Once I got my Droid, one of the first things I did was to add my two Yahoo accounts. With the Yahoo Mail app, I could check both with the touch of an icon, and get a notification when I get new mail on either account. I definitely had to cut down on a lot of the email newsletters I get, as I follow a lot of social media, writing, and entertainment news.
I diverted some of these newsletters to my Gmail so I would still get them, and disabled the notifications to Gmail so my phone wasn't beeping all the time. I also found a fantastic app called Pulse, which allows you to add numerous news feeds under one interface. Now, with the touch of an icon, I get all my news in one place, but still get the email newsletters over in Gmail.
The Droid integrates well with Google and Gmail, so I began to better utilize my Gmail calendar and tasks with my personal and business calendars and to dos. I still wanted a better way to track to dos, and use an app called Astrid. Astrid synchs with Gmail tasks, so you can add tasks in Gmail or in Astrid. They can be organized into lists, assigned dates, prioritized, have notes added, and even tags.
Next was my note organization challenge. I found a great app called Evernote. You can access it anywhere via the web, download the standalone program to desktops, or work on it via your phone. Basically it takes any type of information you want to save, and can organize it into notebooks, from notes and lists, to photos, to web snapshots.
Contacts are always a challenge. Droid can synch with your Gmail contacts, so I easily added all my Yahoo contacts to Gmail. Gmail can also synch with Facebook contacts, so when you sync up your Facebook, those are added as well. I still have some duplicate contacts I'm working through, but I have all my contacts in my phone.
Finally, I addressed my social media connectivity needs with the Facebook, Twitter, and Tweetdeck apps. The Facebook app keeps me connected to my account. I also have a Facebook feed in Pulse that keeps me connected. Twitter and Tweetdeck keep me integrated to my Twitter account.
I admittedly haven't downloaded a ton of apps in addition to the organization and social media apps. I've tried Google Reader, but I'm still adjusting to not holding a book. I've downloaded some free classics, and read some of my all time favorite book "Dune" on my Droid. I've only tried a handful of games, the one I've played most is chess. Besides those, just a couple of other apps like NFL Mobile. All available in free versions by the way.
Obviously, there's still a ton I can do. You can view and work with business documents on your Droid, and synch with work Microsoft Exchange email. Those are next on the list. I've of course delved into other aspects of the Droid which can have blogs of their own, GPS, locating bars, restaurants, entertainment, voice capabilities, communicating, and so on.
The key is research, and there are plenty of resources and reviews out there. Do your research to see what Droid (or other smartphone) is best for you. Get out there and play with some, and see what you like and what you don't like.
So far, I haven't been able to mess anything up I couldn't fix. There is a learning curve if you're not used to the touch screen interface or smartphones, but I thought it was all very easy to pick up. I'd messed around with my mother in laws iPhone (don't tell anyone) so was pretty familiar with the smartphone basic interface.
The main drawback and complaint you'll hear is the battery. For some it's a deal breaker, but not for me. I do have to charge it pretty regularly as such a dynamic device uses a lot of power. It's a small price to play, but if you are very mobile, I would definitely recommend a car charger, and a charger for the office. There is an extended life battery available as well that could be a consideration for you.
I know I've only just tapped the capabilities of my new toy. But the bottom line is that, in a short time, this device has changed the way I do things. It's made me more connected, but less tethered to my office and desktop computers and laptop. I don't need to check all my emails, Facebook, Twitter, news and blogs as much anymore, it all comes to my phone and is available at the swipe of a few icons.
What tools and apps are you using with your smartphones?
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