Stories by Robert Strohmeyer

  • myBantu brings social productivity to Android and iOS

    The concept of social productivity is gaining momentum, and I've covered some prominent social productivity tools previously on this blog. As a general sort of thing, social productivity sounds like a good idea. It makes work collaborative, emphasizes communication, and keeps everyone informed of a project's status. In practice, however, it's often noisy, kludgy, haphazard, and annoying. But after taking a look at new mobile apps from a service called myBantu yesterday, I'm a little more open to the notion of this kind of social work.

  • 11 essential tablet productivity apps

    Whether you're an executive, a traveling sales rep, a student, or a soccer parent, a slate full of smart apps can help you manage the ever-changing demands of your daily life. It doesn't really matter whether you use an iPad or one of the new Android tablets; both platforms offer a wealth of options for staying on top of things. And in any case, it's not about having the most apps--it's about having the right apps for you.

  • 5 more PC upgrade mistakes (and how to avoid them)

    As PCs get more powerful and easier to use, the challenges involved with upgrading them have remained about the same. For the novice, a hard drive upgrade can appear downright daunting. For more experienced tinkerers, the upgrade itself may be easy, but it's easier still to overlook factors that could streamline the whole process and better protect both the hardware and the data stored on it.

  • The best office alternatives for Android tablets

    If you fantasize about a life on the road unencumbered by laptops, their accompanying power bricks, and other heavy business gear, you're not alone. And now that a tsunami of tablets is flooding the market with models running a variety of operating systems, that fantasy is starting to look very plausible indeed. Mobile productivity suites bring the document-editing features of desktop suites like Microsoft Office onto the tablet, but are they ready for serious business? I tried four top options to find out.

  • Cloud storage services keep data safe and accessible

    Your PC's hard drive may have half a terabyte of data on its platters, and you might not remember the last time you backed any of it up. In all likelihood, though, you use only a few gigabytes' worth of files on a regular basis. With a combination of cloud-storage services, you can keep that data backed up and synced among all of your computers automatically, and access your most essential files whenever you want.

  • Three great mobile mind mapping apps

    All this week, I've been talking about how amazingly useful mind-mapping is for a variety of creative and business tasks. In my last post, I looked at a few of the best mind-mapping tools for Windows. Today we'll check out some of the coolest mind mappers for smartphones and tablets.

  • Smartphone notifications are key to productivity

    When you're on the go, your phone is your lifeline to the connected world. It doesn't just deliver your messages and make calls. It also tells you what you're supposed to be doing and when, and keeps you updated on all the moving variables in your world, from social media interactions to important news. So choosing a phone that handles notifications in a clear, flexible way can be vital to your daily effectiveness.

  • Leaving your job? Take your data with you

    Nothing lasts forever, and in the 21st century, most people's employment is anything but guaranteed. What should have some permanence, however, is our digital footprint -- the body of data that constitutes the true center of our professional lives. In this article, I'll explain how to protect the integrity of your most valuable business data as you make the transition from one job to another, or from job to jobless.

  • 9 awesome mobile must-haves

    Secure phones: Smartphones are notoriously vulnerable to data-security and privacy breaches. Lookout Mobile Security locks down your Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Mobile phone to keep malware and other threats from invading.

  • Gets serious with tablets, 4G, NAS, pocket projectors

    CES 2011 has plenty to offer the consumer world, but increasingly it brings major business tech advances, too. This year, we're seeing a flood of new offerings that will make doing business on the road easier, more engaging, and a whole lot more productive. Thanks to a host of new tablets, a flurry of 4G wireless offerings, some cool new networked storage options, and a bunch of itty bitty projectors, this CES is shaping up to be a road warrior's fantasy.

  • Master your e-mail (so it doesn’t master you)

    I've seen a few reports that say kids these days think e-mail is passé. Heh. That may be, but for people who have actual work to do, the inbox remains the center of the universe. And I have some tricks to help you take that universe in the palm of your hand and utterly dominate it -- you know, just in case e-mail doesn't go the way of the telegraph anytime soon.

  • 12 amazing productivity boosters

    It's official: I can no longer think of a single person I know (unless, of course, you count my two-year-old) who doesn't have more work on their to-do list than any human being can reasonably be expected to handle. If you're like everyone I know, chances are you could use a few new tools to help you manage your priorities, simplify your life, and accomplish more. This guide is for you.