Shrink Your Technology - How to Work Anywhere, Anytime Out of a Backpack

Years and years ago, as charge for a consulting activity, I got an early NCR computer. I purchased a large briefcase to maintain the factor. Ever when you consider that then i've been on a quest to percent a entire workplace into a unmarried, smooth-to-tote bag. Not a laptop bag or briefcase or tote with wheels and a manage - a easy shoulder or messenger bag. This is how I did it - with some ideas on how you could too.

2) dreams for my "gadget in a bag"

web access

What I desired so one can do become access the internet and email from nearly everywhere. At the same time as I realize this possibly doesn't consist of the Gobi wilderness, I wanted to work maximum places where cell phone coverage may be had. I didn't realize it at the time, however i was stepping into the "cloud"; i have observed that I do an increasing number of of my work in internet-based applications. The primary benefit is the capability to transport from computer to pc while not having to hold documents with me.

Neighborhood get admission to

glaringly, I want get right of entry to to files locally - both on a spinning hard power and on diverse USB drives. Once more the intention - never lose get right of entry to to documents irrespective of in which you're. If i was writing an editorial and left it on my computer; forgetting to duplicate it to a card or reminiscence stick, i used to be out of success until I were given again home.

At ease

My friend Mike James has hammered safety into me over time. If i was get admission to to electronic mail or document switch, it had to be secure and comfy. Facts needed to be shared as essential, but at other times documents had to pass to and fro securely.


web get right of entry to includes access to g-speak from Google in addition to the opportunity of net-based telephone, although I do not use that yet. I wanted to be able to live in touch with the arena from something system i used to be on.


i'm attempting SO difficult to cast off paper. The pc i have selected has a touch display, however i'm not absolutely the usage of it. Files i use are increasingly in PDF, phrase, or maybe Google doc layout. I desired to attain the factor wherein I failed to even want to take notes using pen and ink. I am close, but as you'll see, there may be nonetheless a step similarly i am hoping to head.


i am a 'now and again' speaker and presenter, so I desired get entry to to PowerPoint if wished. I also desired to have the ability to make internet shows even though I did not have access to laptops, CDs or thumb drives.

Report backup

Being particularly paranoid, I need copies of copies of copies of critical stuff. Some onsite, a few offsite. This answer has to provide ways to store and access documents remotely. What else wishes to be said? If you've ever lost a hard pressure, scratched a CD or lost a transportable pressure or thumb force, you recognize the pain of no longer having a backup.

Three) gadget

I selected device I should come up with the money for that met the standards of multi-functionality and portability. There are more than one approaches to do what i have executed with exceptional system; i am virtually outlining the kinds of device and software program on the way to assist you to paintings everywhere.


UMPC is an acronym for ultra mobile pc and stands for any extremely light-weight laptop. For that count number, my Palm Treo phone may want to rely as a UMPC. The factor is to have a small, smooth-to-deliver pc so that it will function lengthy intervals on battery strength. Since maximum folks huddle over a computing device or computer pc all day, doesn't it make experience to have one that does not require a separate, heavy-obligation wheeled tote to carry round?

Fujitsu P1610

The 1610 is a small, mild windows computer with built-in WIFI and a computer card slot which i use for the Verizon cell broadband card. It also has an SD garage card slot which lets in me to replace the data files in my Treo and Exilim digital camera. The main drawback is the smaller keyboard in view that i have huge hands, but i have found out to cope.

The 60 GB force is more than adequate in view that maximum of my storage is faraway; the extended battery offers me over 3 hours of use. There's no CD force, but i will reproduction matters to the hard force or my outside a hundred and twenty GB USB pressure. This tool is the start "platform" on which the overall system is built.

Windows telephone

Why a home windows cellphone? Why now not Symian, Palm or Blackberry? In particular due to the fact i am already at ease with windows and, regardless of what you watched of Microsoft, windows and windows mobile "play properly collectively". Windows cell offers e-mail, phrase, Excel and PowerPoint as well as calendaring, contacts, and so forth. And later you will see that i have integrated (unfastened) software that lets in me to in most cases do away with handwritten notes.

Palm Treo 750

The Treo has end up my "cellular computer" in lots of ways. It's far a bit cumbersome, but the battery lasts a long time and it is taken many drops. With a four GB SD card (postage-sized card with four gigabytes of storage area) installed i have lots of storage space. I have tune, podcasts, and books from Audible.Com.

The phone has cell-sync enabled this means that that my email is checked automatically and "driven" to the telephone.

An pretty beneficial tool is having phrase mobile. I will study and edit documents or open textual content files that i might want. But if i am getting an concept for a blog submit or an article, i'm able to name up word and thumb-kind, then pick out "send as electronic mail". The mail purchaser comes up and i pick out my Gmail account.

Later, after I check Gmail from a "real" laptop, i can pick to open the observe "open as Google report" and there it is. This has removed handwriting notes - in reality it is eliminated quite a few handwriting altogether.

Home windows cell has windows Media participant. This means i've all my music and audio at the four GB SD card. Blended with a set of Etymotic earphones, home windows Media lets in me to concentrate to song or audiobooks or podcasts anywhere. An extra gain - if a smartphone name is available in even as i'm listening, WMP pauses and i solution the decision. The microphone is active regardless of the earphones in so i will talk and concentrate - whilst the decision completes, the song begins lower back up right wherein it paused.

In view that i've a dataplan from my cell cellphone service, i will get entry to my Google account and use a separate unfastened software known as GooSync to sync my Google calendar to my phone. The upshot is that i'm able to make an appointment from any browser the usage of Google Calendar and hit a button on my cellphone to reveal that new occasion on the phone - and actually have it send me reminders!


I commenced out with a messenger bag, however have graduated to a shoulder laptop. The point right here is to have the entirety you need to get work carried out in one bag. A shoulder backpack has literally become my cell workplace holder. I advise a single sling-type bag or the marginally geekier over the shoulder, plastic clip type that lets you take it off and put it on extra effortlessly.

Digital camera

i am currently the use of a Casio Exilim digital digital camera for its small size. Once more, the key to records portability is the SD garage card. My Fujitsu Lifebook UMPC has an SD card slot so i'm able to copy pictures and videos to the laptop and from there upload them to Gspace or Strongspace (extra on these later) or truely e-mail them or submit them to fb.

I did say video; most virtual cameras will shoot video. The Exilim, being a bit older, shoots AVI (lower resolution) video. Maximum new cameras shoot MPEG files which can be better decision.

So maintaining a small digital digital camera has allowed me to trap matters I would not otherwise. It may now not appear to be a part of an "office", however because you are mobile it will pay to preserve a camera for other reasons. The Casio has pictures modes that allow me shoot up actual close so i'm able to take pix of business cards or handwritten notes on a napkin. Again, the factor is to take away handwriting as a lot as possible.

On a aspect notice; how frequently i am working at a Starbucks or somewhere similar and notice others with their laptops open and a notebook and pen next to it. Going virtual can do away with the paper - or as a minimum it's MY goal!

High ability SD playing cards

i have mentioned SD (relaxed digital) playing cards numerous times. These are postage sized memory cards which are utilized in maximum cameras and telephones nowadays. They may be to be had in sizes up to 16 GB (!) which is a lot of information garage.

It approach local storage and easy document copying. I've a 256 MB card in my camera and four GB card in my phone. Picture a teeny tiny tough pressure that swaps easily.

Excessive high-quality earphones

those are essential for a number of reasons. First and main, they plug into the cellphone for being attentive to track or audio AND in addition they let you take smartphone calls and hear the call in both ears. This potential is large if you are in the car.

Due to the fact most phones use a 2.5 mm jack and the headphones have a 3.5 mm jack, you will need an adapter. I haven't any want of a separate media player (iPod or different) as the Treo the usage of home windows Media participant will playback tune, podcasts or maybe YouTube or different video.

Cellular Broadband Card

cell Broadband is a fancy manner of announcing which you're linked to the internet through the cell smartphone network. These playing cards are available from all cellular providers but - be warned - you'll need a 'information plan' from your supplier and, relying on how a whole lot you intend to use your cellular setup, it can get a chunk expensive.

Recognise additionally that mobile broadband is not as speedy as your DSL or cable. Don't plan on downloading massive movies, but you may do almost something else that you would do on a networked computer.

The cell broadband card lets you paintings anywhere you have got a cellular sign - it maintains you from having to pay for WiFi at a coffee save or the airport.

USB difficult power

USB-attached difficult drives have gotten smaller in length and larger in capacity. Used as a backup tool and for added storage, you could get a 500 GB drive for round $one hundred. Again, you can by no means have too much closet area or too many digital garage gadgets!

4) services

The wonder of every of these is, except for my internet-based garage, loose! The idea is on the way to do whatever you could do sitting in a properly-equipped workplace.

Web-based storage

With high capacity SD cards and USB-attached tough drives, what do you need with web-based storage? Because you in no way, never understand whilst your cell drives may pass missing. I have a plan with Joyent which gives me over 20GB of online garage which I get right of entry to the usage of a comfortable client from sftpdrive.Com.

You will want to keep this offsite garage sponsored up with anything on your cellular setup that would be impossible to replace in case your cellular workplace became lost or stolen. An option to paid storage, as we'll see inside the subsequent section, is your Gmail account, which permits you 7 GB of online storage at no charge.


Jott is exceptional. You sign on, get a toll unfastened quantity, software it as the "1" key to your phone and you're prepared. Prepared for what? Name the 800 number and press 1 to Jott your self. Leave as much as a fifteen-2nd message and Jott will transcribe it and e-mail it to you in textual content form. You could also join up other telephone numbers and Jott different human beings or maybe companies of human beings. First-rate for broadcast messages to one or many. Fantastic additionally for recording that next million-greenback idea you get whilst you are driving. (observe: considering the fact that originally writing this newsletter, Jott has come out of 'beta' this means that that some matters that have been unfastened now price a month-to-month charge. However the simple voice-to-text is still free.)


Do you Twitter ( www.Twitter.Com )? Twitter differs from Jott in which you ship a textual content message (up to a hundred and forty characters) to smartphone number 40404 and it appears on your Twitter page on-line.

I have a Twitter 'system' (more on devices later) on Google that displays my Tweets (as they're referred to as) on my Google homepage. A few oldsters use Twitter to make mini-weblog entries too.

5) software

the majority of that is genuinely unfastened. SFTP drive is the only exception.


human beings either love or hate Google. My difficulty is that i've moved a lot of my paintings into this workspace referred to as the Google desktop that if Google dies i will be in actual trouble. But, as with so many of those gadgets, Google had supplied a neighborhood backup option which we'll communicate about later.


after I first created a Gmail account I didn't assume i'd use it a whole lot. I mainly signed up so I ought to use Gtalk - Google's IM customer. But then I started out to locate it less complicated to use my Gmail deal with to fill out paperwork. THEN i discovered out that my Outlook didn't paintings properly in some hotels. I should receive email however now not ship. Gmail sends and gets from any browser on any machine.

I started the usage of Gmail increasingly as it's miles browser-primarily based and that i ought to get to it nearly anywhere. You may additionally use Google search in your emails so locating 'stuff' speedy is easy.


As I stated, Gtalk is Google's IM client. I do not chat a great deal but preserving a few near contacts has been immensely useful. If you do lots of immediately Messaging, you could need a multi-web page purchaser like Pidgin ( www.Pidgin.Im ) that helps you to get right of entry to exclusive services together with intention.


Google files has was a real boon. It has the capability to add and open phrase, Excel and PowerPoint documents.  Key factors - once more the main one is that you can get to your files from any laptop. But secondly, you may easily collaborate on a document or spreadsheet with simple 'sharing' on the site. You could percentage a single file or a whole folder of documents. Terrific for collaboration, you could create word processing documents, spreadsheets and displays.


i am no longer a Digg or delicious user (for storing bookmarked web sites) so i exploit the Google toolbar (which is mounted for your browser whilst you join up for a Google account) to seize bookmarks without problems and quickly. Clicking the blue megastar within the Google Toolbar documents the website online in the Google pocket book beneath "unfiled sites". Again - it would not matter what pc i'm on. All my bookmarks are available.


G-space is a Firefox plugin that places a document explorer window on your browser. You can not realize that a loose Google account comes with 7 GB of garage. While that is now not a huge quantity for song or video, it's more than sufficient to returned up documents or files that, again, you may want from multiple location.

You may use G-area to easily upload a couple of documents to your Google account. Lose your computer? No problem; you've got a thumb power, proper? Lose your briefcase and you may be in hassle. Shop your proposals and PowerPoint the use of G-area? Never lose a file again.


Google Calendar isn't that sexy, however it's far very useful. With the ability to percentage a calendar you could use it for collaboration easily. It is extremely easy to use and, once more, you can share a calendar with an assistant, paintings group or family so each person can access the equal calendar.


A unfastened upload-on to your windows cellphone, GooSync updates your smartphone's calendar from your Google Calendar. It's bi-directional and very clean to apply. You by no means ought to double enter an appointment - input it as soon as in Google Calendar and run GooSync.

SFTP power

SFTP drive presents a secure login to outside servers - that being your offsite storage apart from your Google account. If you paintings through FTP (file transfer protocol) and are a windows worker, SFTP force shows your server as some other power in your My computer and permits you to pull and drop files. I take advantage of along side my Joyent account to lower back up vital files.

6) non-compulsory items to your cellular workplace

those objects are 'useful' however now not clearly important.

Audible Account

Audible.Com is the highest quality site for audio books and other audio material. Audible comes with it is personal phone software so you don't want an MP3 player to listen for your favorite authors. Audible is a purchased carrier.

Outside CD/DVD

With an outside tough pressure, i've not found an outside CD/DVD player/burner vital - yet. In case you burn CDs or need to view DVDs you may need one. Some Sony UMPCs nonetheless match a DVD power into the computer itself.

Moleskin or writing pad

(Sigh) There nonetheless is probably instances whilst you need to jot down something down. A small pad (frequently called a moleskin) can be tossed into the bag and does not upload lots bulk. I use a small notebook from Miquelrius which opens completely with out breaking on the spine.

Virtual pen

i haven't attempted this but but i might want to update the moleskin with one of the numerous digital pens available. Essentially they 'watch' as you write and shop the statistics digitally. Some of them may also carry out handwriting popularity to your scratches and flip them into text. But you can also store that million-dollar doodle electronically.

Transportable printer

once more, i have not needed this but, but in case you're an insurance agent or Realtor, you could want to print paper. I have used the Canon I-90, that is small, lightweight and prints in coloration.

Bluetooth mouse

since the Fujitsu 1610 is a hint display, it comes with a integrated stylus. However in case you are 'mouse structured', a Bluetooth mouse offers you a wi-fi solution. I use the Kensington Pilot Mouse.

Bluetooth keyboard

this is another one i have not attempted but however am considering. A Bluetooth keyboard folds up small and communicates with the pc via a Bluetooth (wi-fi) connection. Noticeably this isn't for the pc however for the Treo cellphone. On account that you have got a cellular version of phrase, you may open a report for your phone and use a fold up Bluetooth keyboard to type longer files with out cranking up the pc.

7) conclusion

There are probably masses of variations on this topic. I don't claim that is perfect but it does allow me to do whatever i will do in my workplace anywhere i am going.

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