You’re checking emails on your phone during the train ride into your office. You’re joining calls as you run home early to pick up your sick kid from school. You’re looking at Slack messages while cooking dinner. Sound familiar? You’re certainly not alone. Working from a mobile device is becoming increasingly common in today’s “always-on” world.
The user experience of working from your phone is different from working from your laptop or desktop computer. For one thing, the buttons are much smaller. This can make it harder to draft longer emails and may lead to more typos and errors. Secondly, the smaller screen size means you may not have the easiest time seeing what you’re looking at. A shared document may not be as readable and your capabilities for editing may be limited.
All that said, working from your phone isn’t going away. You don’t always have the pleasure of opening up your laptop to respond to a particular email or note. There are ways, however, to work more efficiently and effectively from a mobile device. Consider this your starting point to staying professional and organized while working across devices.
You’re on the go and making an appointment by checking your phone’s calendar app. When you’re back at your desk, you notice that the appointment you just made isn’t showing up on your laptop. Not only is this a frustrating experience, but it can also cause unnecessary confusion. This is why being synced across devices, across all of your apps, is essential.
Those using iCloud for Apple devices will need to tap the Calendar button under Settings and click on Sync. If you ever notice events not populating on one of your devices, click on this button. Those using Google Calendar will follow a similar process; open the main Calendar Menu and tap on Settings and then click on the corresponding calendar to ensure the Sync feature is on.
A calendar management tool can also help you achieve this organization, no matter what calendars you or your team decide to use. This allows events created from one source to automatically update to another. This streamlines processes, ensuring events aren’t duplicated and appointments aren’t missed due to a lack of organization. But that’s not all. This type of tool can integrate with other software you use often like Quickbooks, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and more. It also keeps track of all your contacts and enables better collaboration across teams.
While there may be web-based versions of your go-to desktop apps, the experience is likely a hundred times better on the corresponding mobile app. Adobe, Salesforce, and Slack are all commonly used platforms that have easy-to-use applications. Google and Microsoft also have their suites of products such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Excel. Even if you use the app every now and then, you’re much better off having it on your phone. Because when you’re in the middle of a tight deadline, the last thing you want to do is install and login to another app.
To stay organized with all your work-related apps, you may want to create specific folders on your phone. Folders can reduce clutter on your screen, meaning you won’t waste time scrolling through multiple screens to find a specific app. To create a new work-related folder on your Iphone, touch and hold the home screen background. When the apps begin to move, drag one of your apps onto another app. This will create a new folder which you can rename as you please. For Android, hold down the specific app you’d like to move instead of the home screen.
With Zoom and Microsoft Teams being the new norm for meetings, there will be a time when you need to take a call away from your laptop. Joining a call from your phone may not always be the best experience. You may not be able to hear everyone as well or you may find that the screen is too small for you to view the shared presentation. In any case, there are a few ways to adjust your settings to get the best experience possible.
First, if you are on a reliable WiFi network, join the meeting via the link rather than via the corresponding phone number. The audio will often be better and you’ll have an overall richer experience utilizing either the app. If you need to join by video, blur your background so others aren’t distracted by what is around you. Also, using closed captions can be helpful if you’re having trouble hearing the speakers.
How many times have you looked at the clock and realized you are going to be late to join a video conferencing meeting? Even the most punctual individuals can get sidetracked when working on their phones. An easy solution to this problem is to utilize your phone’s alarm feature. Setting a reminder can keep you on task and ensure you aren’t forgetting anything.
Setting an alarm is fairly simple for both iPhone and Android users. Open up your clock app and click on the alarm tab. Set a time for the alarm and select if you would like it to repeat or not. A recurring alarm can be beneficial if you have the same repeated task to complete each day. For instance, let’s say you need to send your sales sheets to your manager by 10:00 a.m. each morning. Setting an alarm at 9:45 a.m. can ensure you don’t forget to send this note.
Although you can’t avoid working from your phone, there are ways to streamline how you use it for work purposes. Keeping these tips in mind, you can feel confident using your mobile device and not always being tied to your laptop.