A few weeks ago we addressed the issue of, shock horror, your smartphone being used for good.
In the days of #instaguilt and social media cleanses it might seem strange that we are championing the sinful smartphone because we believe it doesn't need to be like this. There are so many occasions where my phone has allowed me to save time, and worry, in turn making more space in my daily to do the things I enjoy.
In recent weeks we’ve highlighted how Ecosia is using their search engine for good and to try and rebuild our dying world, or maps.me’s offline system means that you don’t need to panic the moment you arrive in a new place that you can’t connect to the wi-fi.
In this week's blog I’m going to share with you my top 3 apps for when I’m travelling, so you too can gain more time for you.
1. Google Calendar
This is literally the app I CANNOT live without. It’s my lifeline. It’s everything I need to know in one place. No random pieces of paper shoved in the bottom of my bag, no notes stuck on the fridge in the hope of me remembering to read them, no ‘I’ll remember that’ nonsense (because I never do!). It’s all in one place, all my appointment (adjusted to timezone), flights, booking references, daily reminders, and best of all if I ever do lose my phone I have them all on an online cloud. Whoever invented Google Calendar, you have literally saved me hours, if not days, not to mention a who heap of stress. I love you.
Now I have a confession, I love social media and think it can be so great and motivating, but I’m also a big believer in living in the now. When we launched Fleek Retreats, we knew to start a business would be time-consuming, but we wanted to make sure we still made time for us. This is why when we know we’ve got a big week ahead, we upload some of our posts ahead of time *gasps in horror* because it means that we can use our time wisely and effectively. When I’m in social media space it’s fab, but when I’m on holiday, working away or out seeing friends I believe in focusing on the here and now, and being present in that moment. It also means that when we post we can focus on connecting with our fellow fleekers, instead of worrying about what we need to do next. There is no shame in working smart if you’ve got the tools you should use them right?!
3. Any email app - Outlook, Gmail doesn’t matter.
A 30-minute train journey, sitting in the plane before take-off, waiting for the kettle to boil. Yes in those moments where I am not technically doing anything I can use that time wisely. I can reply to people, answer questions, clear my inbox so that when I get to my destination/make my cuppa I can focus on that. I can enjoy the moment, because of those moments. They are for me.
There is no rocket science to these, no secret revelation, just some practical advice which has worked for me. My smartphone has been a key tool to allow me to do what I do, work remotely all over the world, start a business and follow my dreams, not to mention being able to stay in touch with my friends who live all over the world (something which definitely couldn’t happen as easily 20 years ago).
For all of us at Fleek we really try and focus on using technology wisely, so if we see any of the team disappearing into the cyberspace black-hole (because let's be honest these devices were invented to be addictive), we help each other out and just give them a nudge to bring them back to the present.
So my goal is to stop apologising for my phone like its a badly behaved toddler, and instead, feel grateful that I have access to a device which has it’s enabled me to slow down and live my life in a way which makes me happy. Let’s stop the smartphone stigma and generational guilt, and instead start talking about the smart ways to use these smart devices. I think it’s a win-win.
Written by Emma Bolus