Every so often I take stock of the devices and services that I use in my day-to-day working (and not-working) life. Here’s where I’m at as of April 2014:
I’ve written about my experiences with Chromebook (a post that still gets quite a few views) and I’m generally pretty happy with it. It can get a bit laggy at times, but for the most part the browser-based software that I use isn’t particularly high-intensity. Cheap, light, and with seemingly endless battery life. And it’s next to never that I try to use it somewhere where there is no WiFi connection…
HP Pavilion Desktop
The desktop is now pushing six years old, is running out of disk space, and with GPU and CPU fans both running makes a passable impression of a 747 coming in to land at nearby Heathrow. At some point it needs changing, but as increasingly it provides little more than a staging point for photos to be stored on the Cloud in reticent to do so at the moment. I’m also dreading migrating my wife to Windows 8, as I know it will all be my fault.
LG Nexus 5
It’s a good phone, but the biggest difference for me since getting it is shifting to an unlimited data plan. That has significantly changed my mobile behaviour as I no longer think about if I’m using too much cell data. My data consumption appears to have doubled as a result. Goodness knows how much I’d get through on 4G (actually, it probably wouldn’t be much more because of the impact on battery life…)
PowerGen PGMPP6000 Battery Pack
Being out and about for much of the day, and reliant on my phone, has been made a lot easier by getting a portable charger. It is good for about 4 charges before it itself needs recharging. £20 well spent to significantly reduce my stress levels…
Asus Nexus 7
Probably better used by the kids than by me now. The first generation 7″ Nexus tablet has become a bit slow, and there are known issues with the time it takes to charge (in technical terms, too bloody long). Pretty good for watching video, great for kids games, ok for ebooks. At home, though, in usually either on the Chromebook or the phone.
A hand-me-down from my wife (the screen broke on the first day of use, she got a replacement, this still works as long as it’s connected via Bluetooth), I’m not obsessive, but it is nice to see when I have done my 10,000 steps…
I’m now into my sixth year of using the Google Suite, and email is vital, Docs get used occasionally (presentations, spreadsheets for the #socialCEO research, the occasional document), and I’ve given up on G+ again as I just can’t make it for into either my work or not-work lives.
The short-form network is probably the most important to me today. I make contacts, have conversations, explore ideas, publicise my work, chit-chat, find news and more. Tweetdeck is my main point of entry alongside the mobile app, the main web version, and occasional peeks at SocialBro.
The business network is an interesting example of how rubbish a user interface I will put up with if the data is worth it. The inconsistencies of UI infuriate me, but the underlying content makes it worth while.
I’ve been using the WordPress.com blogging service since 2011 and access both via the web and the mobile app. The editor tools are pretty well refined, and reporting is adequate. It’s too big a part of my day-to-day work to think about making any significant changes, and there are plenty of templates available to change what you the reader sees. The written content is all my fault…
One of the ironies of digital photography is how we try to make it look otherwise. A bit of dirt and a bit of irregularity make for a more pleasing image.
I’ve dipped in and out of using Evernote, and these days use only a tiny part of it for jotting down blog article ideas.
Google’s cloud-based to-do list and notes service. I use it for the former.
Email list management and editor, I use this for administering both the mmitii and #socialCEO email Services.
Something of a legacy of my Microsoft days, I still have a reasonable amount of content stored on the former “SkyDrive”, which I drop into either via the web or on the Android App.
The place for books. And for viewing PDFs on the tablet or phone it seems…
Great Android podcast manager, which is how I listen to this lot.
I’ve not bought a CD or downloaded a music file since 2009 thanks to Spotify. Accesses via the web, on the phone, on the tablet, and occasionally on the Roku box I have at home too.
An interesting way to consume content aggregated from across different social media feeds, I’ve also started to use it to collect interesting stuff from across the web (the link above will take you there).
Skype is a really interesting example of what happens when can make a brand become a verb. I have many Skype conversations with people even though I know they use Google and so could “Hangout”, but it seems that “to Skype” is the dominant verb. Compare that with “to Bing”…
Introduced to this by @mbrit – Glympse lets you share your location in private with a group of people. “I’m on my way home” can now be accompanied by a trackable map. Sometimes that’s a good thing…
Google’s Map App and Web service, which I usually have as my first point of call for public transport route mapping.
But if I’m driving I use Waze (now a Google-acquired company). Has found back routes to places that have definitely avoided the jams.
A single place to store all of my overseas travel information. Very useful, and with a great “email in your itineraries” service that’s pretty reliable and accurate.
A godsend at a stage in my business where it’s mostly expense. Scan in receipts using a mobile phone, attach access to your Amex card account, and it can automatically OCR and reconcile most of your expenses. If only corporate expenses systems were this easy…