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Do smartphones really make us more productive?

The answer is obviously – YES – especially as compared to technology choices before the first iPhone came out 8 years ago. We now have our whole digital world at our fingertips 24 x 7 – email, texts, contacts, calendars, photos, news, weather, access to anything on the Internet, etc… I suspect you’re just like me in that we feel productive because we have access to all these tools whenever we want (need?) We can communicate with anyone around the globe and we can sometimes feel on top of our game because of this ease of access. But, I sometimes also feel overwhelmed – and I wonder if any of you do as well?

I’ve used both iPhone and Android phones over the years – I’m currently using a Samsung S5 running Lollipop (Android v5.0). I am able to sync everything I could ever possibly need to my phone – multiple email accounts, calendars, contacts – for business purposes I feel very connected and free. I can do a lot of my daily work from the phone when I’m on the go, but I still need my laptop (MacBook Air) to create output and deliverables. Does all of this make me more productive? Maybe not – there are some things that really bug me and slow me down.

Setting up meetings with people outside my company – it takes way too many emails or texts to lock down a date, time and place. Shoot! I forgot – did I send Bill a text or an email about our coffee meeting?
Handling all the incoming messages – We have email, SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, FaceBook Messenger, SnapChat (only to talk to the kids, for now), Skype Messages, Hangout messages, iMessage…..the list keeps growing. Who has the time to bounce from app to app trying to read, reply and/or take action on all of this?
Documents – Boy do I LOVE, I mean HATE Google Drive ☺ What a great tool for storing and sharing docs. But does it really have to be that hard to figure out how to find the one you need right now? Why don’t the right directories show up where and when I need them? There’s also DropBox, Box, iCloud, Basecamp and others – everyone has their favorites – I really don’t want to create yet another account somewhere else. Where did I put that customer presentation again? I’ll go spend 7 minutes hunting for it.
To do lists – I consider myself a fairly organized person – I like lists. It feels good to check stuff off that’s completed, even if its “Send Happy Birthday email to Dad”. I’ve tried many apps for this but for some reason none of them work for me – I’m back to paper and pen and I love it. A lot of people say they use EverNote – but I wonder if you really are managing tasks that way? I’m also using a Google doc to track household groceries and meals to cook – maybe I should use EverNote – but do I really want to deal with syncing and managing yet another app across my laptop and phone?

So am I more productive than I was 8 years ago? Yes. Could I be more productive when using my smartphone? Absolutely. The improved performance of mobile devices and their software make it so much easier now to work and play on the go. However, better integration between all these individual solutions would certainly help give me more productivity on my smartphone.

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