Since my last organization post, I’ve pretty much converted everything over to an electronic version. And man, has it been amazing! My purse isn’t heavy, I’m not constantly looking for a particular notebook or journal, and I can get everything I need across all my devices. How you ask? Well, with a lot of great apps and a really awesome phone!
You might remember a few months ago, I mentioned that I finally upgraded my phone from a Samsung Galaxy S5 to a Galaxy Note 8. Which is a HUGE difference! When I first opened the box, I literally said to myself “Holy sh!t this is a big phone!”. But I slowly adjusted and now I absolutely LOVE it. To give you a little back story – I used to be a die-hard iPhone user. It made sense for me since I had a MacBook and I (mistakenly) thought that using anything else would be such a pain in the butt. But after getting really sick of being forced to upgrade my phone the minute a newer version or new update was around, I finally made the switch to Samsung. And I’ve never looked back! Especially after all the ridiculous things happening with the iPhone world – new cables all the time, no headphone jack anymore, and expensive adapters or wireless buds. And has all the same features that a Samsung phone has had for years.
If you are an iPhone user and love it – great! To each their own. I personally love the heck out of my new Galaxy Note 8! But after having a Samsung phone for years now, I will say that it does take some getting used to. When compared to an iPhone, a Samsung is a bit more complicated when trying to change settings around, if only because there is so much that you can change! I can seriously change every little thing about my phone. Which means it can be a little challenging to find a particular menu, but a quick search on Google generally has you covered.
With my new Note 8, the menu actually has a search feature, which allows me to easily find whatever I need for a quick fix! Samsung also took into account that some of it’s users use a MacBook, which means while I can’t just plug in my phone and transfer photos and music directly from iTunes or iPhoto like I could with an iPhone, I just have to use a middle-man app to do everything. PLUS I can add memory to my phone via SD cards, so I never ever have to worry about running out of room on my phone!
But enough of this iPhone vs. Samsung debate, let’s get to what this post is really about – how I use my phone to stay on top of sh!t and do cool blogging things! Now, if you remember from my last organization post, I admitted to finally kicking my planner to the curb and going digital. So the first thing I needed was a calendar. I use my native calendar app on my MacBook and iPad, and really didn’t want to transfer everything to GoogleCal just to get it on my phone. After much searching, I came across this cool app – SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar – which while $2.99 (once, not monthly) has been completely worth it. After a quick log-in and weird password set-up process, the calendars on my phone, computer and tablet are all synced up and I never have to worry about it again!
The second amazing thing I use now is Evernote. Now, if you’ve never heard of Evernote, you NEED TO CHECK IT OUT ASAP. It is seriously an amazing note-taking and note-keeping app that can be used across multiple devices (max of 2 for the free version!). I honestly wish I would have known about this app while I was in undergrad – I would have been soooo much more organized.
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But I didn’t discover this app until grad school, but since I preferred to hand-write my notes, I really only used it for keeping track of articles for papers and projects. It’s really great to be able to organize everything into separate notebooks, then individual notes within them. I have 2 notebooks for now – one for blogging and one for personal stuff. I’m constantly adding random things to it, so for now I don’t have too much – mostly blogging lists and my personal monthly budget worksheet. Since the individual notes are more interesting, there’s a screenshot below! I keep my random lists (post ideas, email list ideas, to-do list and hashtag list) here and have that app on my phone and computer. Which means if I think of some random idea while I’m running errands, I can easily open up my phone and add it to the list so I can see it later on my computer.
Another crazy-awesome thing my Galaxy Note 8 can do? Make gifs! If you saw either my last Halloween post or my Gumbo recipe post, then you might have noticed a few I’ve made. I haven’t made the plunge to start using Photoshop, and am honestly too lazy to look up how to make my own gifs otherwise, so having this feature on my phone is amazing. You simply take a burst shot of whatever you want to turn into a gif (the one below is 40 images). First, expand the burst shot by clicking on the photo group:
Then click the 3 dots in the upper right corner, then “Animate”
You can then change the speed, direction, add in stickers or words, and save. It’s that easy!
BAM! FYI – I’m saying FOOLS! like in the actual Maleficent gif. #itried
But the MOST amazing feature on my Note 8? THE PEN. Look out world, I can now do the fancy Instagram story swirls, arrows and script writing! JK, I still suck at it BUT STILL. I can take notes while my screen is off, I can (technically) do a electronic bujo thing if I wanted, make animated texts (aka live messages – which are basically gifs of your own writing that you can send to people), and so much more. I never thought I needed a pen with my phone until I had one!
And of course I can’t finish off this post without talking about the camera. The camera on the Galaxy Note 8 is worlds better than my last phone. Seriously, it is amazing! I have the “live focus” option, which means when enabled, I can blur (or focus) the background as much as I want. So all those cool Instagram shots with a hyper-focused person and beautifully blurred city-scape that look like they HAD to be done with a fancy camera lens? Yeah, I can do that. With my phone. I can also do face-blur on selfies (which I have yet to use), hyperlapse, slow-motion, and a virtual shot of an object (so like a 360 view!). I can also shoot in “Pro” mode, which allows me to adjust the exposure, ISO aperture, and a bunch of other cool things as I’m on my phone.
And how cool is that?! My new phone has been amazing and I’m so glad I went with it. I’m definitely looking forward to using some more of it’s cool features and really using it to it’s full potential!
Are you an iPhone or a Samsung user?
How do you use your phone to stay organized or for blogging?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!