You probably have a phone, a blog, and a business of some sort. You probably have a few apps on your phone, too, that you use to make your life easier, right?
The big question is: Are you making the most of your phone?
Today I am going to tell you how I use my phone, in my personal life and for blogging and business.
I’m also going to share with you how 10 other people I know use their phones, too.
After reading a post by Esteban Pau on Harleena’s blog Aha!NOW, called 6 Best Free Blogging Apps For Savvy Bloggers, I decided to check a couple of them out…
…because I have phone.
And a blog.
And a business, too.
Plus, I wasn’t sure if I was making the most of my phone! (My phone is a bit old – it is a Samsung Galaxy 5. Therefore, it’s an android phone. Without getting into too much geek-speak, I’ll just tell you that I love my phone!)
I use my phone daily, for different things.
In this post, I’ll reveal how I use my phone, and how 10 other people I know use their phones, too, for both blogging and business.
And I’ll even give you a bit of backstory about my personal life and my cell phone experiences!
My Old Phone Was From the Dinosaur Ages
I used to have a pay-as-you-go cell phone. For years.
I loved it… until one day, in the spring of 2015, I was out in my city and my phone wouldn’t work. I was unable to make calls. I was, however, able to text. In order to communicate with my mother, I had to text my son, ask him to call her, and have him text me back. The whole situation was a pain in the you-know-what!
It was frustrating, too. And it ticked off my son, because he had to act as the middle-man.
That night, he convinced me to get a smartphone. He had been bugging me for a while to get one, actually. I resisted because I didn’t know how to use one. (Yes, I realize know how easy it is to use one!) My son had to teach me.
In fact, the day my phone stopped working properly, my local phone company was having a spring promotion: a free phone of your choice if you signed up for a two-year contract.
I took a look at their website, and with my son’s help, I picked out a phone that would suit my needs.
My New Phone isn’t JUST a Phone!
My son has an iPhone. I got a smartphone. What’s the difference? Not much, really. Different operating systems, basically. That’s it.
iPhones use something called iOS and smartphones are referred to as androids.
(Don’t worry if you don’t understand this geek-speak. You don’t need to. All you need to know is that you need to be able to identify which app link you will need to visit later in this article for any app you might be interested in. I have included as many available, helpful links to the places where you can download each app that is mentioned.)
My phone is a Samsung Galaxy 5. It came with a ton of apps, too.
After learning how to use my phone, I downloaded some more. (I’ll confess that some of them were games!)
Over time, I realized my phone was not just a phone. It was a mini-computer, complete with the internet.
I learned how to use my phone, and was surprised at how easy it was. I have no idea why I feared getting a new phone for so long! (I now wonder how I ever lived without it, too!)
My Phone is Better than My Laptop… for certain things
My phone is actually better than my laptop, for certain things.
Sure, it’s lighter. It’s easy to carry. It can fit in my pocket or purse. It can work anywhere, too.
I have it set up so that my phone connects to the internet wherever I am at, whether it’s at home, at my mom’s, at my sister’s, or at any of my friends’ places. All I need to do is input the internet password ONCE, and my smart phone remembers it and automatically connects me, thus saving me money on my data plan.
If I am in public, I can access free wifi at most places. When I can’t, I simply go to my Data Usage settings (under Settings) and turn on the mobile data option. When I’m finished doing whatever I need to do, I turn it back off so that I don’t accrue extra charges on my bill.
What I like most about my phone is how easy it is to delete emails! With simple, quick touches, I can delete unwanted or old emails so fast! (Yes, I know unsubscribing is always an option.) Using my phone for deleting emails is so much faster than click-click-clicking!
How I Use My Phone in My Personal Life
I use my phone in my personal life a lot, for not just playing games when I’m bored, but for tracking certain things. For example, since last summer, when I found out I have Diabetes, I began tracking my food intake using an app called My Fitness Pal. (Available for free in android and iphone versions.)
This app has helped me to make better food choices. Keeping track of what I’m putting into my body has raised my awareness of my daily caloric goals as well as the types of food I’m consuming.
This app also integrates with Map My Walk, which I began using when I decided to increase my daily movements. (I was really overweight last summer, and my dietitian suggested I begin walking at least 10 minutes a day, five days a week, to begin losing weight. In the last nine months, I’ve lost a total of 60 pounds. I want to lose at least 120 more. In case you’re wondering, I was 356 lbs last June and I am now 296.)
Here is a before and after picture for those of you who want to see what I used to look like and what I currently look like! (Please don’t laugh. I know the first picture is horrible!!!)
My mug shot before I lost 60 pounds (taken in June 2015):
Some pictures of me taken after I lost 60 pounds:
Because I am such a large woman, I know that there is not much difference between these shots. However, I have lost over 60 pounds so far, and am working on losing more!
And I definitely am happier these days. Not only because I am in love, but because I am slowly reaching my goals!
By the way, the Map My Walk app tells me how fast I am walking, how far I’ve walked, and how many calories I burned during my walk.
Okay, I see I’ve started to ramble!
Let’s get back to the crux of this post…
6 Ways I Use My Phone for Business and Blogging
1: For Taking Pictures
I take a lot of pictures with my phone, and I use some of these pictures in my blog posts.
I have my phone set to automatically upload my pictures to Dropbox (download for iOS and android). Not only does this back up my photos, it also allows me to access them from any device (such as my laptop).
I also have my phone set to back up my photos to Google Photos.
(Read Backup and Sync Your Galaxy S5 Photos With Your Free Google Account to find out how to do this. You will need to download the Google+ app for android or iPhone.)
2: For Replying to Comments on Blog Posts
Replying to comments on my blog post has never been easier!
To do this, I use the WordPress app.
With this app, I can approve comments, delete them, and reply to them. This app will publish comments on my blog posts instantly!
It’s pretty cool, I have to say, because I don’t have to be sitting at my laptop to do so. I can reply to my readers wherever I am!
3: To Check my Newsletter Opens and Clicks
I use Mailchimp to send out my newsletters and other blog-and-business-related emails to those on my subscriber list. I can now view and track my newsletter opens and clicks with the the Mailchimp app.
4: To Check my AdSense Earnings
NOTE: I only recently learned about this app, too! One of my blogger friends on Facebook, Arbaz Shaikh, told me about this app after asking me if I had monetized my YouTube Channel for Wording Well. Arbaz has also taught me about some of his customs, namely Ramadan, via his website. Because many of my Wording Well readers and FB friends are from India, I enjoy learning about their lives, customs, and cultures. They are very different from the ones in North America! 😉 I like Arbaz’s site, too, because of the inspirational and other types of quotes found there.
One quote I love is this one: It’s never too late to wake up from a dream and start working to make that dream true.
Another friend of mine helped me increase my AdSense earnings by installing a plugin on my site called Ad Injection (a free plugin!) and in one day, I earned 4x as much money than I had previously been earning. (Thank you, Mr. X!)
5: For Note-Taking
Although it’s a bit tough to actually write something long (such as a blog post) on my phone, it can be done. However, I reserve most writing for when I am at my laptop and can actually use all of my fingers and thumbs to type! (I tend to make a few typos when texting on my phone… as I’m sure we all do, due the small size of the touch keys and the limited amount of fingers I use!)
But… I can use my phone quite easily for note-taking, recording blog post ideas, jotting down reminders to myself, recording events, etc. There are many note-taking apps out there, but the one I really like using is an app called ColorNote.
With this app, I can also make checklists. (This feature is particularly handy for making grocery lists, To Do lists, or what items to pack when travelling!)
I can also write short things using this app. In fact, when I was out running errands one day, I used it while I was on the bus to write the book blurb for Maxwell Ivey’s book, It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag. (You probably know Max, already, from the interview I did with him or perhaps reading about his first book-publishing journey. He’s known as The Blind Blogger. He also contributed to this post!)
Here is what I wrote:
In It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag, blind man Maxwell Ivey Jr shares the ups and downs of his weight loss — and weight maintenance — journey to good health. He also reveals the exact methods he uses in his day-to-day life to achieve and maintain his phenomenal success.
Going from 512 pounds to a 250-pound, lean, mean machine in just two years, Max tells you how YOU can replicate his success and become the person you want to be… the person you were meant to be… the person you deserve to be… one small step at a time.
So what are you waiting for?
Get started today!
Use Max’s methods to become happy for the rest of your life!
After all, if a blind man can do this, why can’t you?
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MAX AND HIS BOOKS, VISIT THIS PAGE. You can purchase his books through links found there!
6: For Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Staying Connected
One other way I use my phone is for posting to and sharing things on social media.
Whenever I have a few spare minutes, I will open my website and share a few posts on Facebook and Twitter, just to get some “extra” marketing in.
I will also post Facebook status updates using my phone, complete with pictures I have taken.
Messenger is something I also have on my phone. Sometimes the notifications can be annoying (OMG, who’s bugging me now???) but for the most part, I like staying connected to others (both friends and clients) using this app. Plus, you never know who you’re going to meet on a social media platform. (I’ve met many of my clients that way!)
I also have a few other apps on my phone that I use to stay connected to people, such as Whatsapp and IMO (for iOS and android). Using these apps lets me speak to people in other countries without having to pay a huge fee. Very handy! (Especially for talking to Mr. X!) 😉
How 10 Bloggers and Business Owners Use their Phones
I asked a dozen people I know which apps they like to use, too. I got 10 responses.
In fact, this is the exact query I sent them:
Quick question… how do use your phone for blogging or business? What apps do you use? Or do you use any? I am doing a post on how some apps are helping me, and I’d love to get your take on this subject.
Okay, I know it wasn’t really a quick question… but because of my unique relationships I have with them, I received honest responses from 83% of the people I asked!
1: Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Carolyn Nicander Mohr, tech journalist and polygadgetist at The Wonder of Tech, says:
I use my iPhone 6 Plus constantly for my work, writing for The Wonder of Tech and Voice of America. One of the tech tools I use is a recipe from IFTTT (If This Then That) that sends me a text message when I get an email from my editor at Voice of America. By using this, I’m alerted quickly when I’ve heard from him and can respond much more quickly. (Download IFTTT for iOS or android.)
I also use an app formerly called Sidekick, now called HubSpot Sales or Sales for HubSpot (download for iOS or android) that alerts me when an email I’ve sent has been opened and read. I can check quickly to see if my email has received attention yet.
I have the WordPress app on my phone (which Lorraine already said she uses!) that sends an alert to my Apple Watch when I’ve received a comment at The Wonder of Tech.
I use the Pinterest app on my phone (download for iOS or android) to save articles onto a secret board called Article Ideas. That way when I see an idea on my phone I will have it handy on Pinterest when I want to refer back to it later.
2: Jasper Oldersom
Jasper Oldersom, freelance writer at Opportunity Building, graciously allowed me to share his app secrets!
I love using AWeber to check the results of my autoresponder sequences and broadcasts when I’m on the go.
It’s also very easy to see how many subscribers and unsubscribers you’ve recently gotten.
There are no special functions to it, but the AWeber app just makes it very convenient to check your stats and it looks great which makes me enjoy using it.
As you may have figured out by now, I enjoy tracking my stats. This also goes for my blog. Therefore, the Analytics app comes in very handy.
The Analytics app recently got a nice update which allows you to track almost everything you can find on your desktop.
I use Evernote religiously. I really do use it as a surrogate brain. Whenever I want to make a note, have an idea, or even brainstorm ideas for a blog post, I’ve made it a habit of doing it within Evernote.
This way I can always access my notes whether I’m on the go or on a desktop device.
There is one thing I don’t use Evernote for and that is bookmarking. I’ve found that Wunderlist is the perfect tool for the job. If I see a blog post that I want to read later or have a lot of url’s that I need for researching, I save them in a folder in Wunderlist.
I also use the app to track which books I’m reading and which ones are next on my list.
I recommend the Buffer app to anyone that uses Twitter. It makes it super convenient to schedule (or reschedule) posts on the go. I particularly like that you can add images directly from the URL.
This saves you time because you don’t have to save an image to your phone and manually add it to each Tweet. This is a nice feature of the Buffer app because Tweets with images do tend to cause more interaction.
This one isn’t particularly interesting, but I do answer and read a lot of email from my phone. I use the standard email app that comes equipped with Android.
Perhaps there are better options out there, but I am satisfied with this app. It allows me to easily manage multiple e-mail addresses.
I listen to a lot of business podcasts and the Podcast Addict app is a fantastic app to manage all my podcast subscriptions. You can download episodes and make playlists which is awesome because that way you don’t use any data when you are not connected to a wifi network.
Listening to podcasts is a great way to acquire more knowledge while doing other activities.
Some of the podcasts I recommend are:
- Antipreneur by Ben Settle
- Weird Entrepreneurs by Justin & D Verrengia
- The Tim Ferris Show (obviously by Tim Ferris)
- Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield
If it’s your first time to comment on my blog, I’ll have to moderate it. But I don’t want to leave my readers hanging for too long, especially when they left a valuable comment.
That’s where the WordPress app comes in handy. It allows me to easily accept comments (and reply to them), even if I’m waiting for a dentist appointment!
3: Sue Dunlevie
Sue Dunlevie, a Blogging Strategist and Advisor at Successful Blogging, says:
Plus I use Pandora to listen to spa music while working on the computer. I also listen to Focus@Will on the phone when writing.
I use my phone for banking and checking the news, too.
4: Swadhin Agrawal
Swadhin Agrawal, freelance writer, blogger, and social media marketer, says:
Mobile phones, these days, have reduced workload by huge percentages. I use my phone a lot in as far as blogging or my writing business is concerned.
Here are some of the apps I can’t live without (for android):
1) Messenger: Helps me keep tab on friends and team members on projects. This is also useful to network with potential clients.
2) Buffer: I use buffer a lot to schedule social media updates, promote my own blog posts. I can literally schedule tens of social media updates while I am travelling or listening to a podcast.
3) I also use all the native social media apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) on my mobile device. This saves a lot of my time when I am working on the laptop.
4) Pocket: Pocket is my most favorite app on my phone. This is very useful for my freelance writing business too. Using Pocket, I can save any interesting links I come across during the research phase, or even when reading my favorite blogs. Later on, I can access them at one place no matter I am offline or online. (Download Pocket for iOS or android.)
Brent Jones, copywriter and social media marketer, says:
I definitely use Instagram on my phone to work on some of my client accounts. Of course, all of my social profiles are connected to my phone — but Instagram is one that’s much easier to navigate from mobile compared to, say, Facebook or LinkedIn.
I use the AWeber Stats app to track the results of broadcasts I send out to my list.
I often peek at the Analytics app (Google) to see what’s happening with traffic on my blog throughout the day.
I have apps for productivity such as Slack. Certain clients communicate with me on that platform.
I will often set reminders by saying “Okay Google” (android) so I get a notification to do something later, such as to call a specific client at a certain time.
Funny enough, my business phone number is a landline through MagicJack. I have the MagicJack app which I can forward my landline to, but generally, I take calls from my desk at home.
And lastly, I’m always testing blog content / web design on mobile, so I guess that counts, too.
Elna Cain, freelance writer and coach, says:
I typically just use Skype or Google Hangouts for interviews. For phone calls I use the VOIP app and the Groundwire app for international calls. I also use Apple Notes to keep my notes in sync between phone and desktop.
For information on Apple Notes, read these posts:
- Notes – The Most Useful Apple App You’re Not Using (Yet)
- How to use Notes on iPhone and iPad: The Ultimate Guide
- How to use Notes in iOS 9 like a boss
7: Don Purdum
Don Purdum, consultant, coach and marketer at Unveil the Web, says:
I use my iPhone 6s extensively. All video is done on it thanks to the powerful 4K camera.
Apps I use on my phone include:
- Adobe Sketch App – Touch-up and create images (I have the Apple Pencil)
- the Facebook app – To post on the go (text, videos and images)
- the Twitter app – To respond to Tweets and interact with my Twitter Community
- Skype – for video conferences and virtual meetings
8: Harleena Singh
Harleena Singh, from Aha!NOW, says:
I hardly use my phone, except to receive calls or make a few!! No, never used it ever for blogging, nor have I got Facebook or any social media enabled on my phone because of the notifications. Main reason is I prefer my laptop and am literally online most of the time, so why use the phone?And it’s tough for me to adjust to that small a screen also. 🙂
While Harleena doesn’t use any apps on her phone, it’s important to note that you don’t always need your phone for blogging or business! Many people get along quite well using only their laptops or computers!
9: Maxwell Ivey
First, I need to admit that I’m still a bit hesitant to use my phone as a first option. I’m still more comfortable with apps that run on my laptop, but I’m getting better. I also believe that I really started using my phone after the Bluetooth keyboard I bought with it broke. I was using it as a crutch to avoid learning how to use the touch screen. I have gotten much more comfortable with the touch screen since that junky keyboard broke!
I do enjoy using the dictate function when creating Facebook posts and Tweets. I plan to start using it to record videos and live messages for myself.
I did try taking a selfie, but that didn’t work out too well. I will need to find someone to help me practice with where and how to hold the phone to take better pictures of myself. But that’s just the way it is when a blind person is using something in a visual manner.
I’m going to break down my favorite apps into productivity and entertainment.
One of my absolute favorite apps for getting things done is the official Twitter app. While I was struggling with my health in April of 2016, sidelined from blogging with the shingles, it allowed me to give the appearance of being active on Twitter without having to visit the site or open Night Owl (download for iOS or android) on my laptop. When things happen on Twitter, I get alerts. Then, I can like or re-Tweet a Tweet, follow someone who followed me, or open the Tweet and reply to it in detail.
Next up would be the Facebook Messenger app. I know a lot of people don’t like it because they get too many notifications. But I love it for several reasons. The best thing is being able to record an audio or video reply to messages. Also, when I get messages through the app, it tells me what images are whereas the Facebook version on my laptop does not, despite the fact that both screen readers are made by Apple and should have the same level of accessibility.
I love the version of Skype on my iPhone. I recently had to cancel a radio interview because we couldn’t make a three-way call work with the version of Skype on my MacBook. I had them try the next time with it on my iPhone and it went incredibly smoothly. I have since done two more interviews using Skype on my iPhone and people on the other end were just amazed by the call quality. I need to get a stand for it in case someone wants to video call instead of just audio. I also wish I hadn’t used the simple install because the screen name on my phone is different from the one on my laptop. I also like being able to dictate text messages to my contacts. I can’t do that on my laptop.
And thanks to Lorraine, I am now using my dictate function much better these days!
10: Donna Merrill
Donna Merrill, online marketer, blogger, and coach, says:
I like using the FaceTime app. It’s the voice message that makes it so much easier because when people message me for business, and I’m able to just talk instead of type. So… this is an awesome app! It works on iphone, I’m just not sure it works on smartphones.
Recently I came across the article 27 Time-Sucking Blog Tasks You Can Outsource. Although it does not speak directly about phone apps, it does give you a wide range of tools you can use(or even outsource) to help you with your blogging and business needs.
You might also want to view 15 Android Apps Every Blogger Should Have.
And if you’re really into marketing, you might like 45 Best Mobile Apps for Your Social Media Marketing.
I could go on and on about how you can use different apps on your phone for blogging or business, but I think you can see that you have many apps to choose from! Your use of apps on your phone will be different than those listed here, and it will take some experimenting before you learn which apps you are comfortable using.
Some apps will make your phone an invaluable tool for blogging or business, and some won’t.
It’s up to you to test out each app for yourself, decide if you like it, determine if you actually find it useful, or simply uninstall it from your phone.
Regardless of which apps you decide to use (or not use), your mind has at least been opened to some new ideas today!
Tell Me Which Apps YOU Use!
So… tell me, now, how YOU use YOUR phone for blogging or business… because I’d love to discover even more apps to test for myself.
And I am sure others want to know your secrets, too!
Please share your thought, experiences, apps usage, and any obstacles you’ve had to overcome in the comment section!
I look forward to hearing from you!
One more thing… If you found this post valuable, please share it with your friends. Thanks! 🙂