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Photographic Memory

I recently spent a few days at my parents’ house going through boxes of stuff from grade school, high school, and college. After I “oohed” and “aahed” at my old pictures, report cards, and projects, I had to decide what to do with all of it.    photos of memorabilia

Too much to keep, too sentimental to discard.

In the end, I took most of it to be recycled — perhaps my old chemistry notebooks will come back to serve a higher purpose — but not before I used my smartphone to take pictures of the things I wanted to “keep:” newspaper articles, posters, collages, projects, models, letters, and trophies.

Picture …. perfect!

My new album of electronic memories didn’t cost anything, didn’t take up space in the car, doesn’t weigh anything, and doesn’t need to be stored or moved to the next house. The best part is that I have these memories with me whenever I want to look at them or share them.

Put your smartphone camera to use taking pictures of the stuff you want to save but don’t have room to store. And be sure to back up your photos in case anything happens to your phone.

Closing Phone Apps

Once you open an app on your smartphone, the app stays open until you close it. Simple.

Except, returning to the Home screen doesn’t close the app; the app stays open in the background — using the phone’s battery power.

You should close your open apps periodically. Here’s how:

Android Phones (Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, etc):

Press and hold the Home button until the open apps appear in “thumbnail” size on the screen. Slide each app to the left or right side of the screen. To close all open apps at once, tap the “Remove All” button at the bottom of the screen.

Apple iPhones

Double-tap on the Home button and the open apps will appear in “thumbnail” size. Slide each app off the top of the screen. You cannot close the Home screen.

Windows Phones

Rather than tap the Start button to move to another app, tap the “back” button (bottom left of phone) to close the app. If you want to see which apps are open, tap and hold the “back” button to see the open apps in “thumbnail” size. To close an app from the thumbnail view, tap on an app and then tap the “back” button.
For video demonstrations, search YouTube ( for closing background apps on your specific phone.

New Icons

Microsoft and Apple surprised us recently by introducing important new desktop icons. Maybe you noticed?

Microsoft (Windows): A “Windows 10” Notification Icon in the Taskbar 
This is not Windows 10, Microsoft’s new and much-anticipated operating system scheduled for release on July 29th. It is Microsoft asking you to “reserve your free upgrade” of Windows 10 now.  If you agree, Windows 10 — when available — will download into your machine and invite you to install it. You can do this, or not. I expect that when Windows 10 is available, you can just download it when you are ready.

Apple: “Photos” replacing “iPhoto” 
By changing the “iPhoto” app to the “Photos” app, your iMac or MacBook runs the same photo app as your iPad and iPhone: your photos are sorted by “years,” “collections,” and “moments,” and there are no more “events,” just albums. (If you are not ready to part with iPhoto, don’t worry, it’s still in your computer.)

“Photos” also includes the iCloud Photo Library option to store your photos in the iCloud and share your photos and albums among your Apple devices.

If you see one of these icons on your desktop, you’ll know it hasn’t always been there and you’ll know what it means.

Remember This

If you aren’t using a Reminders app on your smart phone, you are, well, forgetting one of the phone’s most practical features.

Consider that your phone is usually with you. What better place to record the things you think of when you think of them?

  • Food you need to buy at the supermarket
  • Tasks you must to do today, this week, or this month
  • Items you don’t want to forget to pack on your next trip
  • Information you agreed to provide for your next meeting
  • Details you still need to address for your next party
  • Issues you need to discuss with your doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, accountant, realtor, client, etc.

Apple, Android, and Windows phones all have pre-installed reminder/to-do capability, but there are also other third-party apps available from the app stores.

Find an app that works for you and let your phone do your remembering. Just don’t forget to look at your phone!

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