I recently read an article about 10 Snapshots You Should Keep In Your Smartphone’s Photo Album that I thought was pretty interesting. But what was fascinating was all the OTHER great ideas I got for using my phone’s camera from the comments! I spent all afternoon reading and digesting them all and decided I would take my favorites and share them with you.
If you’re like me you already use your smartphone to keep notes and lists of things you want to remember…but today I realized not only is my camera phone faster and more accurate than taking notes…..the number of things it can help me keep track of is life-changing! :-)
49 Brilliant Uses For Your Smartphone’s Camera
- Take pictures of credit cards, front and back, and store them in a “locker” app on your phone. Whenever buying something on the internet you won’t have to take out your wallet, just take a look at the pic. (Click here for Android.)
- Keep a photograph of your driver’s license and/or passport identification page in a “locker” app on your phone.
- OR…..take a picture of your wallet opened, showing just enough of each card so you can identify what cards are in there in case it’s ever stolen and you have to call the credit card companies.
- Snap a photo of your license plate for use when you are at the DMV or filling out a form for a parking pass. I can NEVER remember my license plate number when I need it! :-)
- If you keep a dry erase or chalk board in the kitchen to write down stuff you are out of, instead of transcribing the list to take to the store, simply snap a photo of it!
- When grocery shopping for a recipe, snap a photo of the ingredients list before you leave the house for easy access.
- Pictures of labels from wine bottles that you’ve tried and loved at a party or a restaurant.
- Instead of searching for paper and pen when you see a recipe in a magazine or on TV that you like, snap a picture!
- Keep a photo of your pet and their ID/vet tags. That way you don’t have to carry the originals, and you can report it immediately if your kitty or puppy goes missing.
- Reward program cards with membership numbers.
- Meeting agendas and menus to text to latecomers (e.g. here’s what you’re missing, and can I order something for you?)
- Photos of playlists that you like from other iPhones/iPods.
- Take pictures of furnishings you are thinking of getting (ideally with price tag showing) to run past a friend or partner for second opinions.
- Speaking of furnishings…take photos of the stockroom info tags at IKEA – no golf pencil required.
- To go along with IKEA stops, if you keep a picture of the dimensions of the tailgate of your car you’ll know what will fit, and what won’t.
- Snap a picture of your kids when you are heading out to a crowded amusement park, mall, sporting event, etc. so that if anyone gets separated you will have an accurate description of exactly what they’re wearing.
- A lot of people use their phone’s camera along with Evernote for the ultimate organization. The combination of a camera phone coupled with an App called Camscanner lets you capture anything in a photo and turn it into a PDF file. Send the PDF to your Evernote account, which has OCR, and then you can search for any word in the capture.
- When walking through the bookstore, take photos of books you may want to check out from the library.
- Snap a photo of your printer cartridges, making sure you can see the model numbers.
- Take a screen shot of your iCE – In Case of Emergency – Contact Information and make it the lockscreen of your phone. That way, if you’re in an accident, and incapacitated, someone can easily get to your iCE info.
- Keep a photo of your home’s wireless name and password to text to visitors.
- In case of a minor fender bender in rush hour traffic, pull out your phone, document the damage, snap pictures of insurance cards and drivers license info and get back on our way. Could help avoid a much more serious situation.
- Keep a photo of the ever-changing monthly class schedule at your local spa, gym, recreation center, etc.
- Take a picture of all of your appliances, including the manufacturers logos and serial numbers, for future service calls.
- Take a picture of the cable placement on any audio/video gear before unplugging anything!
- Take pictures of tags on clothing, bar codes, product info etc. You can often find the exact same thing online for a cheaper price.
- When traveling to remote areas where it’s likely there will be “No Service” or where roaming is expensive, screenshot online map routes and save them to your phone so they will be accessible offline as well.
- When renting a car, take a picture of the car and its license plate. This helps when checking in at a hotel and registering the car, not to mention finding it when you have forgotten what the car looks like!
- Take pictures of each room for insurance purposes in the event of theft, fire, or other disaster.
- Take pictures of your favorite makeup and hair products (including names and shades) to make it easier when shopping to replace them.
- Take pictures of the business hours posted on the door of places you go to occasionally, like the library, post office, etc.
- Keep a running Shopping or To Do list while at work on a pad of paper, then before you leave, snap a photo and put it as your screensaver. Instant list that can’t be lost or misplaced!
- Snap a picture of the class list on the 1st day of school to help learn your child’s classmates’ names.
- Document lovely gardens, interesting yard art, and holiday decorations you drive by to try and duplicate at your own home.
- When you find a great artist on Pandora or Spotify, take a screenshot for reference later.
- When traveling out of the country, take a screenshot of a currency converter “cheat sheet.”
- When buying from a bulk bin at the grocery store, snap a picture of the cooking instructions (for grains or beans).
- When you have time, take pictures of yourself trying on different outfits in your closet for mornings when you can’t figure out what to wear!
- Take a picture of your spice drawer or rack before heading out to restock so you don’t end up with 5 bottles of dill weed and no cinnamon!
- For students: Take pictures of that particular nights homework assignment so you don’t have to pack all your books home.
- Also for students: If your teachers occasionally “misplace” school papers that you know you have turned in…start taking pictures of your homework before you hand it in and don’t delete it until you get the paper back with a grade on it! Brilliant!
- When shopping with the kids, take pics of the toys they want for Christmas or their birthday. Then later they can go through the pictures in your phone and make their lists.
- Take a picture of all the hardware and software specifications on your computer screen and save on your phone.
- When moving from one apartment/home to another, take pictures of your wall groupings so you can remember how you had them hanging, and can duplicate them in your new place.
- Take pictures of your friends with the stuff they borrow from you so you’ll remember who has what.
And last but not least….a few more that just plain made me laugh! ;-)
- Take a picture of your coat check ticket (especially if you plan on drinking…)
- Take pictures of “Help Wanted” signs to send to your kids.
- Before leaving the house for a trip, take a photo of your stove in the “OFF” position for those moments when you freak out, wondering if you left it on.
- Keep a copy of your best “selfie” shot for emergency updates to your Facebook profile.
For those of you concerned about keeping sensitive information on your phone (as we all should be!)….here are a couple of articles that list some of the best Security Apps for Smartphones:
For Android phones: 15 Top Android Security Apps
What photo reminders do YOU store on your smartphone?