Get Smart with Smartphones

January 7, 2014 07:26 PM
Get Smart with Smartphones

A smartphone is one of Dino Giacomazzi’s favorite tools

Smartphones have revolutionized the way business is done across the world and in the dairy industry. For dairy producer Dino Giacomazzi of Hanford, Calif., his smartphone is one of his favorite tools.

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Bonus Content

Links to apps, extended story

During the Elite Producer Business Conference this past November, the Dairy Today columnist shared some tips with other producers on how he gets the most out of his smartphone. Giacomazzi, a fourth-generation dairyman, describes himself as a "nerd and a tech geek" because of his experience in Internet programming.

"That’s why I have a lot of interests and spend a lot of time messing around with these apps. I try to find ways to use my phone to make what I do on the farm more efficient, make better use of my time and have access to more information," Giacomazzi says.

Apps are the most powerful reason to use smartphones and tablets, Giacomazzi says. Here are some of the apps that he utilizes and a description of what he does with some of them:

Remember the Milk is a task management program that is "cloud based," meaning data is stored via the Internet. Giacomazzi keeps notes on this app with a voice command note taker. It allows him to better manage his day-to-day operations by tagging tasks that need to be done with reminders that are geo-sensitive. For instance, if Giacomazzi is in town, a reminder can be sent to him that lists items that should be purchased for the farm.

Dropbox is a cloud-based, file-sharing program can be installed on a computer. It synchronizes between multiple computers and mobile devices to allow file downloads from anywhere. On Giacomazzi’s farm, he keeps billing information on Dropbox, which allows him to stay up to date on his accounting. He also shares documents with his veterinarian via Dropbox rather than fax or e-mail.

Google Drive is a suite of programs that can be accessed by multiple users to work collaboratively. Giacomazzi uses Google Drive for in-the-field data collection on dry matter testing or calf treatments.

Evernote lets Giacomazzi create separate folders to store prospective employee resumes and travel information, for example.

TeamViewer allows the user to remotely control a desktop computer.

Genius Scan create PDFs from documents or images.

Flipboard creates custom magazines and newspapers with subscriptions to various news websites. The app can also follow Twitter feeds and pick up links that are sent on the
social media website.

Duolingo is a free language education app, which is useful for producers with employees who don’t speak English. It can also translate documents and Web pages.

Most adults lose information that they’ve learned, such as math formulas or directions. Smartphones serve as a place to store some of those forgotten memories.

"My smartphone has sort of become an extension of my brain. It gives me the opportunity to offload things from my own brain that the phone does better than I do," Giacomazzi says.

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