This post is late in coming! For that I apologize…that’s another post, but here it is! Everything that I learned from a week as a school district administrator using only my phone! A few caveats…I outlined in my announcement post that there were a few things that I absolutely couldn’t do on my cell phone but I promise you EVERYTHING ELSE I forced myself to do on my phone.
Everything that I learned from a week on my cell phone:
- It Pays to Explore Apps – Prior to this experiment I didn’t wander into the app store often. As I was preparing for the week I took a look at things that I use everyday and searched the app store to see if there was a comparable app that could do the job. In MANY cases I found apps that actually were BETTER than what I was using on my computer, or at least made the process easier. At the very least I now have backups for things if I’m in a jam, away from my computer that I can use my phone to do.
- My Meetings Improved – I’m not sure of why, exactly (I have some theories), but my meetings with people improved. My speculation was that I wasn’t able to continue the habit, that many of us have at this point, of opening up a computer that sits between me and the other people. It felt more human. I actually had people mention it during the meeting and they didn’t even know that I was doing a challenge.
- I LOVED Walking out the door with just my phone – This may be particular to my job and work, but I typically carry a multiple amount of things everyday, everywhere I go…to walk out with my phone in my pocket was extremely liberating.
- I Discovered My First Android Let Down – No inline photos in emails. I’m sure there’s an email app that might provide a work around but I didn’t find it. It’s a silly little thing, but I use a lot of images day to day (yes, I like to use GIF’s in emails) and sending them as attachments just isn’t as much fun.
- I Still Need My Notebook – I tried using Google Keep and Evernote…and I love these apps, I really do, but I’m a notebook guy. I didn’t do well with this part.
- I Was Better Able to Unplug – This is also something that I can’t quite pinpoint, but when I walked into my house at the end of the day, put my phone down, it stayed down. Maybe spending the whole day using the phone (and I wasn’t glued to it either, I think I used it less than typical in many cases) filled my digital dopamine for the day.
- Heavy Video Work Ain’t Gonna Happen With Just a Phone – You just can’t do it…YET. To clarify, you can make very decent videos with a phone, and certainly you can get high quality footage with phones now, so it’s not the collection of video, but the editing is tough.
This Has Officially Changed My Routine…For the Better
After all is said and done I learned a tremendous amount about my own productivity, where I can improve, things that need to stay the same and all sorts of things that informed my planning. An example is that I made way more phone calls, had better conversations and decreased emails and improved productivity overall.
I think my biggest takeaway is to focus on the connections. When you can increase your connections with people, through whatever tool, that’s when you stumble on some great efficiencies.