Email and I have a love/hate relationship, leaning mostly towards hate.
One of the things Iâ€™ve never been able to organize effectively is access to my domain email from any device, especially mobile devices.
Email hell endured for almost an entire month when I took a stab at that earlier in the year.
Yet whether I like it or not, being email-connected from wherever you are is something I have to do even if this brings to mind an image of â€˜Blackberry thumb.â€™ So I need to be able to get at email from wherever I happen to be in order to better meet the expectations of clients and others.
That means taking my laptop. Or does it?
The Nokiaâ€™s for keeping in touch via phone and SMS; the iPhone is for the apps (as Iâ€™ve said before, many times).
So if I go to a meeting, itâ€™s not likely I need to lug the laptop nor need access to the types of apps and services I do when in the office.
Hereâ€™s my thinking:
- In a meeting, I donâ€™t need the full suite of Office 2007 applications. What Iâ€™m likely to need are some documents Iâ€™ve created with those apps: a proposal or report in Word; a PowerPoint presentation; maybe an Excel spreadsheet. Etc. PDFs perhaps. My solution: Files for iPhone. This app lets me copy any file created in Office to the iPhone and access it on that device. Also image files, audio and video, and more.
- What about creating or editing documents? Well, Iâ€™ve never really needed to do that in meetings. If I take notes, I use a plain-text editor on the laptop. Now I do the same on the iPhone with WriteRoom. Tapping notes on the iPhoneâ€™s virtual keypad (which I love, btw) is easy and I can email those notes if I wish to.
Which brings me back to email.
Thinking about the email mess last February, I decided to approach it a little differently this time. I decided to go Google.
Not the whole hog â€“ I donâ€™t yet have full confidence in The Cloud â€“ just email. I already had a Google Apps account from when the service first started. Now, Iâ€™ve activated the email element and so my domain email now goes via Gmail.
I still bring all email into Outlook on the desktop, so nothingâ€™s changed in that regard. What has changed is that I can easily access domain email on the iPhone, something Iâ€™ve not been able to do before (a lot to do with complexity of setting it up).
Domain email via Google Apps: itâ€™s as easy as 1-2-3 to make this happen and get it working on the iPhone.
In case youâ€™re thinking of suggesting buying a netbook as an easier way to go about all of this, I have considered that. And it may well be easier.
The reality, though, is that my laptop â€“ a Sony Vaio SZ4XWN-C that I bought two years ago â€“ is still an excellent portable device with a while yet of useful life. Very hard to justify buying another device at the moment. If I put on my accountantâ€™s hat, he wonâ€™t approve the purchase :)
So Iâ€™m happy to see how my new â€˜systemâ€™ works out. I reckon itâ€™ll be good until the end of Q1 next year.
Then weâ€™ll see.