We have certainly entered the age of becoming enslaved by technology.
Looking around on public transport it’s amazing to see how many people are fixated on their tiny little screens. I can’t help wondering what they’re doing – messaging friends? Finishing work emails? Catching up on Facebook? Ordering dinner? Playing games? Arranging dates on Tinder/Grindr/RSVP? 22 out of 24 people in front of me on the bus last night were heads down with thumbs flashing across their screens.
No matter who you are, our phones afford us enormous levels of flexibility and productivity. When it comes to work, technology is an enabler and the trick is to develop productive technology habits. Encourage your team to apply technology disciplines and to get the most out of their phones.
Here are some applications that can help you enjoy greater productivity:
If you sync your Outlook function to your phone, the tasks you’ve created in your task manager will be available from the reminders application on your phone. If you are sitting on public transport or on a plane, you can go through your task list and action what you can.
The notes function in your phone is a handy way to capture ideas and information on the run. You can use a hashtag for easy access later. For instance, if you have an idea of research needed for an article you can hashtag it according to the topic and the action required. E.g. #notesfunction #bookidea #researchtodo
Consider taking photographic evidence to remind you of things to do rather than writing them down. For instance, have you ever lost your car? Take a photo of the car park number. Have you ever written a shopping list and forgotten to take it with you? Photograph it, or better, write your shopping list in your notes function.
The wallet function of your phone stores tickets, vouchers and other information. It’s a great tool for keeping boarding passes without having to print them.
LinkedIn is a great networking and business building tool. It’s handy to have on your phone, for instance to review the background of the people you’re meeting with prior to your appointment (including checking out photos prior so you recognise them).
This is a great application to help you change habits. You sign up to habits you’d like to commit to, and then you’re regularly reminded via notifications on your phone or by email to check-in to the application, tracking that you have completed each habit successfully.
Coach.me also gives you access to a global virtual community of people who are also committing to the same habit changes as you. You can ask questions and offer advice to others.
Podcasts have changed my life. No more mindless morning radio morning chat for me. Podcasts provide you a great opportunity to tap into the strategies used by experts in your field and other disciplines. Or if need to relax you can listen to stories that are just plain fascinating whether they be murder mysteries (Serial, Up & Vanished are two of my favourites) or the art of random story telling (Moth is a favourite here).
Most phones have an inbuilt health application that keeps track of your steps; keep an eye on it from time to time during the day as I find it does encourage me to be less sedentary.
Besides having ready access to your bank accounts, most banking applications will provide you with information about where your nearest automatic teller machine is and, should you lose your card, some banks provide you with the ability to withdraw money without it by sending you unique codes via the application.
Headspace comes highly recommended as an application to help you develop meditation and relaxation practices. Sign up to a 10-day challenge and listen to guided meditations to help develop these new habits.
iTranslate is an excellent application to help you communicate with people who don’t speak the same language as you. I’ve used it when I’ve been at a table of eight people, none of which shared knowledge of any language. It’s brilliant!
Thanks to the ease and immediacy of this little communication gem we can quickly get a short, succinct message to our audience. There is also a great new SMS feature which automatically sends a text message response to anyone who texts you whilst you’re driving advising them of this so they can expect a delayed response. This will ensure you stay mindful and undistracted while driving.