Being more productive with mobile tech

Summary:Gadgets and the apps that run them have become so powerful it makes me more productive, all of the time.

I write for a living and inspiration comes at the oddest times. Mobile technology plays a major role in my work, as it lets me capture ideas when they occur no matter where I am. Gadgets have evolved to be powerful information capture tools and also make content creation easy.

The benefit of mobile tech in my work is certainly specific to what I do for a living. Accountants or other professionals may find gadgets don't play as big a role in their work as I do. It has revolutionized my work, and I consider myself lucky for that.

A big part of my work comes in the form of ideas that get triggered based on things I see around me. Mobile tech ensures I don't lose an idea before getting it down for future reference. That can be done with a smartphone or tablet; whatever I have handy captures the idea.

The capture can be as simple as taking a picture of interest or jotting down a quick note. If I'm using an Android phone the photo is uploaded automatically to Google +, with the iPhone it is streamed to iCloud. They both make all photos I snap available from any browser on any device I use. I don't have to do anything special, which is why this method is so powerful.

The Evernote service plays a big role in this idea process, both the capture and the creation of notes. I can take a quick note on any mobile device, as Evernote apps are quite good on all platforms. I might knock off a quick outline using the onscreen keyboard of a phone or tablet. Sometimes I use voice entry to create a note when that makes more sense. The important thing is I capture the idea when I have it, and nothing is lost.

I have detailed how tablets have become a part of my writing work. This can be done with or without an external keyboard, as most onscreen keyboards are very good. SwiftKey on Android is the best of them all, as it can guess what I am going to enter after typing just a letter or two. I rarely have to type a whole word with this keyboard, just tap the guessed word.

This works well in the preparation phase of my writing work, which can be the creation of an outline for an article or a simple paragraph or two of setup. The tools on phones and tablets make this effortless on either Android or iOS. I grab the gadget, quickly enter the preliminary information, and get back out. The prep work is available to me wherever I end up writing the full article, on any device I happen to be using at the time.

In the not-too-distant past many ideas would end up lost, but no longer. I grab information as it becomes available, and I use it to lay the groundwork for writing projects whenever a few minutes presents itself. I can leverage mobile tech to maximum effect, no matter what gadget I am holding.

It isn't hard to convince most people how good mobile devices are at capturing information. The ability to create content using those devices is often disputed, but I am living proof it is very good at that, too. It is this capability that is driving the BYOD movement, as folks are getting good using their gadgets and want to keep doing it at work.

Related:

Topics: iPad

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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