A smarter cell phone without the upgrade

November 12, 2010

For some people a smart phone is a smart buy, but I have yet to be disappointed in my old cell phone. I can do a lot of smart things with it, even with its ancient technology. If you are like me, and want to get by with your outdated phone, here are a few ways your phone can better assist you.

Smart Text:

Need to send an email right away? You can text it. Simply send the text message to the email address. If you have a Verizon plan that doesn’t include unlimited texting, this will cost you 10¢! AT&T charges 20¢.

Want your phone to keep you updated? Many social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook will text you feeds. I also stay updated on when my bills are due, and receive a text if my settings change. A year ago a text alert saved me from having my bank account wiped clean when my identity was stolen online. Text alerts can also warn you of severe weather, school lock downs, breaking news and much more. Check with your favorite websites for more information on text alerts.

Need to look up a number but don’t want to pay $1.50 for 411? Text Google (466453) and they will send you a listing. This could be all the local bicycle repair shops in your area, or your friend you are supposed to meet for lunch. Google can also text you:

  • Directions
  • Weather
  • Price comparisons
  • Flight status
  • Calculations
  • Conversions
  • Currency exchanges
  • Definitions
  • Sports scores
  • Translations
  • …and much much more. Click Here for more information about Google SMS.

How do you use text messaging to make life a little easier?

Smart Calls:

Don’t text? No problem! Everything you need to know on the go can be found by calling  Tellme at 1-800-555-TELL. You can get directions, traffic, news, weather, business listings, gas prices, movie times and more for free. Just listen to the menu to make your selection!

For free directory assistance you can also call 1-888-FREE-411 (for FREE411), or 1-800-225-5411, brought to you by Live Search 411.

Can you share a number that has saved you a hassle?

Smart Camera:

Another feature on my phone that has saved me a lot of time and money is the camera. The pictures are low quality but I don’t use it to record precious memories. I may take a few pictures of family to replace wallet pictures, but most of the time I use it to take a picture of the grocery list (from a white board on our fridge) to save paper.  I also use it to note the price of something or to remember a certain item for a future ebay search. Sometimes I take a picture of a thrift store find and text it to my husband (for 10¢) to see if it’s what he had in mind. I take a picture of a license plate to report an aggressive driver. I take a picture of my car at the airport to remember where I parked. I take a picture of a book I want to look for at the library. I also used this to take a picture of a dress on clearance I wanted to wear in a friend’s wedding. While I was in the fitting room, I sent her the picture and asked if the colors were right for her wedding. She messaged me back “Buy it!”

What pictures are on your phone?

Smart Tools:

Many old phones also come with an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, tip calculator, notepad, and world clock. Your phone can help you get up in the morning, remember your sister’s birthday, alert you to pay your rent, figure out the price per unit of laundry detergent, tip your server fairly, keep an electronic to-do list, and see if it’s too early to call your friend in California. That sounds like a smart phone to me!

Now it’s your turn! What other uses have you found for your cell phone? What are your favorite time savers? Will any of these features spare you the cost of upgrading?

2 Responses to “A smarter cell phone without the upgrade”

  1. Cliona Says:

    Taking a photo of your shopping list is pure genius! (Also, I had no idea calling 411 was so expensive…eek! I used to use it all the time because it was quicker than getting out the phone book :) x

  2. Tabatha Says:

    these are really good ideas. Smart phones are crazy expensive and so are the bills. My mom’s phone bill for ONE phone is like 140$ a month. that’s insane.

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