09/19/2012 04:14 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2012

5 Ways to Use Your Smartphone Camera to Stay Organized

For Women & Co. by Alli Worthington,

Smartphone users enjoy the benefits of having a camera with them at all times, ready to snap a photo when the mood strikes. Taking photographs whenever you want without having to lug around a camera is a wonderful benefit of smartphone technology. Plus, you always have a photo album with you, so it's easy to access and share those photos on demand.

But if you have a smartphone, what you may not have realized is that you can use it to help keep your life organized. There are many ways you could be using that camera -- and those photo albums -- to help simplify and streamline your daily activities. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

1. Log serial numbers.
No more searching on the backs of appliances! Take a photo of your items that have serial numbers (computer, appliances, software, etc.) and then use a writing app like Shot MeMo to type the serial number right on the photo of the item. Email the photo to yourself right from the Smartphone with the name of the item as the subject line. Next time you need it, just search your inbox for the name of the appliance.

2. Capture what's in containers.
When it's time to pack away the beach towels and pull out the rakes, take a photo of the inside of the storage bins before snapping on the lids. Print that photo, tape it to the outside of the bin, and store away onto the shelf. Next summer when you want to find those beach towels, you'll know exactly which bin it's in.

3. Photograph your foods.
Snap a photo of the contents in your pantry and refrigerator before heading to the grocery store. When you're strolling through the produce section and wondering if you need more butter even though you didn't put it on your list, you can glance at the photo for reference.

4. Copy documents.
Take photos of important family documents (passports, social security cards, birth certificates, etc.) and organize them into secure folders that can be password protected, with an app such as My Secret Folder.

5. Compare prices.
When shopping for a big-ticket item such as a sofa or major appliance, price compare by taking photos of contenders at different shops. You can even organize the photos by appliance or by store. Take close-ups of price tags and all pertinent specifications (height, width, fabric, etc.) as well as large views that show the entire item. Once home, you'll have all information at your disposal to make the best decision regarding your purchase.

To learn more tips about smartphone cameras, read When to Use Your Smartphone Camera and When to Use Your Digital Camera.

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