13 Practical Ways to Use Your Smartphone’s Camera You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

Believe it or not, your smartphone’s camera has more useful applications to daily life than a well equipped Swiss Army knife. Whether you need an ally to witness something, take care of some chores, preserve moments, faces, phenomenon, or events, your smartphone camera can be there for you. Here are some clever and practical ways you can use your smartphone every day that you probably haven’t considered.

Give Yourself Peace of Mind

Worried about keeping track of your valuables when you are away from home because someone might use or borrow them? Snap a pic of the objects where you keep them and compare it to what you find when you get back. It makes it easy to verify that your safe, jewelry box, or secret drawer in your desk hasn’t been tampered with in your absence.

Save Important Info Securely

When you are travelling abroad or in your home country, having all of your credentials and credit card information, hotel address, etc. stored in your smartphone can come in handy should your wallet or purse be stolen while you are out. Showing pictures of yourself with these items is a great way to verify to authorities that you are who you say you are, and greatly speeds up your replacing or recovering said vital documents or information in the event that something happens to them.

Don’t Overspend or Under-Shop When You Go to the Grocery Store

Writing lists takes time, and sometimes you forget to put things on lists when you make them. Snapping photos of the contents of your fridge and shelves is a great way to keep track of what you have on hand and jog your memory when you go to the store in case you forgot to add an item to the list or put items in your cart that you already have plenty of at home.

Take a Photo of Your Kids or Pets Before Taking Them Someplace Crowded

Heaven forbid you should lose track of your kids or pets at a big outdoor event or a county fair, but should it happen it can be assisting authorities in getting them back without a current photo. As soon as you all pile out of the car or van or similar family vehicle, snap a photo of everyone on your phone and save it so you can share it with law enforcement or event staff should you and your children or furbabies get separated and lost. It’s also much easier to show passersby when you are trying to find them yourself as well.

Save Time and Headaches When Shopping for Outfits

Shopping to find items that coordinate with clothing you already own can be a real pain, especially if your existing clothes are in unique shades. Snap a quick photo in neutral good lighting before heading to the mall so you can make sure to find that perfect accessory or garment to complete a look or outfit without worrying if it will coordinate or not.

Love Your New Haircut? Take a Picture!

This applies to guys or gals: next time you get a fresh haircut that you absolutely love, as your stylist to snap photos from all angles so they can replicate it the next time. That way, both you and your stylist get great results every time you go in to get your hairdo touched up again.

Snap a Photo of Your Parking Spot

Have trouble remembering where you parked in big parking lots? Snap a photo with your phone’s camera of your car and a fixed landmark in the background to help you remember next time. It will save you time and frustration every time you go to the store and have to park farther away.

Get What You Want When Buying or Replacing Products

How many times have we all been at the pharmacy or big box store and see a face cream or shampoo on sale, but we can’t remember which one we already use at home? Snap a photo next time you start running low so you can find exactly what you had before at the shop. Better still, you can always show a helpful sales associate or store employee if you just can’t seem to find it by yourself.

Never Lose a Business Card Again

The next time someone hands you a business card, immediately snap a photo of it before pocketing it or putting it in your purse. That way you have all the important information on it even if you empty your pockets or purse and misplace the card or dispose of it. There are also numerous smartphones that take pictures of business cards and save their text as a contact in your cloud-based Google or Apple address book.

Never Lose Your Claim Checks

Sometimes it seems like we have claim checks for everything: the dry cleaner, coat checks, bills, luggage, you name it. Rather than try to keep them all organized and together, just take a picture next time and save them in your phone so you can look them up quickly and easily. It definitely makes life a lot less stressful.

Scan Your Own Copy of Important Documents for Records or Research

Sometimes we need a photocopy of a document we filled out by hand that needs to be mailed or faxed, or we need a record of a text excerpt for research purposes.. Snapping a quick photo is a great way to verify the information on a document or save some important evidence for research to use later on. There are also numerous applications for Android and iOS that allow you to scan and create PDF files that you can email or fax directly from your smartphone, too.

Read QR or Barcodes While Shopping

Your camera is a powerful tool when used in tandem with various shopping apps that let you scan QR coupon codes or barcodes. There are several high quality grocery shopping apps that let you scan barcodes of items you buy all the time and set a store price, helping you stay on budget by tallying up a running total of what you have in your cart so far. QR code readers are also useful for accessing free information or special offers, so snapping a pic of a QR code to scan with an app later is also a great way to get more out of your smartphone every day.

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