blog categories









I can’t believe it has actually taken me years since I first got an Apple Watch to share this post…but better late than never, right?

I first got an Apple Watch Series 1 2 years ago for Christmas.  I heavily debated whether I wanted one because I sometimes feel “over connected” with just my phone.  But there were 2 reasons I went for it:

1). I liked the idea of going paperless for wedding day timelines in exchange for having it all on my watch.

and most importantly,

2). When I’m shooting, especially on wedding days, I don’t really like to ever have my phone out but one thing I DO want as a mama of little ones who are with family/at school (or in other words, away from me) often while I work is to know that if something happened and I was needed, I could always be gotten a hold of.

I thought an Apple Watch would give me both capabilities…and it has, but not exactly how I expected.  I am going to share about each quickly and what has worked and hasn’t worked for me!

1). In terms of using it for timelines for wedding days, this has both been supper successful and also not!  The truth is, when it comes down to it, I’m a paper girl.  I use google calendar and that IS how I track my regular schedule, but I still have a paper planner I use for day to day task planning.  So I still print and bring all the wedding paper work (and have it in dropbox in case something happens to the papers) so I can double check things.  I have tried a LOT of different methods for timelines on the watch!  I started with what most other people seemed to do at the time, which was set up calendar events for each major event of the day (“bride gets dressed”, “Bridal Party Photos”, “Head to Ceremony”, etc) triggered by when we needed to change our location/activity.  But for me, this was very cumbersome both to enter it into the calendar (even though I did it by computer usually), and also when it became time, my watch would give me a haptic “tap”, and that was all– which are easy for me to miss if I’m busy and focused!

So what I have done for most of the time I’ve had a watch now is actually set alarms for each of those triggered events.  When you set an alarm on your phone, it saves the alarm (until you delete it) so it is VERY easy to set up.  You can set a label for an alarm (like “head to ceremony” or “couple photos”), and that label saves as well.  So all I have to do (and I typically do it in the car on the way to the wedding as a final schedule review since my husband is my second shooter and drives!) is go into my alarms, and fix the times for the trigger labels I already have set!  It takes less than 3 minutes.

And the best part? Alarms don’t just do 1 haptic tap…they continue to vibrate until you tell it to stop or snooze!  Which means I can’t miss it, but it’s super easy to just stop the alarm and continue on with what I was doing!

This process has worked so well for me, and it isn’t one I really have heard of anyone else using– so maybe it can be helpful for you if you need to keep to schedules in any way!  I use these for school pickups too in my personal life, and it’s so helpful for me.  You could use it for activity reminders, medicine reminders, meeting reminders, etc.

2). My second want was to be available when my phone wasn’t right on me, and this has worked just perfectly.  It also leads me to my perhaps favorite thing about the watch.  I worried it would make me MORE tied to everything phone/social/etc related.  But I have found the complete opposite on all the days that I wear my watch (which was only on wedding days/times I knew I would be busy for my phone initially, but I wear it every day now).  It is very easy for me to get alarms on it, check schedule preferences, text message on it, and accept calls on it. But it ISN’T easy for me to check email or do any social media stuff.  So what I find is that because it has what I REALLY need and want of a phone/apple watch (the ability for anyone who is in charge of my kids to get in touch with me anytime needed)…that I leave my phone out of the room/away from me much much more often because I don’t have that “need” for it.  And without it in my view, I waste much less time on social media/scrolling/etc!  It is SUCH a win win for me.

This year, I upgraded to an Apple Watch Series 5 with cellular.  That means I can receive calls (and messages) even without my phone, and I feel as independent from my phone as ever.  I love it.  It is so freeing for me!

I will to share more about how I set up/use the watch in Part II of this tiny series in the next couple of weeks!

For the most fun part: I wanted to share some of my favorite apple watch bands! You can easily swap out the bands the watches come with for a variety of styles/looks, and I purchase all mine for around $10 on Amazon (Apple sells them for $$$ but that’s totally not necessary!)! So here are some of my favorites below!

Note: These are affiliate links– you pay the same amount, but I make a tiny amount of commission for sharing!

Find the perfect subtle, on-trend leopard print here!

Find my dressiest band and what I usually wear for weddings here!

Find a classic light brown leather band here (and it comes in tons of other colors!)!

Find a thin-width leather band for a more delicate look that would be GREAT for pairing with other bangles/bracelets, click here! This one comes in lots of other colors too!

And last but not least, for a little fun and pizzaz, which you know I love, click here!

Edit your cell phone photos with just ONE click to either "fix" an issue or add beautiful "flair" and style to your photo!

JILL GUM Everyday
Fix and Flair Presets



before    /    after

Click to leave a blog Comment!

  1. Ashley says:

    You’re adorable! I just got this watch for Christmas! I’d been wavering for a few years about whether I needed it. I’d had a Fitbit charge 2 for 2 years and wore it every day, but never liked how it looked.
    But Jesse knew I was thinking about it, and he loves to spoil me, so Apple Watch it is! Lol. I love the option of being able to respond to texts from the watch directly, especially when I’m playing with the baby or running around at work. I also love that it keeps me from aimlessly scrolling and wasting time. I also use the alarms! My life is driven by alarms! And I love that you can change the face of the watch to display your calendar for the day. I just wish I could at least scroll through and respond to an email. Thanks for sharing! My next step is buying a new, pretty strap – I like the glittery one!

    • Jill says:

      Oh I’m SO glad you like your watch as much as I do–it really is great for freeing you up from your phone and is so convenient! 🙂

We love reading your thoughts! Please also feel free to share the post using the links below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

click to learn more about me

Hello Friend!

Are you a Photographer?

Start HERE! 

Are you a mom/hobbyist?

Start HERE! 

You're in the right place!  As a past high school teacher, educating others is my life's work and a HUGE part of my business!  I have been teaching moms and hobbyists how to use their camera from first purchasing it all the way to coaching them into businesses of their own, and I'd love to help you as well, wherever you are (and whatever camera you have!).

I'm so glad you are here!  Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business!  I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).  

error: Content is protected !!