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The Mobile Professional’s Guide to Working Smarter, Not Harder

There’s no such thing as a non-mobile professional anymore. From lunch meetings and conferences to international events and cross-country trips, working outside the office is nearly as common as being behind your desk.

The Mobile Professional’s Guide to Working Smarter, Not Harder

Going mobile means you can work from anywhere, but for many of us, productivity suffers when we’re 30,000 feet in the air or stuck in a conference room. Luckily, there’s a bevy of tools available for your phone and laptop that can keep you productive–both in and out of the office.

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To stay on top of things, you need the right tools for the job. Here are a few that will help you stay productive, no matter where you are.

1. Keep your notes in order with Evernote.

Evernote is the juggernaut of note-taking apps. You can keep notes, pictures, important documents, websites, to-do lists, and voice reminders synced across your devices. Organize notes by notebooks, and search by keywords, tags, location, or date.
Evernote is available for virtually every device you own (yes, even a BlackBerry), so you’ll have access to your notes wherever–and whenever–you need them.

Runners-up: Simplenote, Microsoft OneNote, Springpad, Google Keep

2. Access Microsoft Office documents on the go with Quickoffice.

Read, create, or edit Office documents, regardless of what device you’re using. While it’s not a replacement for the full Office experience, Quickoffice is incredibly useful when you need to access a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel document away from your desktop.

Runners-up: Google Drive, Office Mobile

3. Get reminded by Google Now.

Rather than checking a dozen different apps, Google Now reminds you of important things with a simple glance or notification. Need to be reminded when your flight is leaving? Google will do that. Want to know when a package is shipped? Google’s got it.

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Weather, meetings, and even traffic estimates are all available in Google Now. While it still remains most useful on Android, Google has really stepped up its presence on iOS as well. No matter which device you use, Google Now can help you keep track of nearly everything.

Runners-up: EasilyDo for iOS, Aviate for Android (currently in beta), Sunrise, Tempo

4. Manage your passwords with Keeper Password & DataVault.

Chances are that if you’re not using a password manager, your passwords aren’t secure. With the increased risks of hacking amidst all the information we store online, secure passwords are your first defense against identity theft.

Regularly creating new (secure) passwords and remembering them across all your devices is nearly impossible to do manually, but Keeper Password & DataVault will securely store all your passwords so you can access them from any device.

Runners-up: LastPass, 1Password

5. Access files from anywhere with Google Drive.

When we travel and work across multiple devices, keeping track of the latest versions of files and collaborating with co-workers can be impossible without a good cloud solution.

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Google Drive is available on any device and, backed by the power of Google’s servers, virtually never goes down. You’ll barely notice a difference between files stored on Drive and files stored locally.

Runners-up: Dropbox, OneDrive, Box

Developing Habits to Work Smarter, Not Harder

If you’re constantly talking about all the long hours you work, that probably means you’re working harder, not smarter. All the tools in the world won’t help you if you’re not strategically using your time–and when you’re on the go, you won’t always be able to devote hours to slogging away at your desk. You need to get as much work done in as little time as possible.

Here are some simple habits to boost your productivity on the move:

1. Don’t forget what the word “urgent” means. This doesn’t mean you have to respond to everyone who demands your attention, but urgent phone calls and emails should not have to wait until you’re back in the office. People should know that they can reach you if they need to–no matter where you are.

2. Be your own Trapper Keeper. Keep your calendar pristine and synced on all devices so your team knows where you are. Take good notes during conference calls so you can keep track of what’s urgent and what can wait. Recording things on your device (so they’re searchable) is helpful when it comes to recalling important details and prioritizing tasks.

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3. Bond over beer, delays, and proximity. Being productive on the go doesn’t just mean reacting to what others are asking you to do. Traveling cross-country to meet a potential partner? Take advantage of other networking opportunities throughout the journey. Grab a beer at the airport bar and introduce yourself to a stranger, and always say hello to the people seated next to you on planes.

While we’re always trying to squeeze more work out of our minutes, we could be missing out on other things, like potential business relationships. Carry plenty of business cards with you so you’re ready when opportunities present themselves; one benefit of not being chained to your desk is being able to meet new people who won’t serendipitously wander through your office.

Working outside the office doesn’t automatically mean losing productivity. You can still collaborate with your team, access your work files, and stay secure across your devices. With the right tools, you can work anywhere–there’s no reason Paris or Cancun can’t be just as productive as your office.

Ioannis Verdelis is the co-founder and COO of Fleksy, a revolutionary keyboard that makes typing on a touchscreen so easy you can type without even looking. Ioannis is a member of many entrepreneurial organizations, including the Young Entrepreneur Council, Empact Sphere, Startup America, and more. Connect with him on Twitter.

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