Inbound Outbound – The power of mobile technology

The past month has seen a frenzy of prediction, adulation, debate and derision, all in the name of technology. From WWDC 2013 and what Apple has in store for us next, to the shut down of Google Reader, and the race to either be, or be a user of, the next big thing in RSS Feeds.

Amidst times like these it is easy to have our eyes fixed on the horizon, and overlook the power of what we have today. Nowhere is the power of today more evident to me than on my daily commute to and from the office. My own philosophy on this has always been “inbound for learning, outbound for burning”.

That is, on my way to work in the morning when I am fresh and (mostly) ready to take on the world, I ensure I undertake some form of education or self-development activity. However on the way home, when my brain is functioning somewhat sub-optimally, if at all, I allow myself to waste or ‘burn’ time by watching my favourite TV series.

“inbound for learning, outbound for burning”

The mobile technology I carry with me (16GB iPhone 4s, 16GB WiFi iPad) makes this all possible. In the morning, standing in line at the bus stop, I can:

  • Check today’s weather on Forecast
  • See what’s happening on Twitter through Tweetbot
  • Check and triage email using Mailbox for iOS
  • Post something interesting or witty on Glassboard for my family to read

Once on the bus and have an hour-long commute in front of me, I typically:

  • Listen to my favourite Podcasts through Downcast
  • Take notes about the podcast in Drafts, sending the notes to my Evernote account
  • Tap the show links and read further, view videos on the topics or download recommended apps to try
  • Search the web in Safari for additional information

Other days may involve reading books or articles in the Kindle app or iBooks, drafting blog posts in Byword, checking my calendar, adding tasks or reviewing projects in Omnifocus, or catching up on RSS feeds in Reeder. The journey is usually completed with a ten minute walk to the office and a few songs played via iTunes Match, making for an enjoyable last few minutes before those dreaded elevator doors close.

Home? Well that is an entirely different story. Again a quick check on Tweetbot and email at the bus stop, but once on the bus, I switch off and relax, catching up on TV shows using AV Player HD.

Upon reflection, the above I now take for granted (all of which were not possible even five years ago), some things so much so they are not even in the lists above (text messages, phone calls anyone?). The power we have to consume information or create content has never been greater, and this has certainly changed the way we go from A to B.

Do you have any typical patterns you follow or apps you use on your daily commute? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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