QR Codes can make everyday life a little easier! Here are five ways the QR Explore team use QR Codes every day.

5 Everyday Uses for QR Codes

The key feature of QR Codes is that they can share complex data in a simple scan action. This single feature can be used in multiple ways to make life easier, from sharing complex URLs to passing unique data to a service.

1. Sharing links to your phone

screenshot of chrome settings to enable QR Code sharing
Chrome Settings to Enable QR Code Sharing

This is possibly the most practical personal use for QR Codes! There are many extensions which let you share a URL from your browser as a QR Code, we used to just use the QR Explore Generator for this! Now, Chrome has a feature to generate a QR Code of the current link straight from the address bar, this is currently in beta (Chrome v80) so it must be enabled from chrome://settings, just search for QR Code and toggle it to Enabled.

screenshot of chrome 'share as QR Code' button
Chrome 'Share as QR Code' Button'

2. Downloading files from your laptop

Using QRCP to Share a PDF File

QRCP is a handy little command line utility which lets your share files with devices on the same network. You run it by passing a file, it then sets up a temporary web server and generates a QR Code in your terminal with a link to the file.

Scan the code and it will bring up the QRCP interface to download the file from your machine! QRCP requires some technical knowledge and is not an application you can just download from the app store, you'll need to copy the binary or install it using Go.

3. Sharing wifi access with guests

guest wifi card with qr code
Make it easier for guests to get WiFi

Most wifi routers support a second, isolated wifi network with a separate LAN from your main network. This means that you can allow guest devices to connect to the internet, but not to each other or any of your connected devices. Whilst this is great for security, it can be confusing to set up correctly. The SSID of this network should be hidden, and the passphrase should be complex.

A QR Code to share with your guests (and their devices) makes the authentication step for your network physical, they have to be within camera range in order to access the network! So go ahead and set up your guest wifi network to have a secure passphrase and hidden SSID, then create a QR Code with the relevant details, for example:

WIFI:T:WPA;S:My Guest Wifi;P:secretPhrase123!;H:true;

4. Smart Shopping Lists

image of coffee can with QR code
Tag your infrequent (but important) purchases with QR Codes

It's a common issue, you are almost out of coffee and think "I'll buy it next time I'm in the shop". A few days later, you go to make a cup of your favourite brew and there is none left!

This Instructable details how to connect QR Codes with a Google Sheet shopping list, so all you need to do is scan the code you stick on the product (when you're almost out) and it is added you your list for the next trip to the shops. If you have a set of stickers to print on, don't forget that you can use our label generator to generate and print your QR codes directly onto them!

qr code link to coffee
Emergency supplies are only a day away.

Another smart option here is to use QR Code links to your favourite products directly on the online stores you purchase from. For example this code will open the Amazon app on my favourite coffee where I can choose to buy it instantly or add it to basket.

5 Recipe Lists & Calories

qr code link to a shopping list
Scan the code, add all ingredients to basket!
qr code link to a myfitnesspal meal
Scan the code, log the calories

As much as we would love to use our recipe books, they tend to sit on the shelf unloved while our shopping list stays pretty much the same every week. Exploring new (and old!) recipes is great, but we tend to settle in to some pretty boring routines.

Have you had a great recipe recently? How many ingredients did you have to add to your list when you went shopping? This QR Code takes me straight to the ingredients list for a favourite recipe and lets me print out a shopping list or add to basket at my local stores for delivery or pick-up. So simple!

If you're watching your calories or macros, you've probably heard of MyFitnessPal. As great as it is, inputting home-cooked meals can be time consuming and prone to errors. If you have a recipe or a home-cooked meal, simply scan the code to log the macros & calories. Simple!

Got any more killer applications for QR Codes in the home? Let us know and we'll feature the best ones here!

Also on the blog:

QR Codes for Science Centers and Museums

QR Codes offer a unique method of engaging visitors to science centers and museums. They can let your visitors engage in interactive exhibits, view videos of exhibits in action and lots more!

8 things you didn't know QR Codes can do!

Sure you know that QR Codes can let you scan links from your phone, but did you know that they can call phone numbers, add contact details and send map navigations?