Seven ways to get more from your everyday technology

Do you want to live longer? Better nutrition and exercise will make you live longer than Silicon Valley’s search for immortality. At least in your lifetime.

There is another way. You can squeeze more time out of technology by making the most of it. You can save even two minutes daily and have more weeks of your life.

These are different from the seven habits of highly effective people. Our ambitions are bigger and more ambitious than they seem. Here are seven tech tips to help you live a little longer.

The life extension calculations below assume that there is a life remaining. They are based on Indian averages for expectancy (68 years) and age (28) in India.

 Auto-text/text replace

How often do we type our addresses, directions, or email addresses on our mobile phones? You can use the iPhone and many Android phones to type a code word into Whatsapp or email. A phrase will then replace it.

 Google Photos Search

Do you remember when we scrolled through thousands of photos looking for the perfect shot of a day at Goa’s beach? What? You’re still doing it? You’ll be amazed at the results if you type “beach” and “Goa” in Google Photos.

Although it’s not perfect, this gives you the chance to glimpse futuristic buzzwords like “artificial Intelligence” and “machine Learning”, as well old, if a little creepy, GPS, all working for your here and now.

 Use your smartphone to scan documents

Apps like Camscanner and Evernote take out the tedious chore of the “scan dance”. This involves placing a sheet on a scanner, pressing a button, and waiting for it to blink and whir, then replacing it with another sheet.

Mobile scanning apps are quicker to use, have a variety of filters and, especially on high-end phones, provide surprisingly good quality. You can also convert your scanned document into searchable text, although with different degrees of accuracy, or a business card to a contact number. An app is three times more popular than a scanner for me.

Life Extension = 4.5 Days (average 15 minutes per month saved)

 One-click to save contact information

Evercontact automatically saves all contact information you receive via email to your contacts. You don’t need to copy and paste each phone number and address line manually.

Life Extension = 10 Days (average 1 minute per day saved)

 Boomerang helps you stay on top of your emails

For Gmail users, Boomerang allows you to:

* Add a reminder to an existing email to bring it back to the top after a specified time. This is useful if you are unable to attend to an urgent email but don’t want it to go unnoticed.

* Find out if an email you’ve sent has been viewed.

* Click “send” to send an email. However, it may take a while for the email to actually get sent (for example, as a reminder or follow-up, closer to an event).

If no one has responded to your email, you can bring it up again. This is a reminder to make sure you follow up as necessary.

Life extension is not possible (but it’s worth the effort if you land a crucial deal or you are spared embarrassment).

 Dropbox and Dropbox are the best places to keep key folders.

Dropbox lets you store files on the Internet “cloud”. Files can be accessed via any device, including a browser, iOS, Android, and Mac.

I copy currently-in-use files from my Documents folder on my Mac/PC to Dropbox. This way I can be sure that the most current version of these documents is always available from my computer/Mac, even when I’m on the road.

This is made easy by the Dropbox app for Mac or PC. It mimics the appearance and feel of regular folders. You can drag files into the folder to automatically upload them to the cloud.

It is especially useful to have scans of all your IDs (passport, driving license, PAN card, and Aadhaar cards) on Dropbox so that you can access them at any time.

You can now do more with USB pen drives. No more clumsiness, no more emailing files to yourself, and no more trips back to the office for that file you forgot.

Life Extension = 4.5 Days (average 15 minutes per month saved)

 All reminders

I would like to have reminders for everything on my phone, including a photo, a Whatsapp messaging, an email message, a document, and an app notification. To-do lists are everywhere and I don’t like the tedious task of typing them into a list.

 By tapping on each other’s phones, you can exchange business cards

It is a scandal that people still give out paper cards, make missed calls, and send contact information via Whatsapp or SMS in 2017. Google/Apple – Make it easier.

 Connect my Bluetooth headset wirelessly

That sounds absurd, I know. I’m tired of waiting for pairings, connecting, and gnashing at disconnections. And, most importantly, not knowing if my Bluetooth headset has connected. I would like to remove a tiny “button” from my headset and stick it on my smartphone. If it is there, I am connected. End of story.

 A global directory, built into my phone

I would like to see who is calling me, whether it’s a telemarketer or someone I should call. It is very similar to the popular app Truecaller. However, the user interface is too intrusive, and the recent invasion by full-screen Jio ads has me on the verge of uninstalling it.

 Group creation is easier with Whatsapp

Whatsapp is a great tool and outperforms Skype in every aspect. To create a group, I cannot just use a message from the past and then add others to it. Instead, I will need to search for each person and click the “create group” button. What’s the deal with Whatsapp?

 You can call on a regular telephone line using Whatsapp

Dear Whatsapp: We know that you want us to use your calling feature. It is a great way to communicate with people. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but you have to admit it.

Instead of having to hunt for that person’s number in our contacts, we can simply add a button to Whatsapp so that he can be reached via regular phone calls. It’s obvious people want it so there are often “oops” missed calls via Whatsapp. This is helped by confusingly similar green icons that allow for messaging and calling.

 Type apostrophes

This is a very specific and annoying problem. Apostrophes are usually placed before the letter “s”. However, they don’t have to be written before the letter “s”. This would cause a disruption in the flow of the tiny mobile keyboard’s fluidity.

This will help to avoid clumsiness. (1) Auto-correct should suggest words that could be used as an apostrophe. (2) One should be able to type the apostrophe following the “s”, leaving it up to the phone software to move it into the right position if necessary.

With these new tech tips, what can you do with all the extra time?

Me? I will pour fine tequila over ice and stir it with lime juice and salt. Then, I will sit down in front of the TV and watch Masterchef Australia episodes (without the ads to prolong my life).


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Hello there! Thank you for stopping by Interead, and I am Adam, the mastermind behind this versatile blog. At Interead, I like to cater to basic issues regarding technology, fashion, home decor, and more for my readers so they could benefit from every post. Have a good read!