As marketers and solo practitioners, we tend to rely heavily on technology to get through our busy workdays. So much so, that when we think we’ve found the exact right tech toy, app or program, it can be hard to let it go.
But did you ever stop to think that by holding onto something that once worked instead of upgrading, you might be handicapping your business?
“Just because something is working efficiently now doesn’t mean that it will continue to be a solution for our team long-term,” said Andy Seguin, director of digital marketing at Kiddie Academy, an education company whose educational methodology includes technology education and technological literacy.
But unlike kids who seem to easily shift between devices and learn the next new thing, adults often tend to hold onto what they’re used to using, even when it’s time to move on.
Think about your formerly reliable desktop computer that freezes a few times a day. While you might not want to splurge on an entire system, think of the frustration you feel mid-sentence or conversation when that screen just goes blank.
All the furious typing in the world and repetitive CTRL ALT DELETE can’t make up for the time lost while you pray for your computer to start working again. Have you found yourself spending far too much time cursing instead of working?
Sanguin suggests you pay a bit more attention to your time before worrying about the out-of-pocket part. “We value our time greatly. What costs a fortune is your team being inefficient, ineffective and missing valuable opportunities. You might be spending more time using three pieces of technology to do the job of one at the expense of saving money but you’re losing valuable work time.”
[bctt tweet=”All the furious typing in the world and repetitive CTRL ALT DELETE can’t make up for the time lost while you pray for your computer to start working again. #TechUpdateIdeas via @rachelcw” via=”no”]
Must-have new technology products
Don’t worry that you have to change everything all at once. Instead of getting stuck in a technology rut, consider making small upgrades to your day.
It can be something as tiny as setting up an email tracking app or updating your news alerts. You don’t actually have to lay out a small fortune to invest in your productivity.
That being said, here are some must-have new tech products that will help you work smarter, faster and more seamlessly, whether you’re at home or on the go.
1. A kinder, gentler notebook
If you find that you miss writing things down and thinking them out but worry about finding them later, here’s something just for you. Rocketbook Fusion is a reusable smart notebook that you can connect to the cloud.
It comes with 42 reusable pages with seven templates that include a weekly planner, monthly calendar, task list, goals and an idea list, as well as dot grid and lined pages.
Love what you wrote down? Use the app to scan and share. Hate it? Wipe it clean and you’re onto the next.
2. A more intuitive laptop
At a recent tech preview event, I marveled (okay, drooled) over ASUS’s new launch. ScreenPad 2.0, which is included in many of their new notebook computers, is a 5.65-inch touchscreen where your mouse would normally be. What it is, in essence, is a highly interactive secondary touchscreen connected to productivity programs.
So, say instead of scrolling and searching, you can literally just tap to get your favorite program started. It’s so simple, it’s almost a no-brainer. We all need this one.
3. A lighter, faster computer with better battery power
If you’re like me, you have several computers and miscellaneous items with screens you use depending on what you’re working on and who you’re trying to impress.
If you’re also like me, you don’t plan on updating until one dies or a new version comes out that’s so much smarter and quicker that it seems ridiculous to hold onto the old version. Well, I have news for you, sometimes you should upgrade at other times as well.
Case in point, my very slightly older laptop that still did the job but wasn’t easy to work on. Microsoft Surface Computers are sleek and gorgeous looking. They also have ridiculously long battery life (projected up to 14.5 hours), a touch screen and everything you love about being able to use Windows 10 on the fly if needed.
If you look at the tech specs for the latest iterations (Surface Laptop 2) you’ll also notice that they wised up and added in additional jacks and connection ports, making it a smarter computer as well.
4. A smarter (and possibly cheaper) smartphone
The good news is that you no longer have to have an iPhone for people to take you seriously as a business professional. The even better news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on the new generation of really smart smartphones.
Two new contenders use artificial intelligence to improve not only your overall searching experience but also the way you snap photos. Nokia is coming back with a bang and they’re concentrating on elements important to anyone who spends a lot of their workday in the mobile sphere. The Nokia 3.1 Plus has a pretty huge screen and an impressive 2-day battery life.
5. Instant language skills
Depending on your niche and client base, you may find yourself interacting with clients or vendors who speak another language. And if you travel often for business (or spend a lot of time on conference calls) you may find that you’re spending a large portion of your time explaining or asking for clarification.
Pocketalk is a nifty little device that literally brings dozens of languages to the palm of your hand. Choose your languages and then speak the phrase you’d like translated. In most cases, the device will respond in the language you choose, so you don’t have to struggle with pronunciation either.
6. An on-the-go keyboard
Don’t feel like schlepping your iPad to your next meeting? Try the Plugable Folding Keyboard, which is a full-size Bluetooth keyboard that folds into a package smaller than a paperback book. Works with your smartphone as well.
Not ready to invest? Try these simple improvements instead
Even if you’re not into the latest and greatest tech products, there are some simple improvements you can make that’ll help with social monitoring and reputation building and may extend the lifespan of your products.
Use your commute wisely
If you spend time on the subway or bus as you head to work, consider using that time to fine-tune your news alerts. If your Google alerts are still cluing you into the things that interested you two careers ago, you really need to spend some time updating your alerts.
While you’re at it, set up an alternative source like TalkWalker which might pull in stories and news about your company or competitors you might have otherwise missed. And take some time to scan your inbox.
Do you really need to subscribe to 16 news alerts each morning? If you find that you repeatedly look to the Wall Street Journal or The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet and skip the rest, simply unsubscribe. Or set up an email address exclusively for news and updates and scan it first thing in the morning instead of allowing it to be an endless time suck.
Update your devices
Not ready to spend at all? Then pay attention to the updates.
Sanguin said, “For me, as a marketer, it is more about the software than the hardware. I would always recommend that you update your operating systems and apps as often as prompted. Updates often have security patches, improve bugs and overall user experience. Don’t leave this just to your laptop and phone — think about your server and security too. Stop hitting “update later.”
Along those lines, before you decide that none of these updates work for you, Sanguin reminds us of something incredibly important: “If you are not trying to learn about new technologies and stay ahead of the game, then you are already behind.”
[bctt tweet=”If you are not trying to learn about new technologies and stay ahead of the game, then you are already behind.” #TechUpdateIdeas via @rachelcw” via=”no”]