Mobile You: Taking Fewer Devices ... Or More?

Worldwide, smart phones are now outselling laptop computers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal by Nick Wingfield. The implication: Professionals are now more inclinded to leave laptops behind and use their smart phones as  their digital computing devices, while on the road.

Worldwide, smart phones are now outselling laptop computers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal by Nick Wingfield. The implication: Professionals are now more inclinded to leave laptops behind and use their smart phones as  their digital computing devices, while on the road.

Now, only 3% of folks citied by an In-Stat  survey in the report actually supported that, saying they left their laptops behind when mobile.

And, it's probably never really going to become a widespread habit. The contention here: We'll take more devices, rather than fewer. We'll just use them in different ways that suit us on the road.

Reducing the number of electronic devices on our persons usually ends with the removal of an ancient machine: The watch. It's no longer needed, when you carry a cell phone or computer.

But the "smart" road warrior probably now carries:

--A smart phone, to handle email, some document management and basic Web access, while meeting business contacts or visiting customers or suppliers.

--A laptop computer, for more intensive work back at the hotel or in presentations.

--A thumb drive, to make sure all really important files are always available and on one's person, while moving about. This allows use of most any computer, when available.

--User name and password to an online data storage service,  in case the jump drive gets left behind (it's easy to forget).

Then there are other devices that no longer seem optional. To wit:

--Compact digital camera, with decent resolution. No, it's not about taking pictures in meetings or of one's dinner, for a personal blog. How many conferences have you been in where you can't take down data on a presentation screen that will prove useful later on? Take a snapshot. The camera is an instant note-taker, in any setting.

--Digital voice recorder. You never know what speech or meeting is going to produce useful information -- or need to be fact-verified later on. Digital recorders are tiny and inobtrusive. Files are easy to upload and review. Why not?

The number of devices for the Mobile You is more likely to be going up. The laptop most likely won't be left behind. It just will get driven to be slimmer and lighter (see netbooks and MacBook Air).

That's likely where getting weight off the shoulder will come.

Are you reducing or increasing the number of devices you take with you, on the road? And, if it's up, not down, what's the best way to deal with the device load?

Or overload.

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