So you’ve noticed them all over; these little patterns that can be scanned by your phone and take you to a website. QR codes have been around for a while now, and are easy ways for marketers to get users to view information on a smartphone. Adobe InDesign now has a QR code creator built right into it, or you can go to free QR code creation websites to make your own. Apps to scan them on your smartphone are free as well.
I won’t tell you all of the pros and cons of these little barcodes; you have probably already seen them used effectively (or poorly) in marketing campaigns. However, I will list a few neat ways you can incorporate QR codes into your daily lives outside of marketing and advertising, to become more productive, help others, and maybe remove some stress from your world as well. So here goes:
1. Directions to events.
When directing people to your house, a party, a meeting, etc. you can create a QR code that references a Google Map or other GPS site. Wanna find the zoo? Scan this QR code with your phone, and it will get you there. Say it’s your wedding reception, or a place people have never been before? Instant map on phone, and no worries.
2. Link to standard operating procedures and owners manuals for equipment at work or at home.
Having instructions or more information available to anyone regarding a piece of equipment can be quite beneficial — but where did that dang instruction sheet go to change the laminate roll? Enter a QR code on the side of the machine, linking to a text doc with all of the instructions for replacing the roll right there at your fingertips. No worries, less down time.
3. Document and ID your stuff.
Make a database with all of your valuable items (computers, electronics, Flying Button paraphernalia) and save it. Then create individual QR codes for each of your items on small stickers, with the name and model #, serial # if it has one, and YOUR contact information. Adhere them to your items in inconspicuous places. If things disappear, let authorities know to look for these and to scan them if they locate one.
Or say you are packing to move… list contents of a box in a document and slap a QR code on the box. Then six months later when you are looking for something that is still packed away, you can walk around your storage area scanning box codes until you encounter it.
Using these codes can make your life easier, can add details to invites or business cards that otherwise had no room to fit, and can enhance your communication level with your audience. I have shown you a few ways they can also help you stay organized and keep track of your belongings more efficiently too.