I recently blogged about What's in my Bag to identify the must have items that I need to carry each day. These are the essentials that need to be readily accessible in order to stay productive. But what if Murphy comes knocking at my doors one day and I loose Sammy- my gadget bag? Let's make that even more exciting and ask - what if I lose my gadget bag in the middle of a road trip?
To a certain extent, this already happened to me when in a recent one day road trip; I decided to leave all my gears behind. You add to that an unanticipated phone call from the boss asking that I email him a copy of a file. No problem you say, just connect the Samsung i600 smartphone to the internet (via GPRS/3G) and download away. But I never really liked browsing, much more working, using the cramped screen of any cellphone.
Here is what I did:
- I went to the nearest internet café in Tagaytay (C'mon, you would have done the same and plotted all the 'need to know' for any trip).
- Signed into my Google account which automatically takes me to my iGoogle homepage.
- Clicked the link to Mediamax- my online file storage of choice, located the file and emailed it to my Gmail account.
- Using Google Documents, I typed a cover letter for the file using a Template I have saved previously complete with our letterhead and logo. If I had to, I could have even used Google Spreadsheets to bill my boss for this overtime task.
- From the iGoogle homepage, I clicked on MAIL and began typing a short notification regarding the attached files. I then just attached my cover letter which I created in Google documents, the Mediamax file, and then hit send.
Online applications have matured enough to allow one to work in any computer regardless of the OS. We have actually experienced this in my organization when in 2006; I introduced the Wiki (I'll talk about this in my next blog). I even installed Suse Linux into an old Fujitsu P2110 then and was using that for a while sans the traditional software.
In the above example, however, I demonstrated the utility of the present day virtual workspace. I just leveraged the power of iGoogle which I have fully customized using several widgets provided as add-on. I have the following widgets installed every time I open my iGoogle workspace:
Gmail (where I forward all my other emails except for yahoo)
Better bookmarks (populated with all my favorite bookmarks to include my online storage Mediamax)
Google Notebook which I use for my to do list.
Date and time
GCal (Google calendar)
Interesting Photo of the Day
A couple of must read RSS news feeds
From iGoogle's own control panel I can access Google Documents, blog search, maps, etc.
From this single webpage of iGoogle, I have everything I need without having to memorize any URL or needing any special software. Click the image below to see a hi-res version.
In the not too remote possibility that I actually lose Sammy, except for being a burden to my wallet, I have 2 complete images of the macbook's hard drive stored in 2 separate locations. And I know that whoever finds it would have several sleepless nights before giving up in trying to decode my laptop's password.
As ubiquitous as the computer may be, it is still an annoyance to go searching for an internet café to get some work done. That is why I carry my Sammy, with the macbook among others, wherever I go. But if I really have to, I know I can survive even without my laptop because of the power of iGoogle's virtual workspace.
If you are interested in setting up your own virtual workspace, I highly recommend reading Web Worker Daily.
Finally, ask yourself this question - If I lose right this very moment my gadget bag, will I survive?