Step 4: Mobility

Michael Sliwinski — №21 with Pat Flynn

Step 4 of my course is about being productive anywhere. Using your computer, smartphone or tablet. Today’s era of technology enables us to get tasks done anywhere and have more free time later! So get ready to find out:

Don’t be afraid of the cloud

The strength of a real productivity system starts with its accessibility and being ready for you anytime, anywhere, anyhow. It’s also important to have the information on your devices always in sync.

If you’re doing this productivity course, I’m sure you’ve already somehow embraced the concept of the cloud. The Internet cloud. Remember, productive people are not afraid of the cloud ;)

This simply means, your data is securely stored on some distant server. All you do is take a device you have at hand like a computer, smartphone or tablet, and access this data.

This already happens with your email. It’s stored on your computer as well as on a server somewhere. It is happening with your contacts if you sync them with Apple’s or Google’s or Microsoft’s systems.

If you know tools like Dropbox or Evernote, these also store your files and notes in the cloud as well as on your computers and smartphones. It works like magic.

Data security

The benefits of keeping the data in the cloud are amazing — you can get to it from anywhere, with any device and this other ‘cloud’ company takes good care of the security infrastructure around your data.

I know it may sound kind of spooky, but on the other hand, should your house burn down (or simply your computer equipment be stolen), your data will be safe. Up there in the cloud.

Cloud companies deal with hundreds of thousands to millions of users (like Evernote, Dropbox or us, Nozbe) and they know how to create their backup infrastructure to ensure your data is safe at all times. We live and breathe by this.

Of course, you can always print out your tasks, documents and notes. And if it’s in the cloud, you can print those from any computer that’s connected to the Internet as you log in to your service’s online account.

Be productive anywhere, on the move, online and offline

Nozbe was born as a cloud service. Initially you could access Nozbe data using a desktop Internet browser. Later, to give you the best Nozbe experience on a smartphone — we have created a special “slimmed down” version of our web application called where you can get your tasks done on the move.

And to make the mobile experience even better, we’ve built native apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. These apps work offline — meaning even if you don’t have an Internet connection, you can still get your tasks done and synchronize with the cloud later.

Again, making the “experience” better meant for us building native apps for the regular PCs, too. We’ve got apps for the Windows and Mac platforms — apps that also work without Internet connection and sync with the cloud later.

Traveling on the plane? On a train or bus? Sloppy or non-existent Internet connection? You’ll get stuff done with Nozbe anyway because our native apps work totally offline and sync your data when possible.

I don’t want this step to sound like a sales pitch — but to make my point — to be really productive you need to use solutions that work across all the platforms you use — that’s why I use Evernote, Dropbox and Nozbe — and sync my contacts with Apple’s iCloud service…

Real life examples

Why is this “cloud” and “sync” thing so important? Well, imagine yourself running errands with your mobile phone. In Nozbe you’d click on the “Errands” context and you’d know what you need to do or buy.

Shopping for stuff? You are buying stuff and checking them off the list from a project you share with your wife. Suddenly your wife remembers you need to buy something more — she adds it to your project and boom, the information is automagically pushed to your mobile device.

Waiting for comments on tasks from your colleagues while on your way to a very important business meeting? The new comments arrive quickly on your mobile device as it syncs itself with the cloud. You won’t miss anything.

That’s why it’s so important to have the key data in the cloud — to ensure you can access it from anywhere and that it can be updated by your teammates or other people you work with.

Whatever solution you choose to help you get things done, make sure it works across all platforms, supports instant synchronization and delivers a great work experience on your device. You’ll always have the tasks you should focus on without worrying about how they are stored and synced. Good luck!

Michael sliwinski

Michael Sliwinski

Michael Sliwinski is the editor of the Productive! Magazine, the founder of Nozbe (a time and project management application for busy professionals), and the best-selling author of the #iPadOnly book.

Visit Michael's blog Follow @MSliwinski on Twitter Check out his book: #iPadOnly