With our current era’s incredible range of gadgets and devices available, the modern professional can usually have a small laptop, notebook, or tablet easily available for those moments when work unexpectedly pops up. But if you need something on you at all times that will allow you to scan, fax, print, and type emails and documents, here are 3 things to equip your iPhone with that will fit the bill:
JotNot Scanner App
One of the most useful apps to ever come out of the smartphone era, JotNot allows you to use your iPhone’s camera to “scan” a document, allowing you to instantly make an electronic copy of any important paperwork and then email or fax it wherever necessary. The fax option will cost you extra, but if you’re just looking for a way to have a pocket-sized scanner on you at all times that’s perfect for when you pick up an unexpected business card, brochure, or other important document, then you can’t go wrong with this app.
The second app you’ll need to outfit your iPhone with, iCan-Print allows you to print documents from any printer that’s hooked up to a network with open access. Combine this with any of the cloud-based storage programs, and you have the ability to access and print important documents from offices, libraries, stores, hospitals, and other places that have a printer on a wifi network, even if there isn’t a computer available. It’ll cost money to “refill” your uses after a certain amount of prints, so it’s something that’s best kept as an emergency-use only, but it’ll give you the satisfaction of knowing you’ll always have hardcopy access to any paperwork that’s important for your job.
A Wireless Rollup Keyboard
The most important component to your micro office, a rollup keyboard that’s iPhone compatible will allow you to actually sit down and bang out lengthy emails and other word-processing that you don’t want to try on the screen-based keyboard on your phone. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can cost anywhere from $20-$100, so you have plenty of room to find something that works for you.
I have a Sharper Image Bluetooth keyboard that’s a little smaller than a deck of cards when rolled up, making it pretty easy to have on me wherever I go. I’ve used it at restaurants, waiting rooms, and tons of other places where I can steal 20 minutes and get some actual work done. It rolls out into a keyboard that’s roughly 90% of the size of a real one, which is on par with most netbook-sized keyboards. It may take a little bit to get used to typing full speed with only a 5-inch screen to check your work on, but the convenience of having a serviceable computer in your pocket at all times is more than worth the effort.
Combine these 2 apps with a rollup keyboard, and the next time you’re waiting on an oil change you’ll be able to send out a couple of emails or put the finishing touches on a report you’ve been meaning to finish. It may look strange to have a rubber-and-foam keyboard with an iPhone nestled in the middle—especially while you’re in the waiting room at a Jiffy Lube—but the freedom to work wherever you find yourself is worth the sacrifice.
John is a blogger who has used a rollup keyboard ever since he saw one in a Die Hard movie. He writes for Protect Your Bubble, an Internet insurer that can help protect your pocket-sized office from theft, damage, loss, and more.