It’s amazing how much business executives seem to accomplish throughout their days. With all the challenges of running a company, it’s a wonder they get anything done. But the truth is, most of them get a little (or a lot) of help from their technology.
We partnered with Sprint Business to share the favorite gadgets of on-the-go CEOs. Here's what we learned.
1. They’re never stuck searching for a free outlet
Who: Nic Borg, co-founder of Edmodo
Borg says, “What is always most important to me is connectivity and continuity.” He uses a WiFi hotspot app, FoxFi, to ensure he’s never stuck without a connection, and a fully charged external battery to help him avoid the dreaded “low battery” alert. To ensure continuity, he uses the Kindle app so he can pick up his reading from any device.
2. They can work seamlessly with a team from anywhere in the world
Who: Mark Arnoldy, CEO of Possible
Arnoldy, the founder of a nonprofit that brings affordable healthcare to countries with limited medical supplies, is often on the road. His savior? His Karma Wi-Fi hotspot device, which helps him fire off emails before, say, boarding a plane. Asana helps him work with a team across different time zones without relying on email. “It's the tool we use to define ‘who will do what by when’ for everything from single self-assigned tasks to complex, long-term projects,” he says. “We say ‘Asana or bust,’ and if you can hack Asana to do something simply and elegantly, then it should be built in Asana rather than adding more separate tools to your workflow.”
3. They take 'going paperless' to the extreme
Who: Jamie Todd Rubin, software developer, writer, and Evernote Ambassador for Paperless Living
Given his appointment as an 'ambassador,' it's a no-brainer that Rubin uses Evernote for essentially everything, even if everyone else isn't quite at his level yet.
"I'm a big proponent of going paperless," he explains, "but also recognize that while I may be going paperless, the rest of the world still uses paper. Having the scanner allows me to quickly digitize any paper I get in a day, so that it's accessible to me from anywhere."
He uses a Fujitsu Scansnap s1300i to scan paper documents into his digital "filing cabinet."
4. They make sure their important tasks can travel from one device to another
Who: Kathryn Minshew, CEO and co-founder at The Muse
As productivity hacks, Minshew uses Pocket to save articles she can read later from any device, and Boomerang, an ingenious Gmail plug-in that allows her to schedule her emails and have them sent back to her at a later date (at a more sane cadence!).
For to-do lists, she keeps it simple: "I have a draft email I use like a plain text app (I used to use TextEdit on my Mac, very similarly)," she says. "The benefit of having access to it on any computer or device if I need it is invaluable."
5. They know when to unplug and go ‘analog’
Who: Angelo Sotira, co-founder of DeviantArt
Sotira, whose web site connects artists around the world, is super-connected when he’s at work: two desks, three monitors, an iPad, MacBook Pro and Android tablet. And yet, he says that his most indispensable items are his low-tech Leuchtturm sketchbook and noise-canceling headphones. His sketchbook acts as a space for to-do lists, sketches, mind maps, notes and doodles. The creative work helps his more “logically oriented work,” he notes.
He says: “I view [drawing] as meditation and time to reflect. [...] I think it has many positive effects and has made me a calmer, more balanced person. I'm pretty surprised by how different I feel in four years' time, and I credit that to drawing.”