Productivity is almost 100% dependent on being able to access information wherever and whenever you need to, and wireless connectivity has allowed us to become spoiled with convenience. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that most people panic when they are struck with unexpected downtimes in their home and mobile internet; how can they continue to get work done while offline?
We tackle this sticky situation by offering our favorite solutions designed to keep you feeling “connected” in every situation.
Keeping up on your favorite blogs and news sites doesn’t have to be limited to just when you’re online. Mobile feed reading apps like MobileRSS Free for Apple devices allows you to download the feeds of all of your Google RSS subscriptions when you are online, then enjoy them when you’re not. In addition to having access to the complete article of full feeds, you can add notes until you get back on the web. Looking for Android version of savvy readers? Greed (shown above) and gReader have both earned high marks for innovative display and interaction with offline content.
This all-in-one tool is perfect for capturing notes, photos, and voice memos for reference and revision offline. In addition to being one of the most popular sidekicks for journos and bloggers looking to capture the essence of a live event when away from public wi-fi, students find Evernote to be a lifesaver for syncing up classroom notes when internet is iffy. (Find past notes with the handy search tool, and get out from under that paper clutter, already!) Who said that long bus ride had to be a waste of time?
While we can see the advantages to carrying around a dedicated eReader like the Kindle or Nook, the free versions of readers can prove just as useful for getting more of your reading and research done while waiting for the airplane wi-fi to kick on during your next flight. Since the Kindle app is free for Apple and Android device users and makes it seamless topurchase on Amazon and have it delivered to your device, we find it to be one of the most effective ways to stock your device with offline reading content in the moments you stumble into a good wireless signal. (Did we mention that we also like “free” content? With Amazon offering daily premium ebooks for a limited time price of $0, there is no reason not to keep half a dozen great reads on hand for offline enjoyment.)
Waiting until you arrive at a new, unfamiliar destination is not the ideal time to start asking questions; we understand, however, if this is your style. Ask a Nomad is an iPad app designed for the last-minute query surrounding any travel issue, including transportation glitches, safety recommendations, and dining trends. In addition to being able to access questions that have been asked while you’re offline, you can create new questions that sync up automatically the next time you hit a hot spot. Ask a Nomad is available at the Apple store for free.
If your career takes you to anywhere remotely unfamiliar, you will likely find yourself using Google Translator or another online service to figure out what a foreign phrase or sign really means. When traveling outside of the interweb’s reach, however, an app like World Lens may become a cheap lifesaver. This app (which requires the purchase of separate $10 “packs” for each language you want to crack), allows you to use your Apple device’s camera function to capture foreign lingo to be loosely translated back. You don’t have to be online – or remember your 2nd semester of Spanish II – to get the basic idea of what foreign languages are trying to tell you. While not perfect, it’s a great alternative to a pocket translator and requires absolutely no connectivity.
Finally, the best way to stay uber-productive is to get back online! Finding the closest and most-reliable wireless hub isn’t always cake, however, especially if you aren’t already connected. Thankfully, services like JiWire are easily downloaded to your device to keep you up-to-date on the nearest spot to get surfing again, and it is available for both Apple and Android devices – for free!
The best way to ensure that your offline experience is as bold and fruitful as your time spent online is to plan ahead, download your favorite apps, and get everything loaded and ready to go. Since you never know when your connectivity will drop, it’s best to assume it will happen; “up” time, then, will seem like a dream when you get it.