Tip – Take A Picture, Make it Snappy!

14 Jul

Maybe laziness is what started me on this.  It could have been lack of patience in waiting for a scanner to scan stuff.  Either way, this is one of my most useful tips.  Take a picture of it!  Then store them in a “documents” folder.

Instead of scanning things or writing notes down, just take a picture.  This is of course most convenient if you have a camera phone.  And even more so if you have a smart phone, where you can sync your pics to your computer or email them to yourself.  I take pics of EVERYTHING.  I very rarely scan things anymore.  I can’t understand why scanning technology is still SLOW!  Taking pics of documents and other things has saved me lots of time, money and in some cases, saved my butt!  I just keep a file on my computer called, “documents.”

Here are things that I’ve taken pictures of: Checks I’ve received and needed to keep a record of, contracts, damages to items, receipts that I refer to (most receipts have reference numbers on them that the store can use and often times they fade even if you are organized enough to keep track of it), notes I’ve written on napkins while sitting in the car…often with contact information, warranty info, Travel confirmation letters (so you don’t have to carry around the documents), suspicious cars in the neighborhood, letters with time-sensitive deadlines, a cashier’s check I had to send in the mail, mail labels with tracking numbers on them, my kids’ class lists attached to their classroom door before school starts, business cards and lots of other things.

The following is just a picture list of some things I take pics of…

When our home flooded, we stayed for a few weeks at a vacation rental.  I was in LOVE with the furniture.  I had a hunch it was Costco.  Before we left, I took pics of all the labels.  This was especially handy since I couldn’t actually move the furniture to see it and write it down.  But skinny iPhone got back there and snapped a pic!  The best part of this story, a few months later, Costco brought in furniture pieces from this exact company and almost identical.  I bought two of them!  If you’re a big fan of Costco furniture, you know you have to buy it fast before it runs out.


When we remodeled our home after the flood, this was my inspiration kitchen pic that I kept on my phone.  I used it constantly as a reference and didn’t have to carry around a magazine cut out wherever I went.  It would have been lost after the first day anyway.Sitting in a book store looking for kitchen inspiration and ideas, I snapped a pic of this page.  (Hope that was legal!)

I took this pic so that I could go home and read reviews on this product.  I also used it to call the other Costco stores to see if they had the color I wanted.   They ended up not having what I wanted and it saved me a few trips to various Costco stores.  Can you tell I drink a little too much Costco?This is handy when giving the hubby the task of picking something up.  It’s a picture of the advertisement, price and item number.  No excuses for getting it wrong!

Business cards!I needed to explain our windows to a variety of window vendors.  Trying to explain this without drawing it out would have taken a very long time.  I drew it up, snapped a pic and emailed it to all the potential vendors for a quote.
This was very useful when explaining to the hubby the cost of new cabinets and showing him a visual of the great deal we would be getting!  This was one of those…the more you spend, the more you save.  When you’re crunching numbers and adding and subtracting items, it’s hard to remember the promotions when they are on a tiered system.  It’s like playing those brain puzzles.  You make a move thinking it will help you, but it just messes you up in the other direction.  By having the exact promotion that the sales guy had (that’s not posted), I was able to figure out what we would spend that would give us the most savings.  We saved over $10,000!
I’m not that great at locating things when I need them.  I needed a paint color match.  I snapped a pic of the formula the hardware store used so that I’d always have it even long after that little jar of paint disappeared into the black hole of my closet.

I really wanted this door, but it was on clearance, so I wanted to check it online to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with it.  It was a great door.  Too bad for me, they were out 😦Ever been frantic the night before your kids’ sporting event.  “Do I have snacks this week?!!!”  This kept the frantic-ness to a minimum.  I only got frantic when I realized I had to make it to the store and back and prepare the snacks before the game.  In theory, this is supposed make it so that doesn’t happen.  And, if you’re not good about plugging all the game times into your calendar, this is handy to have.This was an awesome bookshelf find.  I needed to check the dimensions at home to make sure it would fit.  Did someone say, “Costco?”

Here, this box arrived damaged.  I snapped this pic before opening it in case the contents inside were damaged.  Thankfully, everything arrived safe and sound.
I took this pic of my computer screen.  I needed to find out if the store had the same model in a bigger size.  I was able to get the bigger size and the sales girl at Lowes even “price matched” the online promotion and saved me $300!

I took my grandma to this noodle factory.  I snapped this picture of their prices for future reference.  I’ve done this with take-out menus too.And finally, just be warned, if you get good at this, one day, you may have to do this.

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2 Responses to “Tip – Take A Picture, Make it Snappy!”

  1. corieocookies July 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM #

    28,673?! That’s ridiculous. I think I need a smart phone: )

  2. Traci July 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

    awesome!! Your iphone has definitely paid for itself 🙂 good ideas for camera phone use!

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