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Archive for the ‘IDEA LOG’ Category

It was during the 99-2004 that I was probably living off a suitcase and of course a briefcase with a laptop in it weighing anywhere from 10lbs initially to about 4lbs.

Having been “around” and yet not going around as much lately, my mind always tries to keep a look out for the best tools for a road warrior.

In the recent past, a number of new services for road warriors have been introduced in the market, and they go way beyond email and calendaring. Eventually we are getting to a point where we can potentially leave home without a laptop, live away from your computer and yet stay fully connected. You do need a smartphone–such as an iPhone, or a current model of BlackBerry or like my brother uses the NOKIA e-611–to use most of these apps. It takes very little time to actually get set and go!
Not a day goes by without some friend, client, associate wondering how come I still do not have an iPhone. I guess my business partner and I have worked hard to get over the “theory of gadget attraction” and try to get more out of our investments. Both of us have blackberry devices for the last 4 years or so and have been mighty pleased with it. That said, I am making an effort here to list what potentially could be the best tools for a road warrior. Being from the class of “doing more with less”, all these services are free. Thanks to my friend Dorai for having pointed to a couple of them.

Voice notes

JOTT: If you want to leave a message, make a note, store an idea, just call Jott and leave a message. Within a few minutes, Jott will send back an email with both the audio message and text. Jott also now lets you use your voice. We tried with our inimitable accents, lo and behold…perfecto transcription.

Instant messaging

GTALK: IM for me has become a very convenient and effective way to stay in touch and get things going with as minimum communication as required – quickly. It has enabled me attend to calls and yet ping for required current information. I also heard about Fring that lets you use instant messengers such as Gtalk, Skype and others via mobile.

GOOGLEMAPS: I saw the application on my blackberry pearl when I first got it and loved it. Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google all offer mobile versions of their online portals. They each provide dozens of features, including search, weather, and stock widgets. Whether you choose Google or not, get Google Maps for travel directions. In some areas, it’ll even show you traffic conditions–a major time-saver. Love it especially that now I travel only when needed and it ends up being a MUST travel rather than HAVE to travel scenario.

Grand Central helpfully lets you control multiple phone lines, send calls to any phone, and then listen to messages from any Web browser.

VOICEMAIL: Skype despite all the interesting news it is making today, certainly made a huge impact in mobility of voice mails and ability to call from anywhere. We are a small firm with less than 100 experts in IT and business and do not necessarily need a big IT department. I heard about Callwave to manage office voice mails. It goes beyond the iPhone’s visual voice mail, giving you lots of ways to manage calls. Its latest service converts voice mail to a text message (free during beta).

SPREADSHEETS: Sharing documents and spreadsheets has been a boon in its own way. There are many instances in the last few months both for business and my non-profit involvements we have used these features on Google. If you do a lot of work in Excel, like we do and if I can read the passion to use Excel for proto-typing in my colleague Dorai, we will soon be having them as the official medium for budgets, forecasts, prototypes (yeah, I might just ask him to blog on that discovery soon). Until recently, I probably had to carry my laptop just for the “XL moments”. No more, EditGrid (free for personal use; corporate account prices vary) is a really cool online spreadsheet program; I believe, its new iPhone version gives you full-featured spreadsheets.

MEDIA: With all pictures and videos we take with our hand phone (that is what they call it in India), Youtube, Flickr being a part of ones daily life, an application like SHOZU can help upload images and videos.

MONITR & SMART BOOKMARKS: Last but not the least, is our own productivity tool WEBMonitr. While you have all the capability to browse and limited time, bandwidth, convenience to do the same, this sends you ALERTS of changes, updates, news, current events, profiles, competition, what not as a simple email with a link to your hand phone. You then have to click on the link and check out the site. No need to run thru multiple bookmarks and keep looking for the latest and the greatest.

Cheers! To productive Mobility. Cheers! To Freedom!!

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