We can do almost anything from our phones, but typically we don’t use them for everything. It’s just impractical at times. After all,can do all those things, too. If you have access to one, either at the moment or in the near future, doesn’t it make more sense to use the PC’s greater processing power? In that way, sure. But in other ways, your can be your best bet. Here are five things you should always do on your mobile phone, and never do on a PC if you can avoid it.
1. Look up directions
Sure,might be a bit easier to use on the PC, since you have a bigger screen. That allows you to see both the written directions and the map on a single screen. On your mobile you have to flip back and forth between them. Why, then, would you want to always look up directions from your mobile?
Your smartphone has a GPS unit, which makes it an excellent navigation tool. By using Google Maps on your mobile, you can not only get directions, but you can bring it with you for on-the-go, turn-by-turn directions. If you look it up on your PC, you then have to do it again on your smartphone. You might as well just do it once on your smartphone.
Plus, the Google Navigation system is pretty killer. Android users will get the most out of that one.
2. Track your budget
One of the most important aspects of budgeting is writing down everything you spend. In the age of credit and debit cards, we’ve lost an important connection with our money. Writing down what we spend, when we spend it, helps recreate that connection. It also helps us accurately track our budgets, which is obviously an important factor in maintaining them. Our smartphones help plenty here.
Since we carry our smartphones everywhere, they are the ideal place to record our expenses. A simple expense tracker app can do the trick, but there are more elaborate budget apps that can help keep your finances on track. Doing this on your smartphone is much better than doing it on a pad and paper. It’s also better than waiting until you get home to record your expenses. Do it in the here and now, and you’ll notice a difference in how you view money.
3. Book hotels
It might seem a lot easier to book a hotel, or any accommodations, on a PC. After all, you have a full physical keyboard and a big bright screen. In terms of convenience, a PC is still the best for performing basic tasks such as booking hotels. But travel agent sites want you to download their mobile app, and they incentivize you to do so by offering mobile-only deals.
Why book a hotel on, for instance, Orbitz’s main site when you can save money by using their mobile app? They offer many deals for cheap hotels that just aren’t available on the main site. It’s like free money that you’re leaving on the table if you book normally. In any instance where you can save money by using a mobile app, you should take advantage.
4. Clip coupons
This one combines some of the ideas above. Time was, you’d go through the Sunday newspaper circulars to find the week’s coupons. That involved sifting through reams of paper, clipping the coupons, and, most importantly, actually remembering to take them to the store. With your smartphone, though, you don’t have to worry about remembering them. It’s with you all the time anyway.
There are a few sites that offer online coupons. You can sift through any number of coupon blogs — which is a huge recommendation — but you can also check out sites such as Cellfire for instantly clippable coupons. They go into your account, which is available from your smartphone. Once the cashier enters the barcode from your account, you’ll get all the coupons applied to your order, right at the checkout. Doing this from your phone makes far more sense than having physical coupons, or even a physical card. It’s one less thing to remember when you’re going to the store. (So maybe you can remember to bring your own bags.)
None of these things might make intuitive sense at first. After all, we’re used to using other resources to do them. But our smartphones can be the best bet. Because they’re portable, because they’re with us all the time, and because they can provide exclusive deals, they make sense for these tasks. So the next time you’re finding driving directions, tracking your budget, booking a hotel, or clipping coupons, pick up your smartphone. You’ll be better off that way.
Photo by Dominik Syka
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