Keeping Your Own Medical Information in the Cloud

In a recent blog post, Seth Godin made a simple and excellent recommendation that we all need to do: create a medical information sheet for yourself and store it in Google Drive. He also shared a template for the information you should include on your medical information sheet. Here are instructions on how to use the template for your own information. These instructions require you to have a Google/Gmail account. If you do not have a Gmail account, follow these instructions first.

Create your medical information sheet

  • From your computer (not iPhone/iPad), make certain you are logged into your Google/Gmail account.
  • Click here to access the medical information template. 
  • Just above the document, click on File, then Make a copy…
  • In the pop-up box, rename your copy of the document.
  • Click OK.
  • Your own, private copy will open, ready to be edited.
  • Replace all of the instructions which are enclosed in brackets with your own information. I recommend that you replace the instructions one line at a time and add some labels before the text, such as Home or Cell before phone numbers. 
  • Add any other additional information that isn’t included in the template.
  • If you do not want your Social Security number stored on this document, create the label SS# and leave it blank. You can write your social security number in, if needed, when you visit the doctor.

Once you have your medical information safely stored in Google Drive, there are three ways you can use this document to assist you when you visit a doctor’s office or the Emergency Room.

 1. Email your medical information document

Call your doctor’s office before your appointment and ask for an email address to email your medical information to them ahead of time.

  • Log into your Gmail account.
  • In the black menu bar, click on Drive.
  • Scroll down or use the search bar to find your medical information document.
  • Click on the title to open the document.
  • In the menu bar click on File, then Email as attachment…
  • In the pop-up box, under Attach as, click on the arrow beside HTML.
  • Click on PDF or Microsoft Word as the selected format of your document.
  • Enter the To email address and add a message if you like.
  • Check Send a copy to myself.
  • Click Send.
  • When you receive your emailed copy, open the attachment to make certain it opens correctly.

2. Print your medical information document at home and bring to your appointment

  • Log into your Gmail account.
  • In the black menu bar, click on Drive.
  • Scroll down or use the search bar to find your medical information document.
  • Click on the title to open the document.
  • In the menu bar click on File, then Print.
  • Follow your usual print process through the pop-up screen.

3. Use your iPhone or iPad to access your medical information document as a reference with Google Drive app

  • From your iPhone or iPad, if you do not have the Google Drive app, touch the  icon.
  • Touch Search at the bottom and type “Google Drive app” in the search bar at the top.
  • Look for this icon  in the results.
  • Touch Install.
  • Sign into your Google Drive app with your Gmail address.
  • Touch My Drive.
  • Scroll down to find your medical information document.
  • You have two choices for accessing your document at the doctor’s office:
    1. If you will have a cell signal, find the document through My Drive and touch the file name to open it.
    2. If you will not have a cell signal, before you go to your appointment:
      1. Find the document through My Drive. 
      2. Touch the grey arrow to the right of the file name.
      3. Change Available Offline to ON.
      4. Touch My Drive in the upper left corner.
      5. Touch the white lines in the upper left corner.
      6. Touch Offline.
      7. A copy of your medical information document is now stored in your iPhone or iPad.
      8. To remove the copy from your iPhone/iPad, return to instructions ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ above.
      9. Change Available Offline to OFF.

Apps for Saving Money

Apps that compare prices to help you save money are great as long as you understand that the prices shown are only as good as the information available to the apps. That means that apps that compare items between different stores depend upon store websites that post items and prices. Therefore, a small, local store is unlikely to be included in price comparisons. Gas price apps depend upon users submitting current fuel prices accurately, so you may find prices to be different when you pull into your selected station.

Like all popular iPhone app categories, there are hundreds of apps that help you price shop. Here are a few worth trying:

  •  RedLaser (free) – scans barcodes for price comparing and QR codes for accessing more information. Also searches by text or photo. Based on the item you are comparing, it will display online and local store prices, details and reviews. It doesn’t seem to have many reviews on products yet.
  • Decide (free & paid) – price shopping and price predictor for electronics, appliances, home & garden and sporting goods. The free version will display reviews and prices for an item. For $4.99/month or $29.99/year, it predicts when a price is going to go up or down, will alert you if a watched item drops in price and predicts if a model is about to be replaced or is already obsolete. After you install the free version, you will likely be offered a three day promotional price to join immediately for $10.00/year.
  •  GasBuddy (free) – Easy to find gas prices by touching Find Gas Near Me. Depends on its community of users to update gas prices and rewards those users with points to win prizes.

If you have a favorite app for saving money, please share it below in the comments!


A Few Favorite Apps

With over 700,000 apps in Apple’s App Store, I have only reviewed or used a fraction of what’s available. There are apps I love and some that I found to be poorly designed and useless. Those are the ones I quickly deleted!

Here is a short list of apps I depend upon in both my personal and business life:

  1.  Google Search (free) – Rather than accessing the web to search through Safari, it’s much faster to go straight to Google.
  2.  Groceries ($ .99) – This is a great grocery/drugstore shopping list app. You can create custom weekly lists and even “train” the app to show your needed items in the same arrangement as your favorite grocery stores. It comes preloaded with thousands of name brand and generic grocery and drugstore items and you can add items to this database. Well worth the price! Update: This app is no longer available.
  3.  JotNot Scanner Pro ($ .99) – With this app, you can scan any piece of paper or set of papers as pdf files. Then you can save those files to the cloud, email them, print or fax them (minimal charge per fax). I use it primarily to scan and digitally store paid invoices and to scan and email documents anywhere, anytime. More info.
  4.  YouTube (free) – I expect everyone is familiar with YouTube, which is now owned by Google. With the YouTube app, you can watch news, music or entertainment videos. There are also free tutorial videos on just about any topic you can imagine.
  5.  Flashlight ($ .99) – There are lots of flashlight apps and they are very similar. This one is highly rated and I chose the paid version so that I don’t get any ads. Just a simple flashlight. More info.

What are your favorite iPhone or iPad apps? Share with everyone in the comments below!

How to Organize Apps on Your iPhone

Apps are great, but once you have more than two screens of them on your iPhone, it can be frustrating to find one when you need to open it. I’m going to show you how to rearrange your apps and a neat trick for organizing them.

How to Rearrange your Apps

  1. Choose an app you’d like to move. Try to select one that isn’t on your first screen.
  2. Hold your finger on the app until it starts to wiggle.
  3. Move your finger and the app to the left or right side of your screen. The app will move to a different screen.
  4. You can select any wiggling app to move it either to a different screen or a different place on the same screen.
  5. Press the Home key when you are finished.

When the apps are wiggling, most apps have a black ‘X’ in the corner. (The ones that don’t have a black ‘X’ cannot be deleted.) Touch the ‘X’ to delete an app. The iPhone will ask you to confirm that you want to delete the app. If you touch the ‘X’ by mistake, just touch Cancel to keep the app.

A Well-Organized iPhone

Think about grouping your apps by their functionality. For instance, Facebook, Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn are all Social Media apps.  The Camera and Photos apps are Photography apps. If you use Instagram, it could be grouped in Photography or Social Media, depending on your preference. Once you have at least one group of apps identified, do the following:

  1. Hold your finger on one of the identified apps until it wiggles. 
  2. Drag it on top of one the other apps that will be in the same group.
  3. A new window will open with a suggested title for the group.
  4. If you want to change the title, touch the ‘x’ to delete the suggestion and type in a new title. Touch Done.
  5. When you are finished with the group title, press the Home key twice.
  6. Repeat to drag other apps into your new group.
  7. If you want to remove an app from a group, touch the group, hold your finger on the app and simply drag it out.
  8. Within each group, you can also rearrange the apps using the same touch/wiggle/drag technique.

You can organize your iPhone apps so well, that most, if not all, of your groups are on the first screen. No more swiping and searching!