In the last few months Microsoft East Africa has been trying to give Productivity a new meaning, and that has left me thinking about what Productivity mean in the era of smartphones. The race to redefine productivity using mobile devices started when Samsung came up with Galaxy Note series. Productivity on the mobile device on practical terms, means one is able to wholly run the business/job tasks purely on a phone device.
After interacting with different Microsoft team on a special twitter chat where they tried to explain their quest to reinvent Productivity, I decided to look at the productivity from the lens of Microsoft Lumia 950 XL as well as other Microsoft products. Lumia 950 XL is a great phone but if you have not interacted with the phone check the specs and more about it here.
From my quick research I came up with the following a list what loosely or partly define productivity:-
- Work process
- To do Lists
- Project Management
- Time management
- Staying focused
- Goal Tracking
- File Storage –
Size, speed and platform
Start with size, speed and platform although I have not listed them above. The reason being size of the phone, the speed and the platform which a phone runs on define how an individual can interact with the device as well as how much tasks can be carried out through it. With 5.7 inches’ size, Lumia 950 XL provide a screen size that enable majority of people to perfectly operate it either with one hand or two. On top of that it runs on the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 10. Take a look at our take on why you should upgrade to Windows 10 here. The speed on the hands depend on the processor of the phone. A processor is like a brain of the phone; all the instructions are given through the screen but the real actions are carried out by the processor. The processor work closely with the memory especially when comes to things like multitasking. In the modern day, multitasking is everything. You should be able to pen a number of tabs on your browser, at the same time send MPESA, or get distracted while sending sms with an incoming call but still able to come back after the call and complete it.
The art of the communication is one aspect of life that has been improved through technology. Starting from the old good fixed line, to the emergence of the internet to the modern day smartphones. In case of communication, it is fair to say that a phone is everything. Through a phone like Lumia 950 XL for example, you can send and receive emails, use Social Media, watch videos through YouTube, record videos and post online among others. And yes before I forget you can blog on your phone, or file stories in the case of a journalist.
File Storage and Cloud computing
The need for more storage is huge for most users of computer devices be it a phone or even a PC. The great thing about it, there is a simple solution, Cloud computing. Cloud means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is simply the other name for the Internet. In case of Microsoft, there is Microsoft Azure formerly known as Windows Azure. In practical terms, an individual using a phone like Lumia 950 XL interact with cloud through OneDrive. Through OneDrive users get to share documents, photos, and other files from Windows 10 phone, computer. And when comes to productivity there are no better apps than Microsoft Office mobile apps. The OneDrive app on Lumia 950 XL enable the users to easily work with personal and work files on the go.
- Save and share files with free online storage.
- Quickly open and save OneDrive files in Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
- Easily find photos thanks to automatic tagging.
- Share albums of your favorite photos and videos.
Automation and Work process
Office automation used to be a big deal especially in the first few years of Desktop computers. At the time majority of the work used to be done manually and then the records kept in files. That changed with evolution of computers as more storage spaces were made available to the users with time. At the turn of the century the work places became entirely digitized and those who did not do it in good time lost big time. There many example companies in Kenya which did not read the signs of time like Posta, although I am impressed with their latest moves. That said, it is important to note how smartphones and cloud computing took the process of automation many steps higher, the automation became automatic. The users of smart phones, do not need to save or print documents or files to preserve the record of the transactions, that now happens by default. For example, when writing email, and stop midway, the file is saved by the emailing system, the same as things like taking pictures, or videos. Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is suited for this process, as shown of the features discussed above.
Time Management and Staying Focused
Time management is very important component of being productive both in work place and even on personal life. Not long time ago, people needed to buy calendars, watch, alarm clock, note book but that is no more. Mobile phones changed all that.