Smartphones have technically been in existence since 1992, but in the last decade they have become an indispensable part of the planner’s on-the-go life. That is why optimizing use of all the helpful apps popping up every week is essential for event professionals today. Speaker and productivity expert Audrey Thomas, CSP, recently shared tips with attendees at FICP for making the most out of those powerful pocket computers. Here are her top tips for getting phone smart.
Related: Smartphone Etiquette 101
1. Create a folder to minimize screen clutter by holding your finger on an app until it wiggles then dragging it over to another app that you want to group it with in a folder. Possible categories include travel, fitness, social media and games. This—and deleting ones you don’t use anymore—will eliminate having to flip through pages of applications to reach a desired app.
2. Capture a screenshot of important images that will need later viewing by holding down the power and home buttons at the same time. The screenshot feature can be an enormous help and save time if you need to access an important image quickly but are facing a spotty connection.
3. Use your mobile hotspot to limit the possibility of losing connection when you’re taking an important call or working remotely. Hotels and coffee shops often have large volumes of people on a single connection, resulting in poor reception. Your mobile hotspot is your own personal Wi-Fi connection, so it is both faster and more secure.
4. Put your phone in airplane mode on more occasions than just traveling. Telling your phone to go offline during meetings minimizes the chances of checking your phone during a professional gathering and significantly conserves battery.
How do you pick which apps to adopt from the overwhelming number of cool tools out there? Thomas recommends:
1. Dark Sky, a weather application you can count on. Yes, your phone probably already has one of these, but Dark Sky is a lot more precise than your preinstalled weather app. With minute-by-minute forecasts, it will inform you the exact moment rain begins and ends.
2. Zello is a push-to-talk application, much like a walkie talkie. Unlike your traditional walkie talkie, the number of channels and users per channel is limitless. Since most people are already carrying mobile devices, logging on can eliminate one more thing planners need to carry.
3. Text Later allows you to set up text messages at any time or date that you choose. Never forget to send out that important text message again. Note: Text Later is only available on Android. Apple users can use AutoSender.
4. Trello, the project organization and management app, is an easy way to stay organized. It allows planners to add details, comments and checklists for the entire team.