More Than Just a Pretty Picture – Make Your Phone Contact Photo Work For You

You know that picture that comes up on your phone when someone calls you?  There is SO much more that you can do with that!

While I have lots of places to store things on my phone – Reminders, Notes, Photos – there is only one place I count on to search and find things quickly, and that’s my Contacts.  Each Contact has one photo, and I have learned to make that work for me.

  • I took a photo of my AAA card and I always have it with me, under AAA.
  • I took a photo of my eyeglass prescription, and I always have it with me, under the name of my eye doctor.
  • I took a photo of all of my sewing thread, stored it under the only place I go for thread, and I never again have to wonder what colors I have at home – or buy another duplicate.


Note that for all these, there is one more step: I need to start to edit the photo if I need to see ALL the edges outside of the circle – in this case, all the thread.  It’s worth it.

What do you store in your Contacts?  What could you store?

Narrow the Field

When I call my eye doctor for an appointment, they don’t ask for my name first.  They ask for my birth date first.  How brilliant is that?  Now they are immediately down to 1/365 of the possible patients and we don’t have to go back and forth about how to spell my last name, which they are otherwise likely to question and/or “fix” as they go: they see it on their short list.

I don’t know what the lesson is in this.  I just think it’s thinking outside the box and that it’s cool.   Maybe you know where you can use this trick or maybe you’ll just question something you’ve “always done that way.”  Let me know!

phone number


Wi-Fi Password – or Maybe Not

It was something right out of a sitcom: each guest at the weekend party asking the host, one right after another, for the wi-fi password, then heading into the office to squint at the router and bemoan the lost eyesight of our youth.  But I just learned a completely different solution to this problem, and no, it’s not to make a poster of the password.  It’s something more useful and more universal for the next new place you go.

It turns out that if someone else in the room already has the wi-fi password,and and iPhone or iPad, they can share it with you with one click.  This is what popped up on a recent trip:

wi-fi password

I did as suggested and the other phone presented an OK button and I’m in.

And/or you can do as my last host did, and purposely make a “Who’s on first?” password, such as “we don’t have a password.”  I’ll leave it to you to imagine the conversation, or better, yet, try this at home!

The Unbelievable Power of One Tiny Little Step

What if that giant goal in front of you was just one tiny little step?  One “micro-goal.”  How much more likely would you be able to start?

I  am learning to break anything down into one first small step, and then take that step.  Just that.  Then, all Newton-like, I’m a body in motion, tending to stay in motion.

So it’s not “Revive and resume my blog and keep at it continuously,”  because that goal has been on my list for two years!  Instead it’s “write one post” and then “identify the next one”  That’s it.  And here we are! Hi!

Research abounds in this area, but you don’t really need that.  You can just try this at home.   In my last post, Lori added this fabulous comment on how she does home decorating badly and how it is keeping her from moving forward in building her tiny dream office.  I am challenging Lori, right here, to identify just one micro-goal, and then do it!   Is it to pick up paint samples?  Then, after that, identify one more tiny step, such as choose a color!  That’s it.  Not “paint the office,” which includes many overwhelming steps.  Just one tiny step.  And then another.  Wouldn’t you all love to see Lori’s resulting tiny office?  I would!

When has this worked for you?  What tiny steps have you taken?  What giant project looms ahead for you?  What one little step could you take next?  How small can you make it?  Comment below or email me!


Do Something Badly

Maybe even this!

My new favorite source of things to learn is Gretchen Rubin, a researcher and writer with a focus on happiness, one of my favorite topics.  Her twist on the solution to the paralysis of perfectionism, the impulse to let the perfect drive out the good, is to allow yourself to “do something badly” and she covers this in one of her delightful podcasts.

This made me think of things that I do badly and with great joy.  Running is right up there:  I have no problem with being the last runner in a race, and I have plenty of experience with that.  I was a bad drummer until I noticed that the difference between good and bad drummers was that the bad drummers called attention to their mistakes and the good ones just kept on drumming.

Now I need to apply this important lesson to this blog.  I have dozens and dozens of notes of things I’ve learned, waiting for that perfect time to write them perfectly.  I would love to shift to just sharing them with you, as they are, written well or badly, revised or raw, long or short, but DONE and here for you to see!

What about you?  What do you do badly?  What can you do try to do badly?  How can that bring you joy?  Write in the comments below or send me a note and I’ll post it for you.  But don’t wait until you have the perfect answer!


Is There A Medal for Letting Go?

About ten years ago, I learned of a program that re-purposes race medals and gives them to children and other patients fighting difficult illnesses.  I got it in my head that I would part with my medals in this way, even though some of them have intense personal meaning for me.  The clipping from Runners World has lived on, in To Do list after To Do list.

Fast forward to now, when I am in a 30-day De-Clutter Challenge, requiring me to get rid of 456 items from my home this month – more about that another day.  Since I can’t even find  that clipping now, I found the program online: Medals 4 Mettle.

They take marathon, half-marathon, and triathlon medals only and they describe their program this way:

Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that facilitates the gifting of marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals. Runners from around the world give their hard earned medals to Medals4Mettle. Our worldwide network of physicians and volunteers then awards these medals attached to a Medals4Mettle ribbon to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life.

As I had planned, for about ten years, I learned to let go and I parted with these medals by capturing their image one last time, before sending them off to do some good:Goodbye Medals


The New Scrambled Egg

I didn’t think I needed to learn anything about making scrambled eggs – what is there to learn? But my sister-in-law, Jane, had a lesson for me in the premier edition of Milk Street magazine.  Christopher Kimball –  until recently of America’s Test Kitchen – contends that we’ve been doing it all wrong, and now I have to agree.  His method: use only olive oil, heat it to just smoking, toss in the beaten eggs and watch them PUFF, turn immediately with a soft spatula and cook within seconds.  There is a whole scientific explanation of the chemistry, in the recipe.  In summary, you are getting big steam from the hot oil.

We did this wrong – not hot enough – and then I did it again and it was beautiful, delicious, and FUN!

File Apr 19, 12 04 13 PM
Only two eggs

Try it and let me know what you think!