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What Can You Do With An Almost Obsolete Phone?

What Can You Do With An Almost Obsolete Phone?

    Now that you’ve got that brand new iPhone, you’re probably trying to decide just what you should do with your old phone. It used to be that your only choice was sending it off to the nearest landfill, but that’s now technically illegal in most cities. You do have plenty of options now, though. Some will make you feel good and some will make your pocket book feel good. A few may even do a little of both. It’s just a matter of finding which one you prefer.

    The Feel Good Options

    You actually have a number of opportunities to donate your phone, if you’re so inclined. Domestic abuse shelters generally have standing request for cell phones — just drop it off at the local center in your town. Cell Phones for Soldiers also collects used phones for soldiers currently serving overseas. Many schools and community organizations will collect cell phones along with other supplies (blankets, clothing, food, etc.) in the event of a natural disaster.

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    If these charities don’t appeal to you, CollectiveGood maintains a list of organizations that accept donations of used cell phones, as well as handles the donations process for those organizations. Some require you to pay shipping; some don’t.

    As long as you are donating your phone to a non-profit organization, you can deduct the value of your cell phone on your taxes come next April. Make sure that you get a receipt listing the value of the phone — and if it’s used, that value will be significantly less than what you paid for it — just in case the nice folks down at the IRS want to doublecheck your deductions.

    If you just want to get the darn thing gone, you can also just give it away. Freecycle is a popular option — you can post your phone on your local group no matter its condition. If someone can use it, it’s gone almost immediately. Remember, though, most official donation programs promise to wipe all of your data from your phone. Freecycling your phone leaves protecting your personal information up to you.

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    The Financially Pleasant Options

    Is your phone in decent shape? You may have a shot at selling it. eBay remains a favorite sales option, but it isn’t the only one. If you can sell it locally, you may be able to avoid fees and postage. Beyond Craigslist, you might try Facebook’s Marketplace or check if your work or school maintains a swap board of some sort. Just make sure that you clear off all your personal information before you hand your phone over to its new owner.

    With the exception of practically new phones in high demand, the odds of getting anywhere near what you paid for it are slim. Cell phones and other electronic gadgets are like cars: once they leave their packaging, they depreciate pretty fast. If there is a newer, cheaper version out, you may just have to settle for a lower price.

    You can also choose to sell your phone to a reseller. There are a number of companies that will buy your phone for fairly close to market value and then turn around and resell it. You won’t get top dollar, but you won’t have to worry about actually finding a buyer, either. Gazelle is one option and Flipswap is another. Both of these resellers have feel good options: you can donate the payment you might receive for your phone to charity.

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    The Get It Gone Options

    Many cell phone sellers offer electronic recycling programs. Some are contingent on your buying a new phone from the seller in question, although Best Buy has a pilot program accepting old gadgets in eight states — you can find a list of participating stores here.

    If you want to make your cell phone recycling process super easy, ask the salesman when you pick up your new phone. As long as the store has some kind of recycling or donation program going on, leave it in his capable hands. Congratulations! Your phone is gone and you didn’t have to drive all over town to find it a new home.

    If Your Phone Has Gone to the Charging Station in the Sky…

    These options may not work for you. Most of these organizations don’t take phones (or other gadgets) that no longer work. Some, like Gazelle, will still take your electronic waste off your hands, but they won’t pay you for it. You can still get that feel good vibe, though, by recycling your phone, rather than throwing it away. You can either mail it in, or take it to a local program — not all municipalities have e-waste recycling programs, but the number is steadily growing. Both Gazelle and Flipswap will take dead phones, although you won’t get a payout from them.

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    One Last Note

    If you have gadgets to get rid of beyond a cell phone, you can still use most of these options. Laptops, cameras, MP3 players, camcorders, portable hard drives — whatever you’ve got, there are options to get rid of it when you decide to upgrade. Just like cell phones, though, you can’t throw any of these gadgets in the trash. They contain a variety of chemicals that won’t biodegrade in a landfill. In many cities, you can face fines if you’re caught dumping electronic waste. Even if you aren’t caught, isn’t it preferable to let someone else get a little more use out of it?

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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