3 Simple Mobile Productivity Tips to Get Things Done on the Go

I Googled “mobile productivity” and I couldn’t find an actual definition. So if you asked me what I think it means, I would say “the ability to conduct/maintain operations outside of a normal business/working environment”. That could mean conducting a business meeting from a taxi cab or in an airport terminal. Forwarding documents and other important information to all of the necessary parties. Even creating/editing time-sensitive documents. Of course, the one tool the most, if not all professionals use nowadays to stay connected and stay productive out of the office is a smartphone/tablet device.

But how do you use these devices to make sure you are getting things done no matter where your are? I have come up with a couple of tips that should help you use your mobile device(s) keep your productivity up, even if you are away from your desk.

1. Stay Organized and Synchronized

Make sure all of your files are in one location and synchronized with other services/devices as much as possible. Nothing will drive you crazy more than trying to figure out if that spreadsheet or invoice that you are about to send with your smartphone is the most up to date version. Take some time to coral all of the different versions of a file from all your devices and devise a plan keep everything the same. Cloud computing/storage solutions do a great job of offering one location that you can access, no matter what device you use, in order to view documents and share with others.

2. Create Shortcuts

Try to reduce the number of steps it takes to access information, upload/share/email a file, image, url link, etc. For example, if you know you’re going to a networking event, plan ahead and draft up an “It was a pleasure to meet you…”email with all of your contact information, so when you link up, all you have to do is insert an email address, formal name, and you can send the email off right at the event while the conversation is still fresh. You may have to tweak the message depending on the conversation, but it will save you time trying to figure out what you talked about when trying to send that same email days later.

3. Remain Flexible

The key to being productive on a mobile device is recognizing there are may ways to send/receive documents, emails, contact information, via a mobile device. So if you have taken the time to set up your exchange accounts on your smartphone (email, contacts, calendars) and for whatever reason, your accounts are acting up, you can rest assured that as long as you have a network connection, you can access you accounts via their “mobile-friendly” versions. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. all have mobile sites that will let you access your calendar, draft/forward an important email, and find a phone number from your address book. Always helps to have a plan-B.

Of course all of the above is my opinion since there is no one sure-fire method of staying productive. So let us know what are some ways you get things done while on the go? Be sure to list any of your go-to apps, services to share as well.

Dropbox + DocsToGo = Match Made in Mobile Productivity Heaven

Most of time when I need to do something with an invoice, I am sitting in front of The Precious my laptop, so it never dawned on me that I may be out and about and need to make a quick change on my iPad or my BlackBerry (still waiting to see if Apple will fix the “death grip”). So last night I messed around with opening up a document, editing it and sending it out in an email or saving it for later all on my iPad.

It didn’t take me very long to find the right combination. I am already experimenting with keeping all of my business documents stored in the cloud with Dropbox so I can access all my files no matter what device I am using…and yes, I back it up offline. But that [Dropbox] is mainly for accessing, sharing, and backing up files. The missing link was finding the right app that allowed me to edit files found in my Dropbox, and saving them back to their current locations or emailing them to a potential client. So, I looked on Dropbox’s site to find a list of “friendlies” that worked with Dropbox, and boom, DocsToGo was on the list.

If you are not familiar with DocsToGo, they have been in the mobile documents game for a minute. Since the evolution of smart phones, DocsToGo has given mobile users the ability to open, edit and share documents via many mobile devices.

The cool thing about the DropBox/DocsToGo combination is you can skip the whole “download a document first, then open up an app that can access the file you downloaded, then open up the document, then edit the document, save it, then open up your email client, then find the new document, then send it.” If I am just looking at a document in and decide “hey I need to change something”, I can simply click the “Open With” button and DocsToGo (if installed and configured) will open the document so I can make the changes. When I am done and ready to save, I can save it right to Dropbox. If I want to share the document, DocsToGo will immediately open up my email client to send.

I am a neat freak when it comes to documents. So the ability to keep all my documents in Dropbox, and use DocsToGo, regardless of the device, to open, edit, and share my documents is a must. With DocsToGo and Dropbox, keeping all my files in sync with the many devices I use, in addition to editing and sharing those documents regardless of what device I use, is a match made in mobile productivity heaven.

Now If I only could print the darn thing…

If you have any suggestions or know of any other combinations out there, drop in and leave a comment to let us know what works best for you?