Increasing Your Productivity with a Laptop Computer

Computers have been around since the 1930s or so, but before the mid-1980s they were useful for little more than calculating corporate payrolls and breaking secret Nazi codes.

The computer revolution of the 1980s changed all that. Remember that thrill of excitement you felt when you realized that Apple and IBM had finally invented (relatively) inexpensive, efficient personal computers that fit onto your desktop? Remember the relief you felt when you realized you could repair mistakes in your spreadsheets in an instant, or fix a typo in a document without having to retype the whole page? These days, with increasingly advanced laptop, tablet, and notebook computers, it's easy to feel that thrill again. Personal computing is climbing onto a whole new plane, and you're invited along -- assuming you're not already there.

The computer as luggage

These days, personal computers are so far beyond those first desktop systems that it's hard to believe they're even related, however distantly. Not only can you print out perfect documents, you can do a dissertation's worth of research in a few days, order checks online, make your own homemade greeting and business cards, print postage, create music videos -- all you need is the right programs and a powerful computer. Well, in the last five years computer manufacturers have taken all the capabilities of a desktop and shrunk them down into a size that will handily fit on your lap. Most laptops are just as powerful as their desktop brethren, and now that they're truly portable, they've changed the face of business. All you need is a portable computer carrying case or one of the many laptop backpacks now available, and you can take your office just about anywhere.

Data on demand

Suppose it's a nice spring day, and you're chained to your desk, working on that important report. With a laptop computer, you're wouldn't be. Assuming that the boss trusts you (or that you're the boss), you can download all the info you need into your laptop or notebook computer and head down to the park in front of the building. That way, you get to enjoy the weather and get your work done too. If your office has invested in a wireless computer system, you'll be able to download files from the network, or even send the report to your favorite printer when you're done. Alternately, think how useful it could be to carry your laptop or tablet PC to a meeting and type notes right into your computer, and pull data whenever you need it.

At the end of the day, you can even load your laptop PC into one of those handy computer backpacks that have become so popular, and take your work home. You can be productive during times that would ordinarily be unproductive for you: in waiting rooms, on the train, or while hanging around waiting for meetings to get started -- you get the picture. They haven't made many

computers that you can handle without sitting down -- say, while standing in line waiting to catch a train or a get a cup of coffee -- but you can be sure they're working on them. One of these days you'll probably even be able to work on your laptop during your morning drive to work, assuming they lick the problems of self-driving cars or voice-actuated computers. If you're already working on your laptop while driving to work -- well, let us know your usual route so we can avoid it, okay?

Published with permission (FCDMInc)

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