THERE is no such thing as a non-mobile professional anymore. From lunchtime meetings and conferences to international and regional events, working outside the office is nearly as common as being behind an office desk.
To stay informed and connected, you need the right tools for the job. Here are a few that will help you stay productive regardless of your location:
1. Keep your notes in order with Evernote.
With Evernote one can keep notes, pictures, important documents, websites, to-do lists, and voice reminders synced across many devices. Organize notes by notebooks, and search by keywords, tags, location, or date. Evernote is available for virtually every device you own (yes, even a BlackBerry), so you’ll have access to take your notes wherever—and whenever—you need them.
2. Access Microsoft Office documents on the go with Quick Office
Read, create, or edit Office documents, regardless of what device you’re using. While it’s not a replacement for the full Office experience, Quick Office is incredibly useful when you need to access a Word, PowerPoint or Excel document away from your desktop.
3. Get reminded by Google Now
Rather than checking a dozen different apps, Google Now reminds you of important things with a simple glance or notification. No matter which device you use, Google Now can help you keep track of nearly everything.
4. Access files from anywhere with Google Drive.
When we travel and work across multiple devices, keeping track of the latest versions of files and collaborating with co-workers can be impossible without a good cloud solution.
Google Drive is available on any device and, backed by the power of Google’s servers, virtually never goes down. You’ll barely notice a difference between files stored on Drive and files stored locally.
Developing Habits to Work Smarter, Not Harder
If the long hours you work are always a topic of conversation, you are probably a victim of working harder, not smarter. All the tools in the world will not help you if you’re not strategically using your time. Here are some simple habits to help boost your productivity when you are on the move:
1. Don’t forget what the word “urgent” means. This doesn’t mean you have to respond to everyone who demands your attention, but urgent phone calls and emails should not have to wait until you’re back in the office. People should know that they can reach you if they need to—no matter where you are.
2. Be your own Trapper Keeper. Keep your calendar pristine and synced on all devices so your team knows where you are. Take good notes during conference calls so you can keep track of what’s urgent and what can wait. Recording things on your device (so they’re searchable) is helpful when it comes to recalling important details and prioritizing tasks.
3. Bond over drinks, delays, and proximity. Being productive on the go doesn’t just mean reacting to what others are asking you to do. Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the journey. Grab a drink, a cup of coffee/tea at the airport, introduce yourself to a stranger in the hotel reception and always say hello to the people seated next to you on airplanes. Seize and create networking opportunities.
While we’re always trying to squeeze more work out of our minutes, we could be missing out on other things, like potential business relationships. Carry plenty of business cards with you so you’re ready when opportunities present themselves; one benefit of not being chained to your desk is being able to meet new people who won’t serendipitously wander through your office.
Working outside the office doesn’t automatically mean losing productivity. You can still collaborate with your team, access your work files, and stay secure across your devices. With the right tools and the right approach, you can work from anywhere!
(For more information contact the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council on Second (2nd) floor, Financial Centre Building, Bridge Street, Castries. We can also be contacted at 468 -5571/5576/5552 or visit the Council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stluciancpc or email at email@example.com)