Yes, I am one of those guys. I am an Apple Fanboy, for sure, but I will not apologize for it – their stuff just works. I have not owned a Windows PC for many, many years and I will never go back unless Apple goes out of business. I also got my mom to switch, which was no small feat, but she is mad at me for not making her do it earlier. But I digress…the reason for this post is not to extol virtue on the entire Apple line, but rather to talk about my favorite organizing/simple living tool of all – my 1st generation iPhone that I have had for years now.
I can see why some might say you cannot depend on a mobile phone to live a simple life, but I disagree. First and foremost, my iPhone is my main phone. While I have home phone service (through Vonage, a VOIP service that costs $25 for unlimited everything, as sometimes AT&T is spotty inside my house), I mostly answer all my calls through my iPhone. All calls to my home number ring simultaneously on my mobile phone, so I can pick up either home or cell calls while I am away from the house. This is important because of my “schedule” – as in, I don’t have one. If someone (family or colleague) needs to get a hold of me, they have nowhere specific to call. I don’t go to the office and I don’t have set home office hours. I work when I want and when I need to, so having a phone that rings anywhere I am is key. That frees me up to do whatever I want during the day.
Another thing that having the iPhone as my partner in crime is that I don’t need to carry a camera with me. I like taking a lot pictures of places I go and things I do, and having the camera in the phone sure helps. And while I have a professional-grade Canon I use on photography outings, I don’t like to carry it with me everywhere. Also, I use the phone to take pictures of things like book covers I see that are of interest, furniture I think I would like to try to build at home, or the outside of restaurants I want to keep on file. It comes in very handy. I can also upload photos directly into Evernote from the phone, which has saved me many a times from forgetting things I needed to remember!
A few other things that it does to keep me organized and clutter-free? I can access recipes, so I don’t need to keep tons of cookbooks in the house. I listen to music through Pandora, which saves me from buying songs I would only listen to a few times. Instead of buying and carrying guide books to places I visit, I can just download Lonely Planet guides instead – no paper! I can use Google maps to find my way to said places, and I can look up phone numbers in case I still get lost. The list goes on and on…
While using a $200 gadget to live simply and get organized may sound counter-intuitive, I think it does exactly what I need it to do. It reduces the amount of paper in my life, it keeps all my documents and blog access within reach 24/7, and it eliminates my need for a spiral bound planner or notebook. I really couldn’t ask for more. And while the new version of the phone comes out next week, I am not sure if I will be upgrading anytime soon – right now, this one works perfectly fine for what I need a mobile phone to do, and I hope it continues to do so.
So what about you? Are you a pen and paper person, or a gadget person? How do you keep your day to day life organized and clutter free? Let me know in the comments!