What’s The Most Helpful Way You Use Your Smartphone’s Camera?

What’s The Most Helpful Way You Use Your Smartphone’s Camera?

Your smartphone works beautifully as a pocket photographic memory, allowing you to quickly save snapshots of important information you want to use again later. We want to know what useful data you save with your mobile camera.

Title image remixed from originals by VLADGRIN (Shutterstock) and maigi (Shutterstock).

My favourite? The wish list. I take photos of things I want to buy. If I actually want them, I’ll remember the photo and dig it up, look for the product, and fork over my cash. Most of the time I just think I want it but really don’t, so it allows me think I’m going to get it and then when I forgot I actually get to save my money.

What’s your best trick?


  • So, I guess pictures of my cats doing cute things (like sleeping or lying around) don’t count? Aw.

  • In case your stuff ever gets stolen, take photos of the serial number / stickers, and the items themselves. If anything gets taken then at least you have extra details to help prove the item is yours, and what it looks like.

  • I take pics of business cards, products on discount so I can prove it was and not have to go back to get the tag. Take photos of cars with adverts/phones for later reference. Geotagged photos of places I want to remember, my serial numbers, plug layouts, sockets on the back of tv’s hifis etc.
    Hex nums, menus with prices…. when hire a car, take photos all around so they can’t say, that dent wasn’t there b4.

  • I use it at work – snapping photos of serial/model numbers, port layouts, patch panels, etc. Before that, I had to use a notepad and pen a lot.
    Phones are also great at slipping behind awkward equipment where otherwise I’d have to spend 20 minutes carefully detaching and moving the thing just to get a model number.

    (less work-related, I take photos of recipes so I can buy everything for a meal with minimum planning)

  • We don’t have nearly enough whiteboards at work so to ensure we never rub anything important off and lose information we take a picture before rubbing anything off. All gets uploaded to Google Docs so that anybody in the company can see anything that has ever been written on one of our whiteboards.

  • Yeah, our office relies on snapping whiteboards, which invariably end up on Dropbox.

    At home, the GF uses pen and paper to write down the shopping list then snaps a photo. For her it’s quicker than typing it out on the phone keyboard. She also regularly snaps recipes from magazines so she can shop for ingredients.

    Going through my photos I’m seeing plenty of car park pillars, too. (“Okay, so I’m on B2 in the red section.”)

  • Palm tree roots lifted pavers around the pool. I chalked consecutive numbers on each paver, took snapshots of the area, lifted pavers, cut out roots and replaced pavers exactly as they came out from the photo images

  • I take photos of prescription meds for both myself and my elderly mother. Very handy if you’re at the doctor/hospital and they ask “what medications are you using?”
    Also – all the cards in my wallet, both sides.

    All the above are hidden in a password protected ap.

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