Expert Advice

By Hannah Wallace November 30, 2005

Q. How can I create a more efficient and productive mobile office? Rob Daughtery of Bogart & Daugherty Consulting weighs in: Since the information superhighway is already paved, it is now easier than ever to set up a productive and cost-efficient mobile office. The capability to work with e-mail remotely and share existing documents with others is here.

Your most important investment is a mobile pocket-PC phone, which enables you to manage Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Adobe PDFs and other programs. Several companies, Samsung and Motorola among them, manufacture them, and they're becoming more affordable, in the $600 to $1,000 range. Palm also has similar devices, such as the Treo, which is a combined Palm Pilot and phone.

In today's workplace, many employees and employers rely heavily on their e-mail and calendar each day. With remote synching, you hit a synchronization button and e-mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks are synchronized remotely with a server back at the office (with the help of some additional software). Attorneys, for example, can schedule meetings and check their availability while in court. Contractors can retrieve on-site, real-time data while out of the office.

As mobile devices expand, you are now able to work with some of your most common documents remotely. Typing that important letter to your employees or just editing a current document without sitting at your desk can be done with phones or PDAs today. You can also crunch numbers using an Excel spreadsheet to test out budgets-so you can actually assist with issues while at the doctor's office or on the golf course.

Now you can be out of the office but not out of touch.

Rob Daugherty can be reached at (941) 378-4377 or at [email protected]

Q. This holiday season, I've promised myself the gift of better time management. Can you give me some advice on how to start? Larry Face, a leadership and business development coach, answers: Since there will never be more than 24 hours in a day, time management is really about priority management. In today's world of too much input, information and interruptions, how do you make sure that you are working on what is truly most important in your business and personal life?

When helping my clients evaluate how to use their limited time wisely, I suggest they look at their time from three different levels. The first level is for the month. What are the most important projects and goals you need to work on this month, especially those with deadlines?

The second level is for the week. It is important to take time at the beginning of each week and ask yourself, "Out of the monthly projects and goals I've listed, what are the three to five most important ones to work on this week, and what action steps need to be done for each one?"

The third level is for each day. It is crucial to start each day with a plan, so take 10 minutes each morning (or the night before) and ask yourself, if nothing else gets done today, what actions must be done today? Then schedule uninterrupted time for each one in the order of priority.

During this holiday season, let your gift of time be one that helps you stay focused on the most important activities needed to make your business and personal goals a reality in your life.

Larry Face can be reached at (941) 953-7737 or

If you have a workplace-related question you'd like to ask the experts, please e-mail Ilene Denton at [email protected]

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