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Smartphone uses in ranching

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LCP

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I have had a smartphone for about 4 years now, and have found it rather useful for various ranch jobs. I thought I'd share what I've found, maybe other folks have other ideas to add to the thread.

- Google Forms has been really useful for record keeping. I make the form on the computer using Google Forms, then make a shortcut to the form page on my phone. I have separate forms for grazing records, doctoring records, and supplementing records. After filling out the form, the data is automatically entered on a spreadsheet for easy reference. It is really user-friendly to create the forms, and best of all, multiple people can contribute. For example, if there's three different people who might take salt out or move cattle on your operation, they can fill out the forms from their own phones out in the field and all their data ends up in the same spreadsheet if you want. Real handy. You have to have a Google account to create them, but not to fill out the forms once created. Here's a video about Google Forms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwf72lwPLVY

- Explorer for ArcGIS is a mapping program which I've used to create ranch maps. There is a free online account (I'm big on free stuff) in which I made the maps to begin with, and then an app for my phone for me to open the maps when I'm in the field. Makes it real handy to measure a temporary paddock I'm making with polywire, as it integrates your GPS location into the map. The only complaints I have is that they make it almost impossible to email copies of the maps (I have to take screenshots and send those instead) and I can't edit maps with the phone app. Maps can be shared with other people, so if you wanted to send the new hand out to check a water tank they've never been to before, you could mark it on the map and he could find it using the app on his phone.

- GPS Essentials app has basic tools that any GPS has. I have used it mainly for running polywire on hilly terrain to keep myself going generally in the right direction so my fence at least ends up where I want it to. Its not terribly user-friendly but serves its purpose.

- Evernote is handy for keeping track of odds and ends, in addition to more structured information. I'm using it for my range monitoring records, as I can include photo points in the notes as well. With shared notebooks, you can share notes with other people in your operation also. I used Evernote for my doctoring records before switching over to Google Forms. It worked fine, just that Forms made data entry a little faster and put it in a spreadsheet for me.

Anyone else have something to share? BTW I have nothing against Red Books or whatever other tried-and-true methods are out there. I still use pencil and paper for certain things, and I don't think that will change anytime soon.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Last year I drove around my fields with my GPS measuring acres and my daughter sat at the kitchen table with her phone and got the same results.

I text and make calls with my flip phone. :cowboy:

Almost forgot I have a calculator and metric conversion on my phone and it doubles as a watch. :lol:
 

sandhiller

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I am using google drive, sheets for my calving book. It backs up automatic when ever i get to internet service so same info is on house computer. My son does not have a smart phone, but if he did, we could both enter an have all information. Haven't yet got forms to work for me, however i decided it is good for me to just use the spreadsheet format, as i enter tag # when i first see a new calf, the rest of info later when i tag the calf


Flashlight gets lots of use.

Gps gets used some use for measuring acres & distances

Navigation gets used when i get away from home

I use Color notes for parts/shopping list. I used this when i still had a dumb phone.

I have lots of info in google drop box, some of which i may move to google drive, so that i don't need internet service to open it. Cattle records, serial numbers, stock well leather sizes & number of rods, list of websites & copies of pages i want to look at in the future.

Check weather, surf internet, remote check deposits, online banking, alarm clock, timer.

Camera for pictures, but also recording what something looks like before i tear it apart, getting serial numbers where i can't get my eyes to, or focus. Pictures of flyers, sale bills to retain info & phone #s

Contact list, always have everything with me. I keep most of my passwords in my contacts. I have a phrase i include in all my passwords which i put in as - - , the rest of the characters of the password are written down. The phrase is never written down, so if someone got into my phone, it wouldn't be easy for them to figure out the passwords.

Level
Road conditions reports
Grain bids
Barcode scanner

Free library card to our county library where i signed up to download books & audio books from overdrive libraries.

Kindle books, google books, which i don't use much since using overdrive.

Mobile internet hotspot.

nebraska extension field records of pesticide applications

monitor & control center pivot irrigation systems with fieldnet.

Sometimes i make phone calls with it.
 

cows101

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sounds good sandhiller. Sounds like it could thaw out a frozen water fountain if it will I am on board. It is priceless to go into verizon and look at there faces when they find out you still have a flip phone.
 

Faster horses

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cows101 said:
sounds good sandhiller. Sounds like it could thaw out a frozen water fountain if it will I am on board. It is priceless to go into verizon and look at there faces when they find out you still have a flip phone.

Mr. FH has a flip phone and that's all he will ever have. Works great for what he needs. I have the next step up in order to text messages, but it's doubtful we will ever have a smart phone. For one thing, I don't want a phone smarter than I am.... :D
 

Richardd

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Our kids decided we needed a cell phone just in case, so they got us one on their family plan.
We told them we wanted the most user friendly and easiest to use, preferably with a rotary dial on it.
Ended up with a flip, that is as far as we will go.
For the rest, we still use a note book and pencil.
 

sandhiller

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Richardd said:
Our kids decided we needed a cell phone just in case, so they got us one on their family plan.
We told them we wanted the most user friendly and easiest to use, preferably with a rotary dial on it.
Ended up with a flip, that is as far as we will go.
For the rest, we still use a note book and pencil.


Ever had that notebook get lost or go through the washing machine and loose everything on it, or get to where you start another because of everything in the old one, but then don't have the information with you?

Phones are expensive, but some information is not replaceable. I have had people tell me they take time to copy it all down when they get to the house, ya right!
 

Silver

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For all you slow to accept change types :lol:

 

Denny

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Richardd said:
Our kids decided we needed a cell phone just in case, so they got us one on their family plan.
We told them we wanted the most user friendly and easiest to use, preferably with a rotary dial on it.
Ended up with a flip, that is as far as we will go.
For the rest, we still use a note book and pencil.


A pencil the most under used tool in the ranching industry...
 

Richardd

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Silver:
My kind of phone.
Denny:
That is why i carry a pencil in my shirt pocket and a knife in my pocket in case the pencil gets dull.
Sandhiller:
Nope, it is in the same pocket as my calculator. The calculator is what has ruined my math abilities.
 

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