5 Mobile Technology Tips

28 April 2009, Comments: Comments Off on 5 Mobile Technology Tips

Do you often work on the go? If so, you’re not alone. Whether you’re traveling, visiting clients, working from your car or sneaking in business while watching your child’s soccer game, you are like an increasing number of people who are trying to get work done from wherever they happen to be.

To make this “on the road” office successful, you’ll need some key tools to make your job easier. Here are 5 that will help you be efficient and effective wherever the day may take you.

Smart Phone

Most people own a cell phone, but does yours do everything you need it to do when you’re out of the office? In addition to making and receiving calls, smart phones can let you send and receive email, maintain a calendar, and browse the Internet. Some even allow the editing or creation of documents.

In addition to the monthly phone charge, you’ll also be charged a monthly fee for data access.

Do you need a smart phone? If you spend the majority of your time out of the office and need to respond to co-workers, customers, or clients on a frequent and timely basis, this is certainly a useful tool for you.

  • iPhone – application store, price is reasonable, has built in GPS, but it does not have real keyboard and is only available with AT&T.
  • Windows Mobile – voice and wireless data capability, sync compatibility with Exchange and Google Mobile, but has limited carrier ability.
  • Blackberry – has a large screen with QWERTY keyboard (almost all models), camera with an audio and video media player, but requires Blackberry data plan.
  • Android – Linux based with open source software allowing customizable applications, but being an open source platform could increase the risk of hacking these devices.
    • The T-Mobile G1 / Google Phone is currently only available in “3G markets” in select T-Mobile retail stores and authorized retailer locations throughout the United States – which amounts to 95 cities. To see if your city is in a T-Mobile 3G area, see: T-Mobile 3G coverage available in 95 cities.
Bluetooth Headset

Need to work on the go or move about the office while on the phone? A portable device such as a Bluetooth Headset provides mobility and keeps you multitasking.  Review some of the latest and greatest devices at Jawbone.

Portable Computer

A laptop allows you to work on your business wherever you are. Some companies have even supplanted their traditional computers with laptops because of their portability.

Or, you may need some functions a traditional laptop may not offer, such as the graphics or slate of a tablet PC. For some ideas on how to choose, read Windows columnist Jeff Van West’s article, “Tablet PC or Laptop? How do you choose?”

In either case, if you conduct a lot of work on your computer and you’re out of the office a lot, a portable device is a necessity.

Internet Connection

If you have a laptop you’ll likely need to use it to connect to the Internet. Make sure your anti-virus and Backup supports a system that works off a network.

You can access free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots in areas around the country. Websites like Wififreespot.com allow you to look up free hotspots in your area.

Although Wi-Fi hotspots can be found, being able to provide your own Internet connection gives you greater flexibility to get your work done wherever you may be. With wireless broadband, you can have Internet access almost wherever you can get a cell phone signal. With a card or device that plugs into your computer’s USB port, you can get online using the same signals as a smart phone. It also might be a good idea to set up a router that allows sharing.

Power

The best gadgets in the world won’t help you be efficient if you run out of power. Entrepreneur.com’s article: “Ready, Set, Charge!” offers several suggestions of how to keep juiced up. From car chargers to devices that use power from your computer to boost your PDA, to portable and solar chargers, there are options to make sure your screen never goes dark.

Remote Access to Your Computer

Have you ever needed a file on your office computer but you were off site with your laptop? With a remote access program, such as GotoMyPC you can access your computer files from another computer or smart phone.

When considering new technologies, think about which members of your organization needs them now, or may need them soon. As your organization grows, it’s a good idea to investigate resources that will help you accelerate, not hinder, that growth.

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