Most people who know me know that I cannot keep track of anything to save my life. I misplace my keys with astonishing frequency. Once I lost my wallet so well that I cancelled all my credit cards only for Heidi to find it by picking up a pair of pants on the floor. It’s not a Monday morning if I am not frantically searching for my badge and my keys prior to leaving for work. I’ve tried all sorts of methods to keep me from losing them – usually a variation on putting them in the same place every time – but for some reason, I can’t stick to it.
Toward the end of last year, I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. It was so bad that I had to borrow Heidi’s keys to go to work. I concocted all these worst-case scenarios in my head for where they were. Did they fall out of my pocket when I was snowblowing? In that case, will they stay lost till spring? Did I drop them somewhere at work? I honestly had no idea. It was right then and there that Heidi ordered me a Tile for my keys, so that this kind of thing could be avoided once and for all. For the record, I found my keys that afternoon, underneath the pair of gloves that I had worn the day before.
Tile uses Bluetooth and GPS technology to make sure you never lose your stuff. And so far, I have to say it’s pretty amazing. You download the Tile app to your phone, and sync your Tile to it. Tile gives you a range of about 100 feet and if you move out of that range, it’ll tell you where your stuff was the last time you were in range so that you know where to start looking. Once they are in range, you can push a button on your phone and it plays a loud melody. Figure out where the music is coming from and you found your stuff. For me, I can see that it’s going to be used primarily as a way to defuse the worst-case scenarios (do they make this for other worst-case scenarios I generate?) because I’ll know that my keys are in the house SOMEWHERE and not laying on the ground in the grocery store or in the parking ramp at work.
There are, however, a few hangups I’ve found with it so far. There have been times I have had my keys right next to my phone and the app can’t find them. Also, I’ve found that if my keys are in my coat in the closet, Tile kind of loses its mind and can’t find them. The other thing I really wish is that they made a Tile that was thinner to put in my wallet, which is second only to my keys on my list of misplaced stuff.
It’s not going to cure my chronic absent-mindedness – nothing is that powerful – but it is a handy tool for helping me keep track of my stuff. Frankly, I need all the help I can get.