Most of our business is conducted on mobile devices these days, even if we’re not on-the-go when we’re using them. And it won’t be long until most of our other activities — both professional and personal — are conducted using apps.
The better those apps get, the less we’ll need a desktop. Laptops keep getting smaller and lighter. And some tablets, like the Microsoft Surface even, seem to be making the need for an expensive device obsolete.
Think back to the last five things you did today on a device. Was it with an app?
Sure, there are certain things that are hard to do with even the best-intentioned apps. Creatively, there still aren’t great photo editing or design software options available for devices. And a lot of content management is still done better (or at least more efficiently) when it’s accessed on your laptop browser. But it’s not crazy to imagine a world where we’re clicking and swiping our way through our tasks.
Access The Office From Anywhere
There’s Google Drive, to start. The office suite is effective and efficient even when it’s run on Apple devices. You can work with a team, edit docs, download them in multiple formats and send them right to the cloud. From creating presentations to sharing invoices, Google Drive is probably the best example of a mobile office and its capabilities. Everything is moving to the cloud, making mobility a realistic option.
Task management is getting easier, too, with apps like Asana and Slack, for example. What used to be entire dashboards of checklists, calendars, and messaging capabilities are accessible through their apps, so you don’t need a whole command center taking valuable screen space. You can check in and be in the loop just by “tapping in.”
Even very specific functions are accessible now too, like being able to access your company’s social analytics with apps like Brand 24’s for social media monitoring. And if you can do things like that, accessing real-time social data and insights from mobile, why bother with a laptop? What’s next - redirecting your advertising campaigns and your brand’s image on the go? Yes, that’s possible, too. And is something that even the most idealistic marketer never would have thought possible two years ago.
Maybe laptop makers will be out of business soon?
The Personal Is Professional
Remember when laptops flooded the market and everyone thought it was so cool to be able to work from vacation, on a beach somewhere? With mobile personal devices, now we take care of all our business from anywhere. It’s blessing and a curse. Added mobility means we have to work extra hard to compartmentalize what needs to get done right now and what can wait until Monday morning. Someone should create an app for that!
So many apps that are useful in our personal life are being integrated into the professional sphere, and not just social media apps. PayPal, for example, is still the easiest way to send money to friends or an eBay seller, but it’s also great for paying freelancers and contract workers without going directly through your bank. Who needs complex money transfers when you can just send money with the swipe of your finger?
Skype’s app means that you can conference call everyone on your team to check in without finding a quiet place to dial in. We’re more accepting of taking even the most important calls on the go now. It’s become so prevalent in our personal relationships that things are just naturally becoming more casual all around.
This Is A Good Thing
With really powerful, but still super user friendly, apps, ditching our laptops entirely for a mobile device is coming. It’s more efficient and cost effective all around. One day, we might not even miss our keyboards as we voice to text everything to our AI-powered phones. We’ll see!
Thanks for this interesting post. I'm curious — did you write it on a laptop or a mobile device?
Why would I want to use a mobile device with at tiny screen and without a keyboard when I use two large monitors plugged into the docking station of my 13 inch portable laptop and touch type on an ergonomically designed keyboard?
Christopher - half and half actually.
Norman - who says you have to type anything? In a few years, we'll probably be dictating most things to a phone. Why would I want to sit in front of two huge monitors when I could be out in the sun instead?
Christopher - half and half actually.