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Making the Most of Your Cell Phone

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After weeks of agonizing choices, you chose a cell phone loaded with features you thought would change your life, or at least make it easier. But now that the honeymoon is over, are you still using it as just a phone? Learn what you need to know to turn your phone into your own administrative assistant.
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Are you ignoring all those cool features on your cell phone that you thought you absolutely had to have? Does your Bluetooth-enabled phone have the blues? The key to unlocking your phone's hidden power lies in matching your phone features to your lifestyle.

The next time you find yourself feeling scattered and disorganized, try turning to your cell phone for help. The following suggestions offer ways to incorporate your phone's features into every category of your life, from personal errands to business conferences to a night out with friends.

Personal Use

How can you use your cell phone to more efficiently tackle weekend errands such as paying bills, remodeling rooms, or finding stores? Some of these suggestions might seem obvious, but it's easy to overlook new uses for common features:

  • If you frequently call automated systems that require you to input a series of numbers, store those numbers in your phone. Enter pauses in the appropriate places and send as needed.

  • Instead of scrambling around for shopping lists or counting on sticky notes for reminders, use the notepad or voice reminder function on your phone. Most phones have a keyboard shortcut to take you there quickly.

  • Invest in a headset that allows you to multitask. Talking while driving can be distracting, so why not use your hands-free kit elsewhere? You can talk while you answer email or write checks. Various headset styles are available, from over-the-head to in-the-ear. If your phone is Bluetooth-enabled, a wireless headset is even more convenient.

  • Why search for your car at the airport by wandering through acres of autos? Use your camera phone to photograph an aisle marker or landmark.

  • Snap photos of furniture, wall borders, or paint samples to take home for comparison shopping. Send your roommate or significant other in one direction while you cover another area.

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