Saturday, September 25, 2010

How I Use iPhone for Work

I am the "CIO" of a small Time Study consulting firm. (NOT a small-time consulting firm!) My boss, known as "The Man", and the other 50% of our firm, constantly challenges my suggestions for costly technological upgrades. After moving to iPhones though, I am the god of tech.

We use the normal iPhone/anyphone suite of phone, email, calendar. These all work as the communicating, scheduling appliances they are. Blah, blah, blah. Unless you want to invite people to a meeting. Steve!

Then there are the tools that help us figure out whether we are heading back to the hotel or deep into Iowa. Getting around on location requires maps. Without good navigation, getting around new territories can challenge our professional relationship. Navigation tools like Around Me, and GPS Drive, which I have reviewed separately, make finding our way and good meals child's play. Trust me, we use these apps to positive effect.

On jobsites we use GTalk clients like Beejive and Ebuddy on our iPhones to keep a chat going when radios don't make sense. This channel of communication is ideal for our work, where discretion is important.

We do time studies and have to count the number of times a process occurs, or number of customers, or items. A counter is more efficacious than hash marks

Of course a stop watch is necessary and the iPhone version is easy to see.

During a study I want to be reminded when certain time periods pass so my work is grouped in segments. The timer does a good job at this.

An additional tool the iPhone provides is the use of Excel spreadsheets to keep my expense tracking up to date daily, so invoicing clients is never a hassle at the end of the engagement.

Receipts are sent along with the invoice as a .pdf because I use the camera and a nice app called GeniusScan. It is effective for cropping pictures of text like receipts, enhancing photos of them so they are clear, and converting them to .pdf format.

All this is helpful. One issue is the battery drain. I think the running timer and having the display always on is sucking enough juice that my battery needs a little pick-me-up at cocktail time to make it through the evening.

I really look forward to the day when Excel runs on iPad so I can input ditlrectly into data bases and skip the use of notebooks. I may give numbers a try for this, but the utter lack of power and compatibility has me frustrated.

- Paul/ BlogPress/ iPhone

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