer to use.
2. In the office and living room
For me, the task of writing down all the serial numbers for electronics and computer software is something I know I should take the time to do, but never actually get around to doing it. Instead of copying down a serial code with eleventy-billion numbers, I simply take a picture of it.
I use Evernote (it’s free!) to save my pictures behind a secure passcode. My information is organized into different sections: software, electronics, car information and more. Next time you need to remember that zillion number serial code for something you bought last year, it will be easy to find.
If you are like me, you have USB flash drives to store extra digital files and can never remember what is actually on them. Now I take a picture of the flash drive after I fill it with files. This way I have a visual guide for what files are where.
If you have more cords than electronics but never can find the right cord when you need it, just take a picture. I take a picture of all my electronics with the cords in use so I can remember which cord goes where and in what configuration.
3. Closets, attic, and the garage
I once tried to remember where I put things by writing things down in a notebook. I even bought a pretty notebook to make it seem extra special. When I packed the camping supplies in a storage box I would write it down on my designated page. When I packed my oldest son’s winter snow pants in a bag and placed it on a shelf in the basement, I wrote it down. It went great…for a while. Guess what? I lost the notebook.
Now I take pictures of everything. Where I store the off-season clothes in the attic, the location of the extra coffee mugs, and just about anything else is all documented in my Evernote file.
4. In the garden
Take a picture when you plant your seeds and add the date and number of seeds planted on your image with a text label. I learned that by taking a pretty picture of my plants and adding a label with information, I was more likely to actually keep up with progress than if I wrote information in a notebook.
A fun side note: this is also a great project for kids. My boys loved taking pictures of their plants during each stage of development last year. The joy of taking blurry daily pictures of a bean plant from germination until the day the beans were eaten is more exciting to kids than you may imagine.
These are just some of the fun ways that using your camera phone can help you stay organized around the house. I use my phone in new ways all the time, like taking a picture of the boys’ playroom when it is actually clean, just to remind them of what it should look like. When someone says, “Oh, Mom, it’s clean!” I can ask if it looks like the picture. If not, it’s not really clean. There are no excuses when there is a picture for reference.
iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide
My book, iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide, is full of step by step visual tutorials for every thing you need to know about using your smart phone in amazing ways. You will learn everything from how to use apps that make your pictures even more beautiful, how to upload your favorite fonts to use on your apps, to how to post your Instagram pictures to your blog automatically. After reading this book, you will know how to:
- Take amazing photos with your iPhone
- Easily edit photos on the go
- Post photos to your WordPress blog directly from your phone
- Back up your photos so you never lose them
- Turn your images into stories
- Create photo collages from your iPhone
- Make your images pinnable
- Turn videos into pinnable graphics
- Easily create visual content for your brand
- Turn iPhone photos into gifts for family and friends
- Use your iPhone to get organized
- Make money from your visual content
This book is also jam packed with:
- iPhone app recommendations from award-winning bloggers who have “been there and done that.”
- Photo editing tips and tricks from professional photographers
- Details on which iPhone accessories and apps are actually worth spending money on
- Tips for turning everyday photos into storytelling tools
Normally, the book is $9.97, but for a limited time only, you can get it on sale for just $7.00!
This giveaway is now closed.
Alli is giving ten Simple Mom readers a copy of her e-book, iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite thing to photograph. (If you’re reading this via email, please click over to the post and leave a comment directly.)
This giveaway will end this Saturday, September 29, and we’ll announce the winners soon after. I hope you win!