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5 Unique Ways Your Smartphone Can Make You More Productive

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5 Unique Ways Your Smartphone Can Make You More Productive

Smartphones are blamed for many of today’s ills. Millennials are too dependent on their phones, disconnected from the world and self-absorbed with their own social media lives, according to many grumbling sources.

However, the reality is smartphones have expanded our chance at productivity. Rather than waste time, smartphones have allowed us to become more productive than ever. It all depends on how you use your device.

1. You can work from anywhere

A smartphone with data can let you work via cloud storage. Google Drive is available on the iPhone and Android, and comes with a full suite of document creating and editing tools. This allows you to make and change documents on the go, without waiting for a computer and WiFi access.

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Other programs like Evernote and Dropbox also sync to a cloud-based storage system, allowing you to keep large files and notes on you without worrying about memory or what device it was stored on. Of course you’ll want to make sure you have a good signal wherever you are. But thanks to cloud storage and data, smartphones can help bridge the gap between work spaces by keeping you ready to open and work on any file or document on the fly.

2. You can simplify what you’re carrying

Smartphones help consolidate some of your most crucial data, allowing you to lighten the load of what’s in your wallet and what you need to have prepared.

Rather than copying down information you need to remember, you can take a photograph. Now you don’t need a notebook or a pen. Instead of taking a business card, add them to your contacts list (or take a photo of their business card). Now you don’t have to worry about a small slip of paper.

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Smartphones can even be used as payment devices via apps like Squarecash, Venmo, Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Now you don’t have to carry your cash or credit cards around. Whatever you need, chances are there’s an app for that.

3. You can plan your whole day on your phone

With smartphones, you have access to everything you need to plan your day. A calendar app with timed notifications and GPS directions can help you get to all your meetings.

You can purchase airplane, bus and metro tickets from your phone, or place a request for an Uber. You can reserve a seat at the movies or order a taxi. Some apps, like Grubhub, allow you to place orders for delivery in advance without needing to make a phone call. Virtually every major organization, retailer and institution has created an app or mobile website that smartphone users can work with easily.

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4. You can stay in the loop

Because smartphones allow you to text, call, IM, email and more, it’s very easy to make yourself available, and it’s very easy to stay up to date on all your information. The iPhone can be set to check for new emails every half hour, hour or longer intervals of time based on how frequently you want to check your email without requiring you to intentionally open your email and see what’s new.

Text messaging allows you to communicate with others on the fly, have multiple conversations at once and cut down on left voicemails and missed calls. By keeping an active alert system in your pocket, your smartphone can let you know about any updates as they happen so you can stay involved from anywhere.

5. You can get things done faster

A smartphone can significantly cut down on your time doing… just about anything. Checking email is now a matter of looking at the notifications of your email app. Notes can be dictated and recorded, and photos can be taken on the same device that notes are stored.

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A smartphone allows you to switch between a huge variety of useful apps with the click of a few buttons. It simplifies your tools, serves as a portable computer and automatically keeps you notified about what’s going on. Used properly, a smartphone can streamline your productivity significantly and prove that technology is not just a productivity killer.

Featured photo credit: Pabak Sarkar via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

15 Best Places for Expats to Live (And Why)

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15 Best Places for Expats to Live (And Why)

Many of us dream of living abroad but can often be scared to make such a big change to our routine lifestyles and leave our home countries behind. Daunting as it may be, living abroad can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor and can give you the quality of life you have been looking for.

From a warmer climate to a more easy going way of life, there are many foreign countries favored by expats who stay for a long time – and sometimes forever. Taking into consideration livings standards, opportunities and social aspects, here are our top 15 best places to live as an expat and why.

1. Thailand

A hot spot for expats, the ‘land of smiles’ as it’s commonly known offers expats a tropical climate, a huge array of sandy beaches and islands to explore, and a rich culture. The cost of living in Thailand is extremely low, and when combined with the friendly tax system means that disposable income can be very high.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, offers expats great employment opportunities.

2. Switzerland

Another popular destination for expats, Switzerland offers exciting employment packages and a high standard of living. It’s great for those who love the outdoors, as there are many beautiful lakes, mountains to hike in and skiing in the winter. The school standards for expats are also excellent, making it appealing for those with children. English is also widely spoken so day-to-day living can be stress free.

Unemployment in Switzerland is low and expats moving here don’t need to worry too much about finding a job before they arrive.

3. Australia

Many foreigners who visit Australia don’t want to leave as it offers a great quality of life, beautiful beaches and a warm climate. Making friends in Australia is easy too, due to the lack of language barrier and the large number of expats who already live here. Australia is a great place to move to if you have children because of its wide range of schooling possibilities and recreational outdoor activities.

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Low population levels and high quality of life are two of the main reasons expats choose Australia as a place to live.

4. Singapore

Expats in Singapore can benefit from generous financial packages, great career opportunities and low tax rates. Although education is expensive here, it is rated one of the top places for raising children abroad due to the quality of the education system and the array of schools.

Public transport such as buses and MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) are cheap and very reliable in Singapore.

5. South Korea

South Korea offers expats a unique range of opportunities and a very different way of living. Jobs for expats are easy to find and usually very well paid, with apartments provided by the employer on the most part making living costs even lower. There are also many tight-knit expat communities in South Korea, making it easy to socialize and meet new friends. The excellent education system is also a pro for families wanting to move to this culture-rich country.

South Korea has a cheap public healthcare system and offers great medical care, with most doctors speaking English.

6. New Zealand

New Zealand is constantly on the lookout for skilled workers to expedite to the country – especially those under the age of 30 – and skilled migrants can be granted a stay for up to five years. It offers a good climate and although income levels can be lower than other countries, quality of life is high, with its awe-inspiring scenery, low crime rate and state sponsored healthcare.

New Zealand is great for those looking for a laid back and active outdoors lifestyle.

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7. Canada

Its national healthcare system, friendly locals and very high quality of life are just a few of the reason expats choose Canada as a place to live. It’s very welcoming to expats and skills shortages encourage foreigners to move here in order for the country to grow economically. It’s easy for expats to feel comfortable quickly in Canada due to its multicultural environment.

Canada was largely unaffected by the economic crisis, making it a very popular country for expats.

8. Qatar

Qatar is becoming increasingly popular among expats with an estimated 500 new arrivals every day. The salaries are generous and are tax free too, making disposable income very high. Car and housing allowances are part of many remuneration packages, and education for your children and airfares are often included.

The cost of living is lower in Qatar than in other UAE countries but salaries can still be just as generous.

9. Hong Kong

Where east truly meets the west, this bustling island has a population of over seven million people. If you’re looking for a fast-paced environment and an active nightlife, Hong Kong is definitely the place to be. Benefits for expats include its advanced healthcare system and elevated standards of schooling for children, along with great employment opportunities. The cost of living in Hong Kong can be high, so trying to negotiate a housing allowance with your employer can be beneficial.

Hong Kong is great for those looking for high incomes and career advancement.

10. Japan

As an expat destination, Japan offers a rich culture and a chance to experience a very different day-to-day life. Currently around two million expats live in Japan, and in the larger cities such as Tokyo a large portion of the population speaks English. English speakers are also in demand and there are a large number of opportunities for language teachers, especially in the capital.

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Japan offers a high standard of living for expats and a good education system for those with children.

11. Spain

Spain is a very popular destination for expats due to the high temperatures and year-round sunshine. EU residents don’t require a visa to work here, meaning the move can be a lot easier. Skilled foreign workers also continue to be in demand with jobs such as engineering, customer service, skilled trades and language teachers widely available.

A huge 14% of Spain’s population are expats from a variety of foreign countries.

12. Dubai

Two of the main attractions of moving to Dubai are the tax-free salaries and the warm climate. Some of the most popular jobs for expats are in construction, banking, oil and tourism. You can also enjoy a busy social life in Dubai as the expat community is thriving. Although it can be an expensive country, the tax-free salary means you experience a higher quality of life than in other countries.

You will need a work permit, residence visa and an Emirates ID card to live in Dubai as an expat.

13. Germany

Germany is one of Europe’s most populous countries, with around 82.4 million people. It’s a lively and inexpensive country to live in as an expat, and if you have children the education system is great and healthcare is to a high standard. An estimated 250,000 expats live in Germany currently, with the numbers rising every year.

If you are already an EU citizen, you don’t need a visa to live and work in Germany.

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14. The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a great place for expats who love the outdoors. Cycling is one of the main modes of transport and looking after the environment is widely recognized. There are a lot of English speakers in the Netherlands too, but learning the language can work to your advantage and make day-to-day life that little bit easier. Skilled expats can also benefit from a tax-free allowance equivalent to 30% if they meet the correct criteria.

It is often more important to be able to speak fluent English than to speak Dutch when looking for employment in the Netherlands.

15. China

China offers expats great employment opportunities with little competition. Those who embrace the culture and decide they want to live in China long term can see a host of employment opportunities as its economy is growing rapidly every year. Economists predict it will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2018. China also offer expats low living costs and high disposable incomes, which is why many look to live here for a higher quality of life.

Shanghai and Beijing are the most popular destinations for expats who live in China.

Featured photo credit: Saulo Mohana via unsplash.com

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