After having lived the past year or so without a wristwatch, I recently got a Moto 360 smartwatch. As much as I tried to rely on my phone alone to tell the time, I still found myself looking frequently at my wrist throughout the day, so having a wearable device that tells the time and provides other notifications has turned out to be surprisingly handy.


At first glance, I’m not a likely smartwatch user. I was late to get a smartphone, enjoying the way my “dumbphone” kept me unplugged and out of reach. But when I did finally get a smartphone, I quickly discovered all the helpful things I can do with this one device, like browsing blogs, scrolling through headlines, and keeping both my calendar and to-do list close at hand.

A week or so into life with a smartwatch, I’m finding it to be equally useful, and some of the things I’ve found to be the most helpful are things I never would have expected to do on a watch. For example, I use Google Keep for my daily to-do lists, which are accessible from any mobile device, including my watch. If I enter a shopping list on Keep, I don’t have to fumble for my phone at the grocery store: instead, I can access my list on my wrist and check things off with a few swipes and taps.

Because I carry my phone in my purse, having a device on my wrist that connects to my phone is surprisingly useful. Now when I get an incoming call, I can glance at my wrist before deciding whether to reach into my purse to answer…and if I choose to send the call to voicemail, I can do that with a single swipe.

My new toy - a second generation Moto 360 smart watch

Another feature I’m learning to love is the Moto 360’s silent alarm and timer. If I want to take a nap, meditate, or otherwise alert myself at a particular time, I can set an alarm that silently vibrates on my wrist. Although my Fitbit Flex also has an alarm feature, you have to set the alarm on your phone in order for it to buzz on your wrist. With the Moto 360, I can set alarms or timers directly on the watch, either by voice or by swiping and tapping.

I’m sure a lot of folks would argue that a couple hundred bucks is a lot to pay for the ability to tell time, keep a to-do list, or set an alarm, especially since my phone already does all these things. But since I wanted to get a conventional wristwatch anyway, upgrading to a smartwatch wasn’t a huge leap. If you’re going to wear a hunk of metal on your wrist anyway, why not wear a hunk of metal that can do something more than tell time?