iPhone gives productivity a boost

Iphone_greader_mobileThe Apple iPhone may not be designed to be the ideal business tool for mobile professionals, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be for you. In fact, I just realized today that it’s nearly perfect for me. And not just in the UMPC Lite sense either. No, I’m talking about real productivity, the kind I honestly never expected or even wanted when I bought the iPhone.

I work almost exclusively from home, so when I leave the house, I don’t take my work with me. This usually serves me well because I like to really disengage and unwind when I’m not behind a computer. The downside is that I often put off getting out of the house until everything is done (and when is everything ever really done?). Another disadvantage to my system is that if I have to run errands or something before I can complete my typical workday routine, all I want to do when I’m out is hurry up and go home. Not good.

And that’s what happened today. Wait, no, that’s not true. That’s what would’ve happened today if I didn’t have my iPhone.

But because I did have my iPhone, I did almost everything I would’ve done at home (and then some) . . . everywhere else.


At the doctor’s office, where I ended up having a lot of time to kill, I pulled up the mobile version of Google Reader to check on the 125+ sites I follow. AT&T’s EDGE network performed pretty well, even when I only had two bars of signal strength, and I got through most of the headlines, read what immediately interested me, and starred what I wanted to look at later in about 40 minutes. Because of the "flick" gesture, scrolling through pages (only 10 headlines at a time) was incredibly fast. Much faster than the scroll wheel on a mouse, the thumb wheel on the Pepper Pad 3, and the tap-and-drag of a stylus on other handheld devices.


At the drugstore to pick up my prescription, I entered a couple of things into my calendar and caught up on all of my email, even ones I normally wouldn’t read. I ran into the "This message has not been downloaded from the server" one (shown above), which I don’t know what to do about. Anyone know how to force the download?

In the parking lot of the drugstore, I opened up one of my Safari bookmarks to check on afternoon movie listings. My husband and I chose one that started in about half an hour.


In the car, I looked through my camera roll to find this picture of the life-size Simpsons display (taken with my iPhone) that was recently put up at a nearby theater because I couldn’t remember when the movie was going to be released.

At the restaurant, I got through the rest of my RSS feeds.

At the movies, there actually wasn’t any time to do anything because the previews were already playing by the time we found our seats. What we’ve done on the iPhone while waiting for a movie to start in the past, however, has been to watch something on YouTube, look up someplace random on Google Maps (my husband loves maps), check on the weather where some of our friends live, and take pictures.

At the hardware store after the movies, I wrote the beginning of this post in the Notes app while my husband chatted with an employee about the availability of an enormous fan (now part of our home) with oval oscillation.

Back in the car, I emailed the note to myself.


It was already dark by the time we got home, but this picture (also taken with my iPhone) of the rainbow that was right outside our front door a few days ago just seems appropriate here. Because thanks to the iPhone, all I’ve had to do since getting home was take a few pictures, copy-and-paste the note I emailed to myself into this post, write the rest, and publish it.

I spent the majority of my waking hours away from the computer today, but still got everything I wanted to done.

A laptop or UMPC could’ve done the same thing (and more), I know, but neither would fit into or add just 4.8 ounces to my tiny purse. A smartphone would for sure, but so far, no mobile browser I’ve tried comes close to Safari on the iPhone. Looking forward to Deepfish . . .

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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