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Articles to Help You Be More Productive

Enjoy these articles? There are many more available:
  • Time Management Article Collection
  • Microsoft Outlook and Email Article Collection
  • Managing Paper Article Collection
  • Computer Tips Article Collection
  • Less-Paper Office Article Collection
  • Computer & Email
  • Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook

  • Beware the Empty Inbox

  • Get the Most from Your Handheld

  • Do Digital Organizers Save Time - Or Waste It?

  • Efficient E-mail Habits

  • Transitioning from Paper to Digital Information Storage

  • Faxing Without a Fax Machine

  • Getting Your Files When You're On The Go


  • Business & the Office
  • Time Tactics for the Office

  • Keeping Track of Delegated Tasks

  • Controlling Interruptions

  • Keeping Track of Your Customers & Prospects

  • Do Your Employees Really Need Customer Service Training?


  • Paper Management
  • Action Files Prevent Desk Clutter /a>

  • Reclaim Your Desktop with a Tickler File

  • What To Do With All Those Business Cards?

  • Managing Project Folders - A Surprising Tip that Works


  • Time Management & Organizing
  • The Power of Planning Ahead

  • Words of Wisdom You Should Ignore

  • Coping with Information Overload

  • Thirteen Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder



  • Getting Your Files When You're On The Go
    © Jan Jasper; 2001-2012

    These days, many of us work from multiple locations, and our digital files need to be accessible from anywhere. Gone are the days when if you worked at home one evening and needed access to a file from your office, you had to email it to yourself before you left the office. If you work for a large commpany you may be able to connect remotely to the corporate network, though with the growing threats to internet security, some companies are restricting remote access. And if you work for a small business it's up to you to figure out how to get at your files.

    Bring Your Laptop Everywhere

    The simplest option may be to keep everything in your laptop and take it with you. The drawback is having to carry the laptop everywhere, but the advantage is you don't need an internet connection to access your file. We're accustomed to the internet always being there, but what if it goes down and you have work to do - and you can't get at your files?

    Working with the Cloud

    Your suitcase will be lighter if you use a borrowed computer at your destination and access your files with a service such as Dropbox*. It's similar, yet different from an internet backup like Mozy* or Carbonite* - DropBox* is not designed to back up all your thousands of documents on a regular schedule. You just need to plan ahead and know which files you'll need remote access to, and upload them to Dropbox before you leave. What if you end up needing other files you didn't anticipate? Regular use of an internet back-up service such as Mozy* will allow you to download (they call it Restore) to a different computer any file you've backed up to their servers. Of course, if you're planning a long airplane flight and want to work during the flight, you'll need to download any files you'll need to your laptop before you depart.

    Remote Access Software

    What if you need not just the files, but programs? If you're working on a borrowed computer you can use the cloud to access that Photoshop project you're working on - but what if that machine doesn't have Photoshop installed? Remote access software such as GotoMyPC* lets you access your computer from another location. (Your computer will have to be left running when you're away.) GoToMyPC* lets you work just like you're at your own computer. It lives on the internet so it doesn't require you to install anything - that's important because hotel business centers, libraries, and copy shops don't allow users to install programs.

    The Risks of Public Wireless Hotspots

    Last, a word of caution. We all know it's risky to do online banking or shopping on your laptop (or smartphone) at a public wireless hotspot. What's less well-known is the risk of going online at a hotspot at all, even if you just use email, because your machine is exposed to malware. Public wireless networks, by definition, are not secure. Merely clicking on an innocent-looking link could initiate a driveby download. Unbeknownst to you, a keystroke logger is then installed which will capture your passwords and credit card information as you type them. Malware is more likely to infect your machine in a public hotspot because they are, by definition, open to anyone, unlike your home or office networks.

    Even if you don't use your laptop for shopping or banking while at a hotel or coffee shop, that doesn't mean your computer is safe. Once your machine is infected, the keystroke logger sits in your machine and wakes up, hours or days later, when you type a series of numbers that it recognizes as a password, credit card, or bank account number. The solution is to use a keystroke-logger-blocker such as ZoneAlarm's ForceField*. (I don't gain from mentioning this - or any other product.) This not only turns your keystrokes to gobbledy-gook, confounding the thieves, but it also prevents malware from taking a screen shot of your bank or brokerage account's login page. Yep, these criminals have figured out how to take screen caps of what you're doing on your computer, just in case you've installed a keystroke-logger-blocker. We've just seen the beginning of this type of crime and we cannot take it too seriously. So if you ever go on the internet using public wireless networks, take heed.


    *The usual disclaimers apply. My mentioning these products is not a guarantee of any sort. Obviously, you should not change anything until you've completely backed up your files. You already do that, right?
    _________________________________________________________

    This article is available for a one-time reprint or internet posting if you include my copyright notice, provide a link to www.janjasper.com and identify me as follows: "Jan Jasper, a productivity expert in the New York City area, is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press)." Read Terms and Conditions for details.
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    About the Author:
    Productivity coach Jan Jasper has been helping busy people work smarter, not harder since 1988. Her customized approach guides clients to manage time, tasks, and information more effectively. She also provides Microsoft Outlook customization for clients. Jan is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press). She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions, Inc. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print. Jan is an adjunct instructor at New York University.

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