Filling the Gaps
In our working days there are often times where we are away from our normal productive environment, or in between important tasks and appointments. This time is often wasted and with a little planning, could vastly improve our overall daily effectiveness.
With the advent of super powerful mobile devices from the smartphone to tablet computers, most workers always have the connectivity and processing power to make the most of short breaks and travel time. This factsheet will contain some ideas and examples that may help.
There are some key issues to consider when exploring ways to be productive on the go. Much of it comes down to experimenting to find a solution that works for both you and your employer or organisation.
There are at least 3 major mobile operating systems and they are iOS (Apple), Android (Google) and Windows (Microsoft). Each has its strengths, weaknesses and a band of cheerleaders but the truth is that all are capable platforms with much to offer. In general, unless you are confined by your organisation, you should choose a device and platform and get to know it. Most people do not use even 25% of the capacity of their devices and an efficient operator with an inferior device will outperform a novice with the newest version.
Having said that about devices, it’s a good idea when choosing software solutions to highly value cross-platform solutions so that you have the freedom to move between devices and your team are more likely to be able to interact regardless of their device types.
Often its not a single solution but rather a linked series of applications and systems that will deliver the best mobile productivity. Design and practice common workflows and discover how to move documents, images, and other assets around between applications, servers and team members.
One of the first decisions is often about how to store and manage information so that it is available to you when you are using mobile computing. Cloud storage refers to the concept of files being stored on an online server rather than on a local network. There are many providers and organisations can also setup their own storage but you can evaluate free commercial solutions at http://www.cnet.com/au/news/free-cloud-services-compared/
Making the Most of Downtime
- Managing Your Schedule – one of the most effective uses of short downtime is to review your schedule and projects. A quick 5 minute plan can save 5 times that when you get back to the office.
- Reading and Learning – Take time to check your professional reading lists, check professional network sites, explore what your own twitter network are sharing about your work role. Many apps allow access to books, texts and news which does not require internet connection once on the device which is useful for air travel, remote locations etc
- Communication – Constant email and message checking can be a productivity killer in the office but doing it during quick breaks can be a great use of that time. Only having a short time can help you limit short calls too!
- Do Good – take a minute to send an encouraging message to a team member or post something about where you are to your social media. Tell your professional network what you are up to. You never know what it will lead to.
Dealing with Documents
There are a whole suit of solutions for doing some ‘real work’ on the go with office suites both in the form of native mobile apps and also cloud services. Apps store the files on the mobile device and allow you to upload the finished products to a server where cloud services actually store the files directly onto cloud servers.
Another extremely common task is working with PDF documents. Mobile apps allow you to read and file but also to annotate or draw, type and highlight as well as adding images and sound to PDFs. An excellent example is iAnnotatePDF for iOS and Android.