As another year picks up steam, I’m once again reminded that “time flies like an arrow”. For instance, though it feels like it was yesterday, in February 2015 it’ll be a year since Satya Nadella became Microsoft’s new CEO. Tasked with implementing sweeping changes at the technology behemoth, some of his moves have been expected and applauded, while others have been surprising and controversial. Most of us don’t run a large company for a living, but I think there are three very basic steps that can be inferred from Nadella’s style that are worth keeping fresh in our own jobs.
Much of today’s task management issues stem from using the email inbox as a task management system. Thus far, solutions have revolved around re-educating ourselves on inbox management. Now, a couple startups (and at least one large email player) are actually rethinking the way our inbox works. As they carefully tread new ground, task management laypeople will benefit immediately, while productivity experts will initially struggle with this new paradigm.
Last week was marked by two interesting announcements concerning instant messaging (IM). First, BlackBerry announced that its signature Messenger app is gaining a Channels functionality that comes across as a Facebook/Twitter mash-up, and that it’s coming to Android and iOS this summer. Later, Google announced their revamped Hangouts strategy to unify and enrich IM across its different platforms and offerings. In this post, I explore some of the commonalities between both strategies, as well as single out my perceptions about the main drivers behind these changes at both companies.
Cloud storage is no longer the future; it is the present. No longer the realm of tech savvy users, nearly everyone today actively uses (not to say depends on) a cloud-based storage service of some sort.
Recently, in the search of a more productivity-oriented second device, I sort of “impulse bought” a Chromebook. While I wait for it to ship, I’ve been thinking about the way I use cloud storage, and whether I should make any fundamental changes to my working habits to make the most of the new purchase. You see, I currently use Dropbox, whereas the Chromebook has much better integration with (surprise, surprise) Google Drive. But productive usage of Google Drive, it seems, hinges on converting all your files to the Google Docs format, seeing as Microsoft Office documents can be read, but not edited. On closer examination, however, what I initially thought was a document format issue uncovered for me a deeper issue about how we use cloud storage and what this may tell us about the strategies of key providers in this space.