By Randy Dean, MBA – The “Totally Obsessed” Time Management Technology Guy
(As featured in his August 2012 Timely Tips E-Newsletter – see information on how to subscribe below.)
This month, I would like to share with you some of the key aspects in my very popular new program on Smart Phone Success & Terrific Tablets. In this program, I basically share how you can set up a tablet or smart phone to be a really powerful productivity tool (and not just a Words With Friends or Angry Birds game player!)
When I built this program, I looked at the basic productivity configuration I had on my business laptop, and then compared it to the many popular apps and the basic configuration of my smart phone and tablet devices. And, I discovered, with a bit of tinkering and a few app uploads, I could easily make my smart phone and/or tablet a nearly complete surrogate for my business laptop. Here's how:
1. Get the most basic productivity functions installed -- e-mail, calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes on your devices. I have apps on my smart phone and tablet that give me separate access to my work e-mail, personal e-mail, and junk/spam/internet e-mail accounts. I also have the Google calendar app, the contacts app, a task app, and Evernote for my notes. Effectively, this emulates Microsoft Outlook and syncs nicely with the Google productivity suite.
2. Get an MS Office-compatible document creator -- I'm using Quick Office Pro but Documents to Go and others give you the ability to create office-compatible documents. Google Docs on Google Drive may be a very good free option too.
3. Download the Adobe Reader app and possibly a PDF creation app. This way, you can not only read PDFs, but possibly create them when needed. The CamScanner app even gives you the ability to create PDFs of documents by using your smart phone or tablet camera – WOW!
4. Get a cloud storage account to have a location to save your documents and media files. iCloud, Google Drive, DropBox, Box.com -- even Evernote -- can act as locations where you can store and save your files of all types so you can access them when/as needed. (This will also keep you from using up all of the available memory on your device -- the cloud becomes your "hard drive"!)
5. You already have a browser with web search capabilities -- you are good there! You also have media playing/streaming capabilities. These are usually built right in, although sometimes you can find cool apps that can enhance these capabilities.
6. Consider a scanning app like CamScanner to scan hard-copy documents and quickly/easily convert to PDF (then save to the cloud!)
7. Put shortcuts to all of these apps on one or two of your "home screens" on your device – make this your "productivity panel", and, if possible, make this the default screen that your device typically opens first (NOT the "Games" or "Social Media" panel!)
8. Strongly consider getting a Bluetooth or connected keyboard option for your device, and a wifi-enabled printer connected to your router. With these two devices, you can type ten-finger speed when creating documents or e-mails, and then seamlessly print from anywhere. (And play with the voice-to-text capabilities being offered by Google on their Droid phones and Apple with Siri – maybe you can talk instead of type many of your messages, documents, etc.!)
Let's add this up: e-mail, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes; document and spreadsheet creation; PDF reading and creation; document and file storage; web browsing/search and media playing/streaming; document scanning; and ten-finger typing (as well as voice-to-text and touch screen!), and seamless printing. You no longer have a smart phone or tablet -- you have a fully functional laptop computer in smart phone or tablet form! And you could do all of this over the weekend, with plenty of time to spare!
Of course, I go into much greater detail on this basic productivity configuration as well as much more deeply discuss many of the most popular productivity-related apps in the communications, travel, finance, health and wellness, media, and other genres in my full program on this topic (if you'd like to see a brief video I created that shares what the Smart Phone Success program covers, visit here: http://youtu.be/goODYN7ghLs), but this brief article gives you the "gist" of how you can configure your device for true mobile productivity. Have at it, and share with me the fruits of your labors.
Randy Dean, MBA, The "Totally Obsessed" Time Management Technology Guy has been one of the most popular expert speakers for Midwest Speakers on the conference, corporate, and university training and speaking circuit for several years. The author of the recent Amazon e-mail bestseller, Taming the E-mail Beast, Randy is a very popular and engaging time, e-mail, and technology management speaker and trainer. He brings 22 years of speaking and training experience to his programs, and has been very popular with programs including Taming the E-mail Beast, Finding an Extra Hour Every Day, Optimizing Your Outlook, Time Management in "The Cloud" Using Google and Other Online Apps, and, of course, Smart Phone Success & Terrific Tablets. Learn more at http://www.speakernow.com or send questions to Angela Cox-Weston of Midwest Speakers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: You can subscribe to Randy's monthly Timely Tips e-newsletter – where he features one time-saving tip and one smart phone/tablet featured app each month – by simply sending him an e-mail at email@example.com and putting “Timely Tips please” in the subject line.
You may also want to check out or even subscribe to Randy's YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/JanaRandyDean where he often posts some of his favorite technology tips, snippets from program sessions, info about popular programs, and more.
You can join Randy on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/randydean
You can follow Randy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/timelyman