Turn Your Smartphone Camera Into A Pocketable Photographic Memory

Many apps exist to help you remember things, but arguably none are quite as useful and efficient as your camera. Typing takes time. Snapping a photo only takes a moment, and there are so many ways you can remind yourself with nothing but a picture.

Images by VLADGRIN (Shutterstock), maigi (Shutterstock), and Adam Dachis.

Not only is photography easier and more efficient, it also provides additional details to help you remember important information that words can’t capture. Sort your photos into specific albums and you’ll have a great set of categorised reminders. In this post, we’re going to look at several ways you can use your camera to remember things better and faster.

Remember Who Borrowed Stuff

The folks over at Apartment Therapy came up with a clever solution to the problem of remembering who borrowed your stuff: take a picture of them and the thing they borrowed, then save it to an album of borrowed items. When you wonder where it went and who took it, just consult that album and you’ll find out in an instant. This is much easier than jotting down all the details and setting a reminder in your calendar for some abstract date.


Keep Track Of Emergency Information

Whether you’re taking pictures of insurance details or prescription medicine, an emergency photo album can be useful in two important ways. First, if you need any of that information when you go to the doctor or chemist, it’s right in your phone for easy access. Secondly, if you’re in an emergency and need to provide crucial details quickly, you can tell people that your data is in your phone. We trust you won’t have to consult your emergency album too often, but it’s always good to know it’s there to help keep you safe.


Build A Wish List

When you’re on the go and see something you might buy in the future, snap a photo and save it in a “wish list” album. When you’ve got a little extra money to spend and want to treat yourself, browse that album and decide what you want. You can use this same method to maintain a gift list for others. On top of the obvious benefits, it’s also a good way to deter irresponsible spending. We’ve previously discussed how instituting a 24-hour delay on purchases can help you curb excessive spending. Taking a photo can make it a little easier to walk away from the product you want because you know you have a reference to it in your pocket.

Bonus: This also works well for creating a shopping list at IKEA; simply photograph the tags and reference the pictures later when you’re picking up items in the self-serve area


Photograph Places You Want to Visit

When you want to note down a restaurant (or any other place you want to visit in the future), take a photo. Not only do you have a visual reference to it, but because most smartphones retain GPS location data you’ll know where you took the photo as well, and won’t need to note the address. A picture can really save you a lot of time here.

Take Notes

If you need to copy down some text, taking a photo is much faster than typing it into you rphone. On top of that, you can send the photo to an app such as Evernote and make that text searchable thanks to the magic of optical character recognition (OCR).


Take Screenshots Of Key Information

Screenshots end up in your photo album when you take them on your phone, so they can serve as reminders. If you want to note down an app for future purchase, save a map for offline use or remember a specific alert, saving it as a screenshot can help.

Secure Your Photos

This technique can be helpful, but you don’t want confidential information stored in photos to be easily accessible on your phone. One obvious way to secure your photos is to use a password to lock your entire phone. If you just want to hide your photos, there are apps that can help you out. Ben the Bodyguard ($5.49, iOS) and Hide It Pro (Free, Android) both get the job done.

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