10 Best Smartphone Apps For Your New Phone

10 Best Smartphone Apps For Your New Phone | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.

Did You Get A New Phone For The Holidays ? 

All bright and shiny and perfect… 
It might not be gold and diamond encrusted like out little friend here, but I bet you didn’t even want to take it out of the box, did you?   
Well if you’ve managed to take it out and get it set up, you probably can’t wait to find some great new apps to go along with it.
Boy did you come to the right place!  We’ve compiled a list of 10 apps that will turn your smartphone into a real genius.  And a few of them might even save your or your family’s lives.   Here with no further ado, The 10 Best Smartphone Apps For Your New Phone.
1. Find My Phone (iPhone)/Lookout (Android)
The very first app you should put on your new phone is the one that’s going to protect it – not to mention all your information.  Find My Phone protects your iPhone by helping you locate it if it is ever lost or stolen.  With this app, you can signal your phone to ring so you know where to look for it, or if it is stolen, disable your phone and wipe your information.  Download the free Find my Phone app from the Apple App Store.  Lookout does the same thing for Androids, plus it also acts as anti-virus software for your phone, scanning new apps for malware and periodically scanning all of your apps for potential problems.  You can download Lookout free from the Google Play Store. 
2. Dropbox (iOS/Android)
Dropbox is our favorite online file solution.  Since it works on Apple, Android and PCs you can save files from your computer, tablets or phones to Dropbox to make them available on any of your devices.  But my favorite feature is photo sync.  When you install Dropbox on your phone or tablet it will as you if you want it to send all of the photos you take from your device to your PC.  Say yes!  That way, the instant you take a picture it will fly directly to the Dropbox folder on your computer and you’ll never again have to worry about downloading your smartphone photos to your computer!

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3. Find My Friends (versions for iOS and Android)
The Find My Friends app was created to be just that — a quick way to find out where all your friends are hanging out at any given moment.  But it doesn’t just locate your friends.  Activate it on your kid’s and spouse’s phones and you’ll have a quick, powerful emergency locator to use during emergencies or evacuations.  Not only will it show where they are, it also provides street-by-street driving directions to their location.


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4. Evernote (iOS/Android)
Part digital notebook, part assistant, Evernote gives you a place to put all of those thoughts, ideas, to do lists, links and pictures that you’re always madly searching for hastily written scraps of paper.  It syncs across all of your computers and devices, so that you always have the latest version of what you’re working on at your fingertips.  You can use it simply as a notepad or as a multi-subject notebook.  And the best part is, it’s fully searchable, to help you find anything you’ve tucked away on Evernote for safekeeping.  Added bonus:  If you’re using the Grab It And Go Sheets and Action Plans from our books, tuck them or links to them into one notebook on Evernote to give yourself immediate access to all the information you need, when you need it.
5. Keynote (iPhone)/PowerPoint (iOS or Android)
Both Apple’s and Microsoft’s presentation software is now available free for mobile devices.  Why is this great news?  Because you can use presentation software for nearly anything.  You can use it to write and send notes to yourself, save a bunch of clippings, screenshots or links from the web, or edit graphics on the run.  You may not know this but both Keynote and PowerPoint are terrific graphic editors.  You can resize, recolor, flip, turn, shadow, reflect or even drop the background color out of a graphic in seconds and resave it, without even opening Photoshop.  Oh and you can also be boring and use either software to put together or show a quick presentation. 🙂
6. Hootsuite
The Hootsuite Dashboard gives you a real-time view of all of your social media feeds in one place.  Just connect your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other accounts and you can not only see all of your messages and updates in one screen, but you can also write one message that will post to all your accounts at the same time.  Why is this important?  Because in an emergency, Hootsuite is the ultimate mobile command center.  It gives you the ability to send direct messages to all of your family members or friends that will post to all of their feeds simultaneously – whether they’re on Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn.  It also gives you a place to monitor any messages that they send to you.  Instead of logging in and out of your social media accounts, you can see everything that’s going on, find out where your family is and how they are, in seconds.
7. Flipboard
Okay, so this isn’t a life-saving app but it sure does save a lot of time.  With Flipboard you can create your own personal magazines.  All you have to do is tell it what subjects or Twitter or Facebook accounts you want to follow and it will aggregate all of those messages, videos or updates into feed that looks and reads just like a magazine.  Instead of having to take time searching for all the information that you need for work or school or even for fun, all you have to do is go to Flipboard and click on whichever “magazine” you want to read.  The ultimate in time-saving apps!
8. Mobile Banking App
If you have an account at a nationwide bank (or larger regional bank) take a few minutes to download their mobile banking app.   Why?  Because it can be a real life saver during an evacuation, emergency or any situation where you’re stranded far from home.   Not only will you be able to locate an ATM or branch office (to save on ATM fees),  but with most mobile banking apps, you can even transfer money from one account to another, check the limits on your credit cards, chat with customer service or even deposit checks into your account, simply by snapping a photo of them.  Now that’s service!
9. Skype (iOS or Android) /Facetime (iPhone)
We included these two apps because sometimes you just need to see a familiar face.  The worst thing about being away from home, or having the people you love in a different location, is feeling disconnected from them.  Whether you’re checking on each other during an emergency, or just need to see each other’s faces, Skype and Facetime are both a wonderful way to connect by cellular service or Wi-Fi, if landlines or cell service are down.  Making sure you have either of these apps on your phone, gives you one more way of communicating, no matter what is happening around you and your kids — even the ones who are away at college.
10. Word (iOS or Android)/Pages (iPhone)/A PDF Reader  
It doesn’t matter how many Action Plans you have, if you’re not able to see them.  Since we spend a lot of our time showing you how to complete your Information Sheets and Family Action Plans in our newest book slash program The Backup Plan 3.0, we want to make sure you can actually refer to them, even if the only device you have with you is your phone!  So if you have your emergency plans stored on your phone, Dropbox, iCloud or One Drive, make sure you download Word, Pages or a PDF Reader to go along with it.  That way, no matter how many plans you have stored in that phone of yours, you’ll actually be able to read them!
11. Around Me (iOS/Android)
Okay so we went overboard and added one bonus app!  Around Me is a great little app that uses your location to give you a list of the stores, restaurants and resources right around you.  All you have to do is click on bank or cleaners or hospital and Around Me will tell you where they are, whether you’re in your neighborhood or on the other side of the country.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Make Your Family Findable – Spring Break Edition!

It’s Spring!!!  

Finally, right?  Even though in most places, it wasn’t a bad winter weather-wise, it’s definitely time to shed the gloves, hats and boots and break out the sandals and spend more time outdoors.

Whether you and your family are getting ready for vacation or sending the kids  off on Spring Break, here are a couple of things to add to your smartphone or suitcase before you leave.  Don’t worry, they won’t take up much space.  And they might just help keep you and your family safe.
Another great way to keep the family safe while away from home, is to make sure they’re findable in five minutes or less. That’s a lesson that Senator Evan Bayh learned the hard way when he and his wife found themselves in Tokyo during the Fukushima earthquake.  He was doing press, she was shopping across town and suddenly, they quake struck and they were on their own.  Yes he had a staff that was eventually able to reunite them.  But if you’re light on staff, here are some great tips to keep tabs no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Don’t have time to read the whole post?  Just right click to download the Make Your Family Findable Shortcut Sheet
Making Your Family Findable
Smartphones, tablets and notebook computers are a phenomenal way to stay in touch with each other during an emergency.  Whether you send an email, text, tweet or Facebook message, you can find out the location and condition of everyone you love in seconds.   In a dire emergency, you can even send help, confirm or update emergency plans and even mobilize family and friends to be at the side of someone who’s been injured, using real time information. 
Since emergencies are by nature, completely unpredictable, the best way to prepare yourself and your family is to give yourselves as many different avenues of communication as possible.   You never know which one will make the difference.
So going back to our example, during earthquakes in Japan, cell phone towers barely worked because of earthquake damage and overloaded networks.  But Wi-Fi was up and running.  So what kept the Japanese connected with their families and the outside world?  Twitter, Facebook, Skype and YouTube!   Whether we’re talking about tornadoes in Oklahoma, wildfires in Colorado or Superstorm Sandy, giving yourself and your family options is a smart idea.
Update Your Smartphones
When you created your Family Evacuation Plan (if you haven’t done that yet, go do it now – we’ll wait for you), you listed the phone numbers, email addresses and social media addresses for each family member in your household. 
Now we’re going to take that one step further by adding all of that information to each family member’s smartphones.  While you’re at it, add new contacts on everyone’s phones for all of your out-of-area emergency contacts. 
Direct Messaging
If cell phone service is down and you are unable to text, don’t forget that Twitter and Facebook can also be used to send direct messages.  Those are personal messages that only go to the recipient – not broadcast to the whole world. If you don’t know how to send a direct message, here’s a quick tutorial. 
First, you need to make sure that every member of your family is following or has “liked” all of the other family members on Twitter and Facebook.  That will enable you to direct message each other.
  • For Twitter, click on Messages, then Direct Messages and then type in @ and the family member’s username.  Then type in your message and hit send.
  • For Facebook, click the little message icon at the top of your page (between the little people and the little earth).  Then click Send New Message and type in the name of the recipient or recipients and click send.
When Time Is An Issue…
Using a social media platform like HootSuite.com may help.  With HootSuite, you can send a single message that can be posted to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn simultaneously, ensuring that your family or friends would see your message immediately, no matter what site they happen to be on at the moment.
The Value Of A Photo
During the Joplin tornado, even lifelong residents found themselves disoriented when the tornado turned their normal landmarks into kindling. 
If your spouse or kids don’t know where they are after an emergency and need help a quick photo texted or uploaded to Instagram or Facebook could help you locate them.  This is especially true of GPS enabled phones or photos with geolocation.
Creating A Communications Plan
Once you and your family have updated your phones and completed your evacuation plans, sit down with them to discuss the ways you can use technology to stay in touch with each other during a disaster. 
Come up with some sample scenarios; for example, if a disaster were to happen while your family members were at work, at school or running errands during a normal day. 
  • How would you connect with each other? 
  • Would you text each other, or would calling or emailing be faster? 
  • If you have teens or young adults at home, their natural proclivity may be to send out a text or a tweet on Twitter, to update everyone, including you, on their location or situation. 
Find out the types of communication everyone prefers and then create an emergency communication plan that makes sense for your family.
What If?
Another great discussion to have with your family, especially with school age children, is what they would do if they had to get a hold of you but the cell phone system was out, or what to do if there was an area-wide blackout.    Don’t laugh, that actually happened to us in California!
Kids are so used to technology that they might not have the experience that they need to do things the old school way.   The best way to plan is to give yourselves as many ways as possible to stay connected.  Then if one or two normal methods are unusable, you’ll all simply turn to a different method to reach each other. 
Grab The Sat Phone
If you’re in an area with frequent emergencies like tornadoes or hurricanes, live out in the country or have a family member in a foreign country, consider getting satellite phones. 
They work in remote areas where there is no cell phone coverage and when cell towers are down.  If you don’t want the expense of a dedicated satellite phone, there are a few devices that turn your smartphone into a satellite phone.  
What’s The Code?
Lastly, consider creating a Family Emergency Code or Word.  This is a code or word that only you and your immediate family know. 
When a family member says it, texts it or emails it to the rest of the family, it signals that they’re in trouble and need help. 
It’s only to be used in extreme emergency and means that everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and establish contact with each other, immediately. 
Find My Family ASAP
Find My Friends is an iPhone app that is designed to let you know at a glance where your friends are.  But you can also use it to immediately locate your children, spouse and loved ones in an emergency. 
All your family has to do is allow you access on their phones, and if need be, you can immediately see where everyone is in real time, complete with map and directions.
Now that you know what to do, go download our free shortcut sheet, How To Make Your Family Findable, use it to update your phones, grab your flip flops and sunscreen and you’ll be on your way.   
Happy Spring!   #springbreak #familyvacation
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…

Introducing… Connected

Purchase Connected @ Amazon.com
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card


Connected | The Book Inspired By The Blog.

Connected | Saving Lives & Connecting Families One Smartphone @ A Time. rnn10.wordpress.com

What if I told you, there was one thing that you own and probably have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! Introducing Connected, an easy to read, easy to use guide that gives you everything you need to turn your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Purchase Connected @ Amazon.com