But if you're less of a purse person, you might want to start keeping last year's old digital camera (something where you wouldn't die if it happened to be stolen) charged and ready in your glove box or at your desk.
Here's 10 reasons why:
- Remember where you parked. Take a picture of the spot and the navigation signs on the wall to find your way back to your ride in a maze of a parking lot.
- Use it as a mirror. Just finished an everything bagel, but there's no mirror around? Swallow your pride, take a self-portrait and look for poppy seeds in your teeth. (A camera is also handy to see what you really look like in dark sunglasses.)
- Use it as a flashlight. If your cell phone is out of juice, the display of a digital camera can light your way in a tight spot. You can also check your manual to see if your camera has a setting that keeps the flash on.
- Save paper and stop printing. Take a literal screen shot of your Google Maps directions, confirmation numbers—or anything else you usually print out.
- Remember sizes, colors and model numbers. Ever find yourself standing in front of an awesome sale, wondering what kind of printer ink you need or what size shoes your kid wears? Keep it stored visually in your camera's memory and you'll never have to wonder again.
- Shop for recipes. Don't lug the whole cookbook with you, just snap a shot of the ingredients list before you head out to grocery shop for dinner.
- Snap shots of a wreck. If you're unlucky enough to get into a wreck on the road, but lucky enough to come out unscathed, snap photos of the scene and the damage for your insurance claim.
- Keep a gift wishlist. When our generous friends and family ask what we'd like for Christmas or our birthday, it's impossible for us to remember the little gifts we've been pining for all year. We've elected to start a picture wish list and start snapping shots of the "I want!" goodies we see out shopping.
- Keep a "places to try" wishlist. See a billboard for a hot new restaurant? Snap a picture. Pass by a charming little antique store? Pull out your camera. The next time you're craving a new adventure, reference the "to visit" list you've been creating.
- Jot down numbers, quick. If you're in your 1985 clunker car putting down the highway, it'll be hard to ruffle around for a notepad and scribble the phone number listed on the "For Sale" sign of the used beauty in the next lane. Instead, use one finger and snap a clear shot of the sign at the next stop.