Thanks to technology, it’s possible to take care of almost anything, no matter where you are, from the palm of your hand. You can run your business from an iPad without any trouble, and it’s even possible to manage your life from your smartphone. In fact, there are times that I go days without using any management tool other than my phone.
One of the most important things I do from my smartphone is keep up with email. Since I run a home business, there almost always seems to be something going on. I can fire off quick answers while I’m on the train, and it helps that I’m always connected, whether I’m making an appointment for dinner with friends or setting up a business meeting.
I use Gmail for my phone, but there is also a great inbox organizer called Mailbox, which you can add to your phone and use with Gmail to quickly keep things organized. You can assign less important messages to “snooze” until a later time, helping you build a time-based email to-do list.
Manage Your Money
I manage my money from my smartphone all the time. All of my bank and credit card accounts come with apps, so it’s easy for me to check balances and even transfer funds. I can pay my bills from my apps as well, making it easy to ensure that my finances are running smoothly. There are also investing apps like Loyal3, Acorns, and Trade24 that can provide you with access to investing. Most discount brokerages also have apps that allow you to manage your portfolio no matter where you are.
Finally, it’s also possible to keep on top of your budget with the help of your smartphone. You can sync up your accounts using apps from Personal Capital and Mint, and even the manual-entry-based app YNAB has a way for you to enter your transactions in your smartphone and then sync them up to your overall budget later.
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To-Do Lists and Schedules
Your smartphone can be the perfect place to manage your to-do lists and schedules. I keep track of my appointments using the iCal app that comes with my iPhone. However, it’s also possible to pull in data from Google Calendars. This is useful because many of my clients and others send calendar invites via Google. Being able to sync them with the calendar on my smartphone is important. I can set up alerts so that I am reminded and prepared ahead of time, so I don’t wind up missing out on something.
To-do lists can also help you manage your life from your smartphone. Depending on how you like to operate, there are task managers ranging from Any.do to Remember The Milk. Project management app Asana also allows you to stay in touch with your team and on top of your to-do list no matter where you are. With the right tools, it’s easy to keep your life properly planned and organized. I like to add notes to my schedule so that if I need a call-in number or some other information, it’s all right there.
Note Taking and Dictation
It’s also possible to jot down notes and capture your ideas with your smartphone. Evernote is one of the most powerful ways to take notes with your phone and organize them. You can add stickies to your notes, snap images, and annotate them, and even integrate audio notes. I also love that a premium partnership with LinkedIn makes it super-easy to manage your business contacts.
You can also use dictation apps to make audio notes and capture other information. I often use the Dragon app to dictate blog posts and other work-related items while I’m driving or otherwise engaged. A copy of what I’ve said is sent to my email, where I can use it later. Even if you don’t use an app like this, you can use your phone to call into a transcription service to take down your thoughts for later.
Other Apps for Managing Your Life
There are other apps you can add to your smartphone to help you manage your life. I use my trusty Kindle app to allow me to read my favorite books no matter where I am. Entertainment apps from Netflix and Hulu provide me with amusement. Barcode apps allow me to comparison shop without going from store to store, and I can easily do my shopping from my phone.
There are even fitness apps and diet apps that allow people to keep up with health and nutrition goals. You can even use apps that turn a smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect you to the Internet, even when you don’t have your own router nearby.
No matter what you are trying to accomplish, it’s possible when you have access to your smartphone and your data plan.
About Miranda Marquit
Miranda is a financial journalist. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, online and off, and been mentioned by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, and Consumerist. Miranda is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report, and writes at the blog Planting Money Seeds. She is also a panelist for the Money Mastermind Show, a LIVE web show that airs every Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern.