Five ways your smartphone can help you get through the holidays


— Millions of Americans find themselves focused on planning the perfect party, juggling a packed social schedule and shopping for the best holiday deals.

Nearly seven in 10 smartphone users are “always looking to improve their productivity,” according to the results of a global study on productivity, conducted by BlackBerry.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your smartphone — it can and should be more than just a way to text or email. It can be your secret weapon to sanity this holiday season.

To help, the experts at BlackBerry are sharing five savvy tips for using your smartphone to drive productivity during this busy season.

Find Deals

Ensure you’re getting the best deals on holiday shopping. Activate the geolocation feature on your smartphone. Many brick-and-mortar retailers will be pushing special holiday discounts and offers to consumers shopping nearby or who have “checked in.” Additionally, apps such as Flipp allow you to browse the flyers and weekly ads of your favorite stores, highlight the best deals and clip items straight to your shopping list so you never miss out on a holiday sale.

The holidays can also mean a hectic travel season — use travel apps to search hotels, find flights deals and track your itineraries.

Set Reminders

Creating reminders is a seamless way to stay on top of day-to-day tasks that seem to double during the holidays. With apps such as SlickTasks you can boost productivity instantly and focus on what needs to get done by creating and sorting tasks. You can then build-in reminders for each and easily keep track of what needs to get done.

Bring Along Your Personal Assistant

Most smartphones are equipped with voice recognition technology, allowing you to jot down notes, search the Web, add calendar updates, place calls and send messages, without typing. These “assistants” can prove highly useful during the holiday season.

Driving from store to store looking for the perfect gift? BlackBerry Assistant can be activated via Bluetooth and can detect when you’re in the car and therefore unable to type. The assistant will take action based on your voice commands, helping you multi-task on-the-go.

Don’t Be Camera Shy

Smartphone camera technology has vastly improved over the past few years. For example, the new BlackBerry Passport has a 13-megapixel camera and is capable of taking the same high-quality photos as a traditional point and shoot camera. With just the click of a button, and the help of photo editing tools like Photo Studio, you can take beautiful photos of the holiday party and share instantly with family and friends across social networks.

Protect Yourself

Thieves are working overtime during the holidays.

When it comes to your smartphone, make sure all security features are enabled. This includes password protection, as well as activating app permissions, particularly on your banking apps.

For BlackBerry users, apps such as BlackBerry Protect will safeguard users in the case of a lost or stolen phone by allowing users to remotely lock, locate or wipe their smartphone, ensuring sensitive information remains out of reach from potential thieves.

With the right tech tools and strategies, you can get your to-dos done in record time this holiday season.