When productivity is important, the system or process you have in place must keep pace with your demands. For the mobile professional, carrying a laptop doesn’t always work and is rarely the most convenient way to maximize productivity. As for paper planners […]
When productivity is important, the system or process you have in place must keep pace with your demands. For the mobile professional, carrying a laptop doesn’t always work and is rarely the most convenient way to maximize productivity. As for paper planners and to-do lists, their volume and limited capabilities quickly slow down even the best laid plans.
Fortunately, the evolution of smartphones has reached a turning point. Much more than a means of mobile communication, smartphones are a powerful and effective means of maximizing your productivity. I have explored and experimented with various smartphones and have landed squarely on the Android operating system. Not only to handle my communication needs, but also to help design and implement my organizational and productivity system.
Being a small business owner of a part-time business, a sales manager for a Fortune 250 international corporation, a civil servant in my hometown, a husband and father or two, my time needs to be maximized, productive, and organized. With the help of a few apps on my Android-based phone, I can accomplish all the tasks I need for my business life and still have plenty of quality time for my personal life.
This is how I do it.
The Android operating system seamlessly integrates with many of Google’s free apps. The most important ones for productivity are Google Calendar, GMail, Docs, Tasks and Voice. Each of these apps is free and only requires setting up a Google account.
Google Calendar integrates and automatically updates the calendar on my Android phone wherever I am. With the added ability to share my calendar, my business partner can view, edit, and add events to my calendar. These changes are synced directly to my phone. Since I’m rarely in my office, having live updates through the Google Sync app on my phone gives me the confidence that I always know what my ever-changing day is like.
The built-in email box on Android phones is capable of handling many of my personal and business emails, including my GMail account. I keep my Gmail account separate from my other accounts as I use this account for personal use only. Keeping personal and business separate is a wonderful productivity enhancement made easy by the Android operating system.
Google Docs allows me to store files for future review, as well as share files to collaborate. Being responsive to my clients is critical in my field and having the ability to have collaborative files sent directly to my phone has allowed me to respond to clients quickly and accurately.
Google Voice is by far my favorite Google app. The Google Voice app, which is a free download from the Android market, works perfectly with my Voice account. Not only can I have my voicemail transcripts emailed directly to my phone, but I can also set up multiple outgoing messages. I have messages specifically for clients, my business partner, family and friends, as well as strangers. The level of customization is incredible and, if used creatively, can make an important client feel like they are the most important person in the world. Being able to manage and edit all of my Google Voice features from my phone is a powerful productivity boost that I now depend on for my business.
For those trying to use all the free Google apps, Astrid is a simple yet effective app that is free to download. With its ability to sync with your account at “Remember The Milk.com”, the Astrid app can be automatically backed up and synced directly to and from your Android phone. Astrid provides a different level of control over Google Tasks and its simple and clean interface makes managing projects or task lists enjoyable.
Having used or owned many different smartphones, I feel confident when I say that the Android operating system and the myriad of Android apps provide the most powerful and effective combination available for improving productivity. Although there are many other apps for Android OS and other smartphones, this combination has worked wonders for me and my business. Also, every app I listed here is 100% free!