As the owner of my own business, no two days are the same with a host of client and team meetings, supporting businesses, writing blogs, updating websites, developing marketing campaigns and updating social media.
I work all over the place – from my peaceful study at home, to Helm’s vibrant and creative co-working space, homely local coffee shops, on bustling trains and even in the car. Work is completed on the go - and I love it!
To do this well, I need technology to be on my side to help me communicate with my colleagues and clients.
My IT Week from Hell
Frustratingly, my resilience was tested to the absolute limit recently when my laptop, mobile phone, chargers and Wi-Fi all dramatically failed me at the same time.
Within the space of a week, my desktop PC was corrupted, my iPhone wouldn’t allow me to call. text or connect to the internet and I lost my laptop charging cable. I had my very own pre-Halloween technological nightmare!
Tablet to the Rescue
Thank goodness for the wonderful piece of kit that is the iPad Pro. I spent a lot of time working on my iPad, which has a brilliant keyboard attached and weighs next to nothing. I was able to keep in touch with clients, catch up with emails and manage client work on our cloud project management system.
The Road to Recovery
But getting my usually reliable technology back on track was an absolute pain. I spent hours trying to reinstall Windows 10 in the hope I would see the fruits of my labour reappear. Eventually I came across a useful little trick that might just help if you’re ever in the same boat - rather than downloading Windows straight from the internet, I created an installation media which simply means that I downloaded Windows 10 to a USB stick, before installing from there. Easy if you know how, and gets you round all the wobbles that Windows 10 can have on a new install.
Apple were brilliant and just swapped my phone when I went in (albeit that I had to queue for ages, go away, come back, queue again...) I also managed to find the wayward laptop charger in Doncaster and bought a backup!
Technology is an amazing thing... until to stops working!
Check out my 5 Top Tips for making sure you don't have your own IT nightmare.
Don’t ignore the first sign of a problem
I’d been ignoring the increasing problems with my iPhone and paid the price. Some companies will only replace your phone once you’ve reported at least three issues, so it’s worth telling them as soon as something is wrong. This will ensure you clients and colleagues can easily contact you and your business relationships stay on track.
Super-charge your kit
Make sure your portable kit has a really good battery life. I love my old laptop but it only provides four hours of battery. If you invest in your equipment, it will support your productivity so I’ve now also got a 29w charger for my iPad Pro, which provides a super-fast injection of energy, compared to the standard one provided, and I’ve (almost) bought a new laptop with a 10 hour battery
Protect your equipment from viruses
Make sure your Windows has good anti-virus and spyware protection installed so you don’t lose your hard work and contacts. One of my clients lost 50 per cent of their machines to a virus, which had a lasting detrimental impact on their business. If you’re a regular PC user, you’ll spot unusual activity pretty quickly. Don’t ignore it. Do a scan straight away; then get help.
Get yourself a MiFi
Otherwise known as a personal wifi, my nifty piece of kit is smaller than an iPhone and doubles up as a powerpack capable of fully charging a flat laptop or any other device. No more carrying a heavy bag of chargers for me.
I did lots of research and opted for the 4GEE Wifi, which is easily portable, provides 180 hours of power on standby, 20 hours talk time and uses the fastest 802.11ac WiFi. You can connect up to 10 devices at once, so it’s great for car journeys where the kids all want to be on the internet, or when your home or office broadband lets you down.
Make sure your devices mirror each other. Sync your diary, emails, contacts, online storage and browser bookmarks across all your devices. This is such an efficiency increasing measure and means you can pick up from where you left off, whatever device you’re working from. It also helps to have your work and contacts to hand on another device if disaster strikes and you experience multiple technological failures!
Do you have any of your own IT tips to share? It would be great to hear them.
About the Author:
Claire White has developed a wholly unique service, devoted to providing Business Advice, Implementation Skills & Accountability Services to forward-thinking Independent Professionals wanting to develop their business and take control of their time. Contact Claire on +44 (0)345 056 8544, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.clairewhite.co.uk.
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