#TechTuesday: 11 essential uses for your smartphone this summer

Our resident tech agony aunt Francesca Geens of Digital Dragonfly is off on holiday with her family in August. But she’s not switching her phone off – in fact, Francesca has a variety of smart uses for her mobile device while she’s away.

Small business tech: Francesca Geens of Digital Dragonfly You might be trying to switch off from work during the summer but you can still put your smartphone to good use when taking some time off, writes Francesca (left).  This is how I’ll be using my phone this summer when not checking my emails and social media accounts…
Big disclaimer – if  you are going abroad, please be sure you understand roaming charges and how to turn off data roaming on your phone so that you use wifi instead. Unless otherwise stated all apps are free and available on both Android and iPhone devices. Here’s my top 11 in no particular order:

1. Dropbox

I’ll be sure to have updated copies of passports and insurance documents in a Dropbox folder I share with my husband. Either of us will be able to access if the worst happens. You can also choose to upload photos from your phone straight to Dropbox- a great way to have peace of mind that your holiday snaps won’t be lost if your phone is.

2. Evernote

Enterprise Nation Club | Evernote Premium image I use Evernote to pull together useful holidays notes in the months leading up to a trip- places I want to visit, restaurant and hotel recommendations, booking reservations, and so on, these can all be tagged and easily searched once I get to my destination. Check out the Enterprise Nation Club’s Evernote offer!

3. Kindle

I’ll be catching up on my reading and this is a great way to bring together recent book purchases as well as longer pdf’s. If you aren’t sure how to send yourself a pdf see this blog post.

4. TuneIn Radio

A great way to access news and music from anywhere. Very important for fans of the Archers and 5 Live!

5. iPlayer

I’ll be sure to make the most of the download feature to top up on viewing for the kids for emergency use only. There is nothing like an episode of Postman Pat to get you trough a travel delay.

6. BBC Weather App

Smartphone apps | BBC weather Essential for planning ahead and a much improved version of the native weather app on the iPhone.

7. Google Maps

What can I say. Essential. And if you have Android you can sync entire maps offline. iPhone users can do the same by zooming in on the area they want to cache and typing ‘OK maps’ in the search field.

8. Find Friends (iPhone only)

If you have more than one iPhone in the family then this is an ever so useful for tracking down a lost partner or child and especially so if you are giving older kids a bit more independence. Also useful to locate husband’s who might be delayed at the pub on the way home. Invaluable.

9. TripAdvisor

An obvious place to start in any new destination when looking for top tips on where to eat or stay.

10. Wordpress

Productivity software | Wordpress logo I like to keep the family blog up to date and do all the blogging straight from my phone. It allows me to stay on top of the family photos and grandparents abroad love the regular updates.

11. Letterpress

A bit of fun. I love playing this game with friends and family both near and far.  Like Boggle but better. Why not invite me for a game? You can find me as f_in_london –may the best player win! This list could be endless but I’ve limited to the ones I know I’ll be using myself. What would you add to the list? Francesca Geens is the founder of Digital Dragonfly, and provides IT support, advice and consultancy to independent professionals.

Need more tech tips? Join in with #TechTuesday, every Tuesday

San's home office desk If you're your own IT department and you need more tech tips or tech questions answered, follow us on Twitter (@e_nation) and tweet #TechTuesday, every Tuesday, between 11am and midday UK time.
Photo credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

Have your say

Jeniffer Cooper
Jeniffer Cooper

Great Stuff! Enjoyed reading your blog.


The Dropbox idea is great, thanks for sharing! Will have my documents scanned so if there's any issues I'll know where to get backups :)


The Dropbox idea is great, thanks for sharing! Will have my documents scanned so if there's any issues I'll know where to get backups :)

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