3 Tips for Using a Tablet to be Productive Everywhere in the Office

Apr 13, 2015 | Gadgets, ipad, Mobility, Productivity, Wireless

Although many of us have laptops and other mobile devices, or can log in to work from a home desktop, we overwhelmingly spend most of our time in the office. That doesn’t mean, however, that we spend all of our time at our desks. In fact, middle managers and executives spend between 35 percent and 50 percent of their time away from their desks and in meetings. We don’t usually think of being “mobile” in the office, but that’s what is happening when we’re out of our chairs. So the question is, how do we improve our in-office productivity while in meetings or moving between them?

Use your computer only when needed

Kimberly Engelkes, strategic program manager at Microsoft, has this to say about computers and meetings: “Being productive in a meeting can be challenging. Having your computer or tablet open can seem rude, or like you aren’t paying attention.” And avoiding the temptation to let your attention wander can be difficult even for the most iron-willed in an unexciting meeting.

Bringing a computer can actually boost productivity, especially if you’re using it to engage. “I use a tablet and stylus to write notes in OneNote, keep track of my action items from the meeting, and make changes in real time. Additionally, at the end of the meetings, I add any whiteboard pictures to those notes. This saves me time later trying to recap the meeting, and I have all of my action items in a handy to-do template.”

The key is engagement with those around her and the subject of the meeting. Engelkes uses a tablet to make meetings better and more productive (instead of a distraction or excuse to check Facebook) by taking notes and sharing information later.

Use the right tools

We have a lot of apps and tools to choose from, but we often find ourselves coming back to the ones we know how to use. The key, according to Lisa Hendrickson, a Microsoft Outlook Expert, is to discover the hidden or lesser-known features in the programs you already use.

Hendrickson says, “There are many hidden gems already in Outlook that many may not be aware of.” The first is a simple productivity hack: “You can draft an email during a meeting, and it will be prepped to send after the meeting. Finish up the message with whatever details you need to add and send it off!”

Email can also be an effective way of taking notes. “Need to take notes on your tablet—any tablet? Use the Notes feature; then send them to yourself. When you are back at your desk, the notes are nice and handy for you to cut and paste into a document.”

Hendrickson has also mastered the fine art of remembering faces by using her computer. “Adding information to your Contacts during meetings can help you categorize them and let you avoid confusion later.”

Engage with the meeting

Multitasking has become our way of life, but meetings are supposed to be time set aside to discuss a specific topic or range of topics. You owe it to everyone in the meeting to stay on task and devote your attention to each other and the topics of conversation.

So bringing a computer or tablet should only be an option if it helps you engage rather than distracts you. As computers, specifically laptops and tablets, become smaller and more portable, the temptation to drag them everywhere grows.

Being able to move around your office with a computer is common these days, but with the benefits of such mobility come unforeseen (but perhaps not unsurprising) distractions. Being productive while on the move is as important in the office as it is outside it, so use the computer as intended: as a tool to make your meetings more productive and useful for everyone.

Recent Posts

Use Cases for Co-Managed IT Services

Use Cases for Co-Managed IT Services

Meeting the IT needs of a business using internal resources can be difficult and expensive. Meanwhile, outsourcing IT services may prompt questions about control and security. One of the ways the market has evolved is through Co-Managed IT Services, which provide a...

The Tempo of Cybersecurity

The Tempo of Cybersecurity

You are probably thinking to yourself, “oh great, another cybersecurity article”. I feel the same way sometimes, that I’ve become numb to the statistics, and I just want to go back to a time when we didn’t have to consider unscrupulous threat actors trying to take...

Co-Managed IT is NOT the Same as Managed IT

Co-Managed IT is NOT the Same as Managed IT

All too often, small business owners try to decide about IT investments without a complete understanding of the options available. One place where this confusion often shows up is when trying to understand the difference between co-managed IT services and managed IT...