Thursday, August 07, 2008

Working smarter

I realize I have not posted to the blog for a while. I have been micro-blogging with Twitter and Plurk and using Facebook to keep in touch with many of my ed tech colleagues. I also realize that information that normally would have been shared via blogs is getting lost in the "Twitterverse".

I have spent the last few weeks really working on making the Mac my main platform. (All my machines are Intel Macs which are dual-platform.) Those of you that know me know I am a die-hard Windows user and have been called the "terminally left-brained learner". Until OS X, I really was not comfortable using the Mac operating system and still had not spent a lot of time on that side of my computers.

All that changed two weeks ago when I moved to the iPhone 3G and MobileMe and also purchased a new iMac for home. I know there has been some bad press about MobileMe, but I have had nothing but success with everything I have done. In the past, I never had the luxury of an Exchange server and had limited access to IMAP. (IMAP allows one to keep all machines and devices in sync for email, contacts, and calendars, among other things.)

I took the plunge and moved my stand-alone Outlook folders of info up to MobileMe for my personal account, and moved my work folders to our gmail-hosted apps mail for our school domain. I also now am working on the Mac side of the machine for most of my tasks, with brief forays to the Windows side for the use of some applications.

What a difference this has made in the way I do business! IMAP is the greatest thing! No matter what device I use, I have access to all of my folders of data, so I no longer have to say "Oh, that is on my work computer and I can get it for you tomorrow."

In addition, everything is in sync all of the time. I guess maybe I have come late to this party, and all of you already have been conducting business this way for while. In any case, I am much more productive since I can easily use the iPhone for almost everything I need to do when away from the computer and I have all my data at my fingertips all of the time

I just re-read this series of articles from the Economist today, since we are studying it as an administrative team at a retreat next week. I suggest you give it a read if you have a chance. It is fascinating to think about the changes that ubiquitous access to the Internet is starting to bring to the work force.