How to work offline effectively?
Isn’t it ironic and curious decades in developing technology at an almost lightning pace that you still need… internet to work effectively? Is it right to be able to be online even when you’re offline? To share information from your messenger browser in-flight while your mobile data is off?
Well, unfortunately, there are some things you can’t do offline. Like communicate with customers in real-time requires you to be connected to the web. And yet, there are job tasks you can do while you’re out of the range of your internet provider. Here is how to work offline in a world that assumes constant connectivity.
# Which of the applications you use at work also have an offline mode? Many e-mail providers and online file storage applications have a feature that allows you to use them without an internet connection. Rule of thumb is that if an app works in your browser, it probably won’t work offline. Yes, you won’t be able to send messages or upload files, but you do have some duties to check off. For example, view and work on existing e-mails and documents. Google Drive can work offline if you install a Chrome extension. Some cloud services like Dropbox sync files with your computer by default. Others sync only files in folders particularly marked for offline access. Make sure to tick for offline sync all files you need while at the beach or in a lonely Italian villa.
An option for getting heaps of work done offline is to buy an external hard drive to carry the files “with you”. It is also a good idea to install applications that work offline. For example, Adobe Acrobat allows you to convert files to PDF, add comments and annotations, and sign documents and forms without being “curly”.
# Copy the information you need. Once you know which apps won’t work offline, it’s time to plan. Which of your projects allow to work without internet? And what information do you need for them? You can get it in advance when you’re fully online. Have you downloaded all the necessary documents to your computer? And did you save the “nota bene “s in note-taking apps? Working offline forces you to get organized, gather the information in advance, and consider what of all the online elements in a project you can “land” by downloading it.
- Make sure your e-mail is accessible offline. The easiest way is to set up a desktop e-mail client such as Outlook or Canary that works with all of your key mail services. Even if you don’t usually use these clients, they’re an easy way to access your e-mail while you’re offline. You can set up Gmail to work offline, too.
- Set up cloud services for local syncing. Not all apps functioin like Dropbox, so make sure the folders you rely on are accessible offline.
- Don’t forget about music and entertainment apps. Most streaming services, including Spotify, Plex, and Apple Music, let you download songs so you can play them afterwards while offline. It’s all about relaxing between work and recharging with positive energy. Storytel, for example, also has great meditations for this purpose. Although slightly retro, a folder full of MP3s works perfectly offline.
Think a few steps ahead. In the 90s, computers were preliminary offline, and software was also designed to be used offline. Now computers are built to be online all the time, and to the point that an “error”-message is displayed if not connected to the network. In the present, you need to “steal” some freedom by “cheating” the system and being able to assess what you can stockpile and procure in advance – while you are still in the “jungle” of the online world. In our next blogpost, we will introduce you to 8 apps that operate in your offline “mood”.