Mobile devices tend to see more Angry Birds playtime than business use. Learn how to transform your smartphone or tablet into a small-business dynamo.
When it comes to the computer mouse, many people are perfectly content to use whichever model came with their PC. After all, they may think, mice are pretty much all the same, and this one comes at the right price: free.
These folks may be surprised to know, however, just how many kinds of PC mice there are. These days, you have a wide range of choices, each with its own benefits and possible drawbacks. There are even a whole host of alternatives to the traditional mouse for those who might want, or need, something a bit different.
While your mobile device probably includes at least some synchronizing abilities, those features may not be sufficient for business use. You may want to consider a more powerful app, such as Any Time Organizer Deluxe.
A business-level, to-do organizer, Any Time syncs between PCs and mobile devices through Google and Outlook, and it includes over 2,500 templates for to-do lists and calendars. One of the app’s most helpful features is the ability to send text reminders directly to your mobile device.
You can purchase pocket-sized scanners to record these items, or you can simply install a scanner app on your smartphone. Scanner apps use the phone's camera to make copies of documents, which can then be organized, tagged, emailed and uploaded to cloud storage. Some scanner apps can also merge information scanned from business cards with your existing contacts list.
Like it or not, a forward-looking businessperson should acknowledge that texting will become an integral part of business life in the near future. While you may not be able to match a teenager’s text-typing speed, you can at least use apps to make texting less laborious. TextPlus, for instance, allows you to send texts to up to 20 different people simultaneously.
Tablets can also give presentations to larger groups by connecting to computers, televisions or hand-held mobile projectors. You not only have the ability to quickly set up multi-person presentations with tablets, you also send a strong message that you (and by extension, your company) are comfortable and proficient with the latest technology.
You can stay up to date on your business journals through mobile devices as well, by signing up for newsreader apps offered by publications such as the Wall Street Journal. Given the small screen size of a smartphone, you might consider setting the phone to block images and only display text.
With a remote desktop app for your smartphone, however, that’s exactly where your office computer files are — your fingertips. The app, such as LogMeIn, connects your phone to your office computer, allowing you to access files from a distance.
Cloud storage offers advantages for the smartphone-equipped businessperson. Mobile devices can access cloud documents as needed. This adds a layer of security to business trips: You don’t need to travel with sensitive documents on your mobile devices. Should a thief make off with your smartphone, cloud storage reduces the risk of security breaches.
Ultimately, how effectively you use mobile devices for business depends on you. For many businesspeople, a tablet will remain nothing more than a pleasant, time-passing device. Businesses that learn to capitalize on mobile devices, however, uncover a hidden world of productivity.