iPhone for Documenting Needed Information

Smartphone Monopod with iPhone - Water Meter on

Recently I discovered a couple of new uses for my iPhone in documenting things I want/need to remember.

One was to use the Voice Memo App for recording the “whooshing” sound being made in a toilet tank. So often noises we hear in our appliances or cars never seem to appear when we try to explain them to the repair people. It occurred to me if the sounds were recorded, they certainly could be shared with the service man when he came. As it turns out they were present when he was there and he could immediately see and show me what it was.  Nevertheless he was impressed with the recording.

The second actually relates to the first.

THE STORY – There had been an internal leak in the tank resulting in an unexpected large increase in the monthly water bill. The leak had actually consumed an additional 5000 gallons of water beyond customary usage.

Water Meter ClosedIn-Ground Opened Water Meter





Water Meter GaugeThis time, in order to have a meaningful conversation with a customer service person when I called the water company, I went out to my water meter to do a reading on the gauge.

I did not realize that only one of the two different dials was the meter for my home.  Concerned with how I’d remember the two sets of numbers by the time I got back into my house, I decided to pull the iPhone from my pocket, intending to type the numbers into a memo.

Then I realized it would be even simpler to use the iPhone camera to photograph the two dials. And, that’s exactly what I did, as I got down on my hands and knees to get clear pictures.

Back at my desk, I made note of the numbers. Then with three months of past invoices that I put into Evernote (process from web to note will be described in the next post), I was able to have an easy-to- understand and follow, satisfactory conversation with the rep.

When I went to gather images for this post, I decided it would be great to have a photograph showing the iPhone in action.  I did this with my iPad.  I could not figure out, though, how to manage getting down on my knees to replicate what I did for purposes of photographing with the iPad.

Then, while juggling the phone, switching hands to take pictures, I remembered I had a Smartphone Monopod that I could use to hold the phone steadier. This is what you see in the topmost photo here.

Ironically, I never thought to use the Monopod while doing the initial photos for the needed information when calling the Water Company Service department. How much easier it would have been!

What creative uses have you found for your SmartPhone? Please share with us in the “Leave a Reply … ” comments box below or send me an email at easyseniortechnology@gmail.com


iPhone for Documenting Needed Information — 9 Comments

  1. IF I notice a book in a store I might want to read later I can photo the title, or someone takes me to a new restaurant I like, I photo the menu especially with the address. I have also taken a photo of a favorite dish I forget the name of the next time I come. I can show them the photo!!

    A deer hit my car and I took out my camera and photographed the damage and sent it to the claims adjuster! Complaining about a hole in the road the street department needs to fix, a place where a stop sign is needed!!

    Sometimes I just see something and it might be the name of a store, or a billboard and it inspires me to write an article or look up a subject if I take a photo of it. Thanks for your share!

    • Thanks for adding some of your extended uses for your phone, Morgine. You’ve planted added seeds in my mind. Another I like to do is photograph the signs next to plants when I’m in a gardens, especially if I am photographing them. It’s the easiest way to remember what they were.

  2. You will like this one Sheila, It should be from Ron. We had to put tenants up in a hotel when a rental had water damage and the hotel wouldn’t accept our credit card over the phone and needed ID in person. Miles away, we couldn’t sign in person, so Ron layed out his drivers license and credit card and photographed them with his smartphone and emailed it to the hotelmanager. Bingo… They accepted it.

  3. I am happy it worked. I would never email my credit card information via email. Too easy for someone to grab it. They warn you never to send your numbers in an email as it is not encrypted. Especially if you are also giving them your driver’s license number with it. I would have called and given my credit card information over the phone and then emailed a copy of my driver’s license.

  4. Morgine has some very good ideas for using the camera in a smartphone. I haven’t thought much about it before, and your business with the water dept, Sheila, was made so simple to deal with when you have the photos right in front of you. Thank you both for those ideas.

    • Thanks for the validation and your comments, Carol. So glad you found the post helpful. Do pop in and share some other creative ways you may use your phone now or in the future.

  5. I have often taken photos of poor packaging when a product arrives with a broken box or wrapping, or of DAMAGED products to email to those in charge of sending a replacement. When I received my standing desk and a part was damaged, it was much Easier for them to KNOW what to send when I included a photograph of the part I needed, rather than a description.

    You can also email Photos to a Doctor or Vet when you Describe a physical problem and there is physical Evidence. Seeing the wound, the skin irritation and so on, gives them a Much Clearer idea of what you are talking about! Cameras are SO valuable in so many ways today and even I forget!

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