When I am out and about I have phone numbers, addresses (click the address make a map), URLs (lookup products) and hours of operation. Hopefully less wasted trips and less time wasted in general
When I set up my Address Book I added some categories besides just Home & Work. For example Cooking stores. In here I added entries for the various local markets I shop at, supply houses, all the various Whole Foods Markets I frequent etc. Much of the information I got into the Address Book via copy and paste. I looked up the business on my laptop’s web browser and copied and pasted the fields into the Address Book program on my laptop. I also made sure to add their URL, since the iPhone has the Safari web browser built in. The last thing I added was the hours of operation. After synching my laptop with my iPhone I am in great shape. For example if I am out and about and want to hit a store: I can look up their hours, called them, use the built in Google Map feature to make a driving directions map to get me there from where ever I am. No more driving out of my way only to find the store has closed. I can also check their website to see if they have the type of thing I am looking for before I head that way.
Besides using the calendar for the usual things like helping to remember birthdays and anniversaries, I use it for BBQ related items. Example: Reminder to go pre-order my Thanksgiving turkey. I recently brined a brisket for 2 and 1/2 weeks to make pastrami. I had my calendar program remind me to flip the brisket every other day. Other things: Remember to stop at the grocery store, remember to start the marinade that needs 24 or 48 hours. You get the idea. The less I have to remember the better off I am. Having it on my laptop and phone is a benefit. When I am out and about the phone will alert me to things I may have forgotten.
There are several of these web based lists available for use on the iPhone or other browser equipped smart phones. The one I use is Ta-Da Lists: http://tadalist.com/. Right now web based Add-on programs are all Apple supports on the iPhone and this one does the job nicely for me. The internet aspect is nice because you can share your lists with others and access it from almost anywhere. Notice I said almost anywhere. If you are out and about and don’t have cell coverage or WiFi access at your current location you are out of luck.
The neat part about Ta-Da Lists: It is free. You sign up and create lists via your web browser. Then you can view it from anywhere you can use a web browser. Better yet: If you want you can also share these lists with selected individuals or everyone. I have two BBQ related uses for them and I am sure I will think of more. The first is lists of ingredients I will need to make some of my favorite recipes. This way if I am out to buy a roast and the butcher has great looking ribs, I can make it one stop shopping. I can look up my rib recipe on the browser on my iPhone and see what else I’ll need that I don’t keep in the pantry. I can also have several recipes in mind to make. When I go out and see what is in season or what is available, I can grab the rest of the ingredients while I am out. The second use is for things I want to buy next time out. Have you have ever been at the market and stood there scratching your head trying to remember the item you wanted to grab next time you were at that store? Well now I add it t a Ta-Da list on the iPhone and when I am out and about I can access the list. I am really enjoying using Ta-Da lists to help with spontaneous shopping.
Having all my photo albums I use for this website on my iPhone has many benefits
The shots of the ingredients on the counter can actually be enlarged enough to read the labels on the spice jars.
When I make the picture entry pages for this web site I export the picture I plan to use into their own albums. I then downsize the pictures so they load faster in iWeb. Having these pictures in albums is great when it comes time to add them into iWeb and now the same thing is true for my iPhone. I just use my web site photos. They were the pick of the lot and show the ingredients and the final product. Having shots of a piece of meat is handy when you are trying to show someone new what you are looking for. A benefit to the shots I take of all of the ingredients on my counter is I can use them as a memory jogger. The iPhone has good enough resolution that I can blow up the ingredients and read the labels on the spice jars for example. Now I always have these photos with me whenever I am out.
Having Google Maps as part of the iPhone is a great thing. If I am out and can’t find something, I can use Google Maps to help me locate other similar businesses. Then I can get driving directions right on the iPhone. Any of the items in my Address Book can be used to create driving directions complete with estimated drive time and an overlay of current traffic conditions. When I saw Google Maps was part of the iPhone I thought it was a good thing. I can’t tell you how much I use this feature every day. If you want to find certain types of businesses: Make a map by typing in your desired zip code. Then do a second search for the type of business you are looking for.
One neat trick you can do with maps involves driving directions. If you are making driving directions and do it from your computer, you can email that map to yourself. On the iPhone there is a link in the email that opens in Google Maps. You now have driving directions. I recently used this during Grill Camp week to give me 4 sets of driving direction to various restaurant supply houses and stores I planned to visit one after the other. It is faster to do them on the full sized keyboard on the computer and then you send them to the iPhone via email.
Perhaps now after reading this, you can see how I can call my iPhone my “BBQ Buddy”. I waited for the price to drop before getting my iPhone. Had I known all the extra uses I have found for it, I might have been standing in the lines the first day myself.
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