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Who has a smart phone? I bet 98% of you raised a virtual hand. A smart phone is a necessary device for this day and age, especially to travelers. Ten years ago, I called a hostel to hostel to look for a place to stay while flipping a guidebook, but now we can just go online to search a hostel and make a reservation. So easy. There’s no argument that it’s a necessary device.

I’m with my phone from the moment I wake up until go to bed. It’s not only the device to connect me to the world as a traveler, but also the extension of my business. How so, you asked?

I’m a terrible morning person. I’m a heavy sleeper and a natural night owl. Waking up early in the morning was always a struggle for me from the moment I could remember. For this, a smart phone is brilliant. I set up multiple alarms with random interval.

Not just for the morning, alarm is also useful to keep on track on my work schedule. It’s easy to get distracted when working form home. Schedule 30 minutes or 1 hour for your writing or social media managing. It helps!

Calendar – and alarm for calendar
I still have three notepad that I use to write down my thoughts and schedule, but often times it’s better to be digitize for online meetings. I use Sunrise app to set up meetings and reminders.

For nomadic travelers, email is the most important communication tool. Gmail app is good to sync all the folders from your account, but mail app on iPhone works quite well.

The world got unlimitedly better after the Evernote was invented. It’s the best tool to pull up my writings and notes with many devices. From a laptop to a phone to a tablet, I can work anytime I want.

Social Media
From Twitter to Instagram, invention of smart phone increased social media use astronomically. One of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram, only allows you to use mobile devices to update, so you get the point how important the phone is. Also, Skype works better on phones often times; don’t know why, it just does. I have these apps on my phone: Twitter, Echo Phone (for Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp (love and hate relationship with this app), Kakao Talk(for Korean friends and families), Skype, Facebook Page app, Facebook Messenger app, Telegram, Foursquare, Google+, Google hangout, and FaceTime.

Now phone camera offers a better quality than most of point-and-shoot cameras. Also it allows you to post it directly to social media. No more charging batteries and move photos from a memory card to computer for social media!

If you are a photo enthusiast, you would enjoy editing tools on mobile devices. Thanks to Instagram, a lot of people has a higher standard of photos now. Editing is the key. I use Snapseed on a daily basis.

Ebook, Audio Book, and Podcast player
Going on a long bus ride, but have no room to carry a book? Waiting in line for your coffee? Worry no more. Utilize your phone to compensate your reading time! Apps like Pocket helps saving articles for offline reading. Various new channels have their own app: BBC News, Washington Post, New York Times, etc. Kindle and iBook also offer the mobile app.

Podcast and audio book is a good for running, walking, long haul plan ride, or bus and train trips. If you’re not good at reading in a moving vehicle, you’d want to try listening audio books. I’ve gone through many difficult rides with interesting ebooks and podcasts. If you have smilier taste as me, you would love these podcasts: RadioLab, Freakonomics, Start Talk Radio, and Planetary Society.

You can easily buy audio books or rent them from a local library.

Ready to utilize your phone to the next level? There are many ways to explore smartphone options out there, and Gum Tree’s Phone Price Checker is a good place to start.

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