Those who have gotten to know me over the years know I’m a HUGE fan of technology and innovation, but I’m not necessarily the first person to adopt these new technologies into my life. I like to learn as much as I possibly can about them, so I know what I need and why when the time comes. But I typically wait and purchase the latest tool for myself once the prices drop a bit, the bugs are worked out, and by sheer force of necessity I simply cannot go without the device or software package any longer. In December, I purchased my first iPod Touch. Within days, I was totally in love! In love so much that I am now trying to figure out when I can justify my very own iPhone (which I never thought I’d EVER need just days before).
If you haven’t yet explored these amazing devices (iPods, iPads, iPhones, SmartPhones, etc.), I highly encourage you to sit down with someone has one and spend some time exploring (dare I say “learning”) what they can do. It might not be the right tool for you at this time, but as an innovative admin, you NEED to understand what they CAN DO and HOW they work.
With the addition of three free news apps, it’s so quick and easy to read the day’s headlines – no newspaper required! With the addition of the free administrativejobs.com app, I am notified daily of new admin job postings by zip code, city and/or state which I can refer job seeking admins to when I’m working with them. With the free currency converter app, I can answer my traveling executive’s conversion rate questions (or process his expense reports) with the flick of my finger. I can video call on Skype with my friends in Australia (and I got to see their new baby for the first time – SO AWESOME!). I have downloaded hours and hours of MP3 audio teleclass files to listen to while in my car or working out. I can subscribe to free podcasts on topics of my choice. I affectionately refer to it as my “portable professional development device” – my P2D2. I could go on and on about all of the cool apps I’ve discovered, but one of the coolest features is now I carry instant access to ALL of my calendar, contacts, and email in my pocket (no purse or bag required). I’m not a huge fan of being connected 24/7 and becoming addicted to your technology devices, but when it comes to ease of access and convenience when you need instant answers … I’m all for it! After all, isn’t that what our executives expect most days anyway?
I share all of this for one reason. When you always do things the way you’ve always done them with the same old tools you’ve always used, you run the risk of significantly limiting your opportunities for growth and development both personally and professionally. If you aren’t embracing technology (and this includes new software – Office 2010 anyone?) and the productive ways it truly can make your life easier, then you’re missing out. It doesn’t mean everyone needs to have every device on the market, but it does mean you need to know what tools exist and how you may be able to use them to live and work more efficiently. And maybe as importantly, so you can help your executive(s) live and work more efficiently, too.
So I have a challenge for each of you…have you heard of or seen these cool little QR codes on store shelves or on products you’ve purchased? If not, then I’m going to introduce you to some more new technology. If so, humor me anyway. Grab your portable device, or find a friend or coworker who has an iPhone or iPod Touch or SmartPhone device with a QR code reader and scanner app (I use the RedLaser app – and it’s free). Scan this QR code from this blog post (on screen or from a printed sheet of paper). See where it takes you.
If you want to learn more about what QR codes are and how they are being used, you can read more with these two article links:
Get out there and stretch your technology comfort zone! There may just be something waiting to be discovered that will help you be an even better administrative professional than you already are!
© 2011 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.