Thank you to U.S. Cellular for allowing me to be a member of their Blogger Brigade. All opinions are 100% my own. Take a look at this Parent-Child Agreement if you’re looking to set some ground rules for cellular use within your family this holiday season.
The holidays are truly my fave time of the year, but as magical as they are, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t also a hectic time. There’s so much to do just to getting to the point of seeing those faces, young and old, light up with the joys and wonder of the season. Sometimes I wish there really was an easy button, but alas, there is not. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cut down on those to-do lists though – all we need is a little help from the technology that most of us already rely on and have available. From party planning to travel, there are ways to cut down on the work and increase the fun in this years holiday festivities!
The holiday season brings a lot of joy but also adds to our to-do lists…a lot. Since I have zero free time the rest of the year, as much as I love them, the holidays can hit hard and make me feel like everything’s a bit chaotic. I’m always afraid I’m going to forget something which is why I’m a list maker. Since I also tend to leave my lists where I wrote them, at home on a table, I’ve started using my tablet and smartphone from US Cellular more and more to help track and complete tasks while on the go. All it takes is a little bit of strategy and a high-quality network and since nobody ever leave home without their phone, you’ll actually have those lists with you when you need them.
Whether planning a holiday party or traveling to see family, mobile devices can actually be used for good, not just catching Pokemon and watching cat videos on YouTube. They can actually help you stay organized and provide quick access to needed information…like maps when hubby refuses to ask directions. (I’m not saying he’s wrong, I’m just saying maps told me where we are and it’s not where he thinks we are…) Fun fact: Smartphone users are more likely to use mobile devices while traveling than ever before, in fact 76 percent of people surveyed by US Cellular used their phone while traveling in 2015, up from 68 percent the previous year. I personally rely on my phone for air travel – it’s so much easier pulling up boarding passes and flight details on your phone than digging through your bag for paper.
Photos for the Win
And what about your phone or tablet’s camera? Yup, that can help to alleviate holiday stress too! Take a screenshot of directions if you think maybe you won’t be in range to use maps. Or even if you are in range, once you have saved the directions to photos, you can turn off your phone’s navigation and location services if you’d rather conserve the battery. I definitely need to do this more. Huge parking garage or unfamiliar location? Just snap a photo of where the car is parked. Bam!! Now you don’t have to remember if it was column B or column E, which by the way are probably on two different levels. Planning a big holiday party? Take pictures of the refrigerator and pantry before heading to the grocery store. Of course you will have your list already on your phone, but using technology to see what ingredients you already have on hand will take guesswork out of your shopping trip if you’re like me and stray from the list once you get to the store and something else sounds better than what you had originally planned.
What Else Can Your Phone Do For You?
Charge your phone on airplane mode. As our schedules become busier, we tend to go longer between charges. Using airplane mode helps devices regain battery strength by eliminating apps or services running in the background. I must say, I’d probably get a lot more done, a lot faster if I wasn’t always checking my phone notifications. They can be a time suck so I’m counting this as a productivity strategy!
This tip, I saved it for last because I’m pretty sure it’s going to make you question life as you currently know it. Put your phone in a cup to amplify music at your big holiday bash. Seriously! The cup increases the volume from the phone’s speaker. (Cups with harder surfaces, like glass or porcelain, work best.)
How do you make the holidays a little more organized around your house? Would any of these holiday hacks help you out? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!