My top tip for using a smartphone

By | 7th March 2017


Smartphones have many benefits, and with perhaps the only smartphone you’ll need costing £150 they are affordable too.

However, there is one major drawback to using a smartphone – but thankfully it’s fixed very easily.

Camera – as the saying goes “the best camera in the world… is the one you have with you.” By always having a camera with you, you can catch things that you would otherwise miss. It is also important to make sure that it is the occasional photo, rather than all the time trying to capture the perfect shot of everything. Many times we see people observing the world through their smartphone screen, rather than their own eyes!

GPS – whether you are in the woods, or in the city, it is useful to be able to track your location. Sat nav apps make navigating easy at low-cost as well.

Email – being able to send off a quick reply to an email while you are halfway up a mountain can be an advantage if it saves you time later

Internet access – you can look things up, translate foreign menus, etc. as long as you have a signal.

Banking – as well as using your bank app for managing money, you can actually make payments with your phone on some models as well.

Interruptions – the biggest disadvantage of a phone are the interruptions when you should be concentrating on something else.

There is not usually a need to get that email the second it is sent, or to be notified of news updates right that minute, etc.

The solution
The solution to smartphone interruptions is incredibly simple, and there are three options to help you:

1) Put the phone on silent – that way you won’t be disturbed.

2) Switch the phone to flight mode – it may take some time to reestablish a network connection when you want to use it, but this also saves on battery life when you are in a weak signal area.

3) Turn off unnecessary notifications – usually you can set each app to block notifications you don’t want. For perhaps text messages and travel apps you would leave the notification on, but turn off others. It’s not usually vital that you respond to a tweet the minute it is sent.

By using a combination of these methods, it is surprising how much more relaxing having a smartphone becomes. Blocking notifications is also something that should be adopted with desktop computers as well.

James McBrearty started his own business from scratch in 2006, to help the self-employed.

He helps people to escape from the corporate world and shares his thoughts here on the changing world of work, technology and personal finances; as well as the occasional travel post.

Over the next 10 years things are going to change significantly. James is a follower of frugality and minimalism; and an advocate of F.I.R.E. to minimise the coming disruption.

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