Going mobile for a year

Benjamin Robbins, an entrepreneur, lived with only a smartphone for a year. No PC, no laptop, no tablet. Also no netbook, obviously. Just a Samsung Galaxy Note. He decided to go all-out and not to touch any other connected device for a year. It got him into a few nasty situations, like when he needed to edit Visio drawings using a remote desktop client.

… best of all was that I connected with some really bright, fun, innovative, and passionate people. This is the real promise of mobility.

I can sympathise, though I’m not willing to go all the way. Plenty of what I do is mobile already. I use a desktop PC for convenience mostly: a larger screen, mouse and keyboard help in quickly doing several things that would be much slower on a small display. But I keep mobility in the back of my head at all times. For example:

  • To keep track of my network and to-dos, I am now using a web-based CRM with a good Android client. When I add a to-do on my PC, I can immediately tap on it on my phone to call the contact. When I get or make a call, I get the option to add a task that is later shown on my PC.
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, this blog, all my mail accounts, and my news feeds are available on my phone and on my PC. Except for mail, I access them mostly through my phone.
  • Contacts and calendar are synced between all applications I use. When I get a request for an evening meeting, I can check calendars of a possible babysitter to free myself if required.

Why use a phone instead of a laptop ?  Because I carry it with me all the time. It weighs nothing extra, I want to have it with me anyway. Even small tablets don’t fit into my coat pockets like my phone does. There is no delay before I can use it because I can just hold it in my hand and it’s ready. I don’t need to find a table or wait while it’s booting. And it already contains all my contacts anyway.

Best of all, I can switch off the data connections and just have a phone, too.