Your Cell Phone, The New Swiss Army Knife?

September 27, 2007

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A client of mine recently pointed out how strange it is that I don’t wear a wrist watch. I guess It is a little ironic, since I’m a personal productivity trainer. It just never occurred to me. You see, I’ve been using my cell phone as my primary time piece for years. Not that I have anything against watches, there lovely. I just don’t like wearing one.


The Cell Phone Has Become the Swiss Army Knife of the 21st Century!

It did, however, get me thinking about other underutilized uses of a cell phone. So here goes:

1) I recommend programming your home and office numbers into your cell, so you can call yourself to capture important tasks on the fly. For me, this usually happens while driving to or from a client site. Because I have a Bluetooth headset, I simply press a bottom and say ‘office’ to dial my work voice mail to leave myself a message.

Granted the first couple times you call yourself it’s a bit awkward, but you’ll get used to it. Here’s a little script to help you out, “Add to task list to call Jim next Tuesday regarding the ABC contract”. Voila! You have captured your thoughts.

2) Nowadays, most all cell phones have the ability to set alarms. I find this especially useful when traveling. If you’re like me, you just never quite trust that you’ve set the hotel alarm clock correctly (or thinking like Murphy, that the power is going to go out and cause you to oversleep).

3) If your phone has a camera, use it. Last summer, I vacationed in Europe. While in one of the stores in Madrid, I noticed a sign that referenced a web address where

non-European Union residents could find information about how to get a VAT (E.U. consumption tax) refund. Since, I was too lazy to write it down (hey, I was on vacation), I

just snapped a picture of it and emailed to myself (see picture bellow). When I returned home, I had the information I needed.



Spend a little time thinking outside the box, and I’m sure you’ll find all kinds of useful ways to use your cell phone.

(originally posted July 13th, 2007, re-released with Audio)

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