Technology, whether it be phones, laptops, or tablets, are anything but inexpensive. Still, it’s nearly impossible to survive in today’s world without shelling out the cash for at least one of the three – after all, everything is becoming more digitized.
So, how can you make sure you’re getting all the bang for your buck possible after purchasing an expensive piece of tech equipment. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the trick to this involves using your new gadget as much as possible, for a variety of your needs, eliminating the need for other products (whether it be paper, a TV, or even a calculator!)
We’ve grouped these items into three different categories: smartphones, computers, and tablets, and detailed tips and tricks to utilize them to the fullest.
It should come as no surprise that there are literally millions of uses for a smartphone. (There’s an app for that!) Besides using your gadget to text, call, send emails, or check the weather, there is a plethora of other things you can be using to make the most out of this purchase. Here are some more things your device can function as, with the help of apps, besides a cell phone:
Bodyguard – Apps like SafeTrek can serve as a personal bodyguard for you, functioning in a way that calls police if you let go of its safety button. Don’t worry – if you accidentally let go, you have ten seconds to enter your PIN to confirm you’re safe. If your PIN is not entered, help will be dispatched to your location.
Personal Assistant – Apps serving as the facelifted version of Reminders on the iPhone, such as Memento, only cost a couple of dollars and will alert you at predetermined times to remind you of upcoming tasks, events, or chores. You can even create reminders from other apps!
Professional Camera – If you have a smartphone, there is probably no need to splurge on an expensive, high-tech camera. Instead, download a high-quality photo editing app such as VSCO to enhance your photos taken from your phone camera. They will look great and save you hundreds of dollars. In fact, with new settings on the iPhone, such as Portrait Mode, your smartphone can take photos that focus and blur just like a real camera!
Computers, whether you have a laptop or desktop, are not the cheapest things in the world. The good news is that there are so many ways to enhance your experience on them that you may have never even considered. Here’s how to ensure you’re having the easiest, best experience on your computer:
Run a speed test. To make sure you’re not wasting precious time waiting for your internet pages to load, click here to run a speed test. It will tell you how fast your internet connection is operating, potentially saving you hours of waiting in the future.
Use your bookmarks. Seriously. Though this may seem like a basic idea that EVERYONE knows already, you might be surprised how often you find yourself typing in the same old websites, or worse, forgetting the name of a website you need. Use your bookmarks bar religiously to stay organized, save time, and ensure that you can always find the pages you need online.
Run programs such as Photoshop and InDesign. Something special about Adobe programs is that they simply cannot run on a smartphone or regular tablet. Instead, a computer is needed if you want to edit photos or illustrate like a pro. If you’ve already paid for a computer, and have an interest in photo editing, design, or illustration, you might want to consider making use of these programs using the tool you’ve already spent money on. Sure, it’s an investment, but it pales in comparison to the price of a new computer.
Tablets were created to essentially replace paper, and if you’re not using the one you already have to save the trees, you’re slacking off! Here is a list of ways your tablet can save you money (and the environment) on paper, pens, books, textbooks, and more:
Take notes using a tablet and a stylus. Many students have turned to products such as the iPad and Apple Pencil for a seamless, digital notetaking experience. Notetaking apps such as Notability or GoodNotes cost a few dollars up front, but quickly pay for themselves when you can stop buying expensive notebooks, pens, and binders, and instead keep it all in one place. These apps let you change colors, writing styles, page colors, etc… with the click of a button, without spending a penny more. And, bonus: The ink never runs out!
Download textbooks to your tablet instead of buying physical copies. College students can easily save over one hundred dollars per textbook by simply downloading the e-version instead of buying a physical copy. Worried because you need to highlight and make notes? Combine your textbook PDF with one of the aforementioned notetaking apps and do it all virtually.
Sign up for a virtual library card. Save your gas and a trip to the local library by signing up with an eBook program many libraries offer. You can check out books to an app on your tablet just as you would a physical book, without the hassle of driving to the library or sifting through the stacks to find the one you need. With this tool, you can literally have millions of books at your fingertips without leaving your home – for FREE!
Remember, today’s technology is designed to serve far beyond its basic purpose – that’s what keeps it competitive in today’s market. Chances are, there are thousands of more ways you could be using the technology that you simply have not considered yet or ways to improve your virtual experiences for free.
Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org She loves to write latest technology trends and loves to share her knowledge through her articles.
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