Have you ever been somewhere with no WiFi connection and felt like there’s nothing you could do to be productive? Say you are on vacation, away from the office, or in a location where there is no free Internet. You have your laptop with you. What do you do to use your time effectively? Many email systems will allow you to work off-line. It’s not only possible, it’s also a good way to make use of idle time.
Depending upon what email service you use, you may be able to respond to existing emails, compose new ones, or just take some time to clean up your inbox or sent mail. To work offline, first you must determine what type of email service you’re using. Is your email a web-based system that requires you to login into a URL, such as www.outlook.com? If that’s your scenario, you can use your mobile device’s Internet access as an WIFI “hotspot.” Check under your settings or control panel options on your mobile device to see if your device allows this. Then, turn the option “on.” Now, check your laptop WIFI icon and you should see the name of your mobile device, like “John’s iPhone.” This solution is called “tethering.” It basically shares the mobile device WIFI with your computer so you can check and write emails fully accessing the Internet.
If the email system you use is a software application on your desktop (Outlook desktop version, I.E. Internet Explorer, Apple mail etc.) you should be able to open your email program and start writing your emails. Then, save them to your drafts folder. The next time you connect to the Internet, all you have to do is refresh your email system to send the new emails. One other tip is to prepare your time away from the office in advance while you have Internet access. If the email system has a “work offline” option, it should allow you to copy emails that are saved on a server to your local drive. This way, you will have access to all past emails received or sent – even when you have no Internet connection.
With the advent of mobile phones and other mobile devices, you can certainly stay up to date on email using those devices. The advantage of using your laptop is that you have access to your desktop applications like Microsoft Office. Creating complex documents from your phone is challenging, especially with a tiny screen. The hotspot option allows you to be just as productive as you would be in the office, and provides you the advantage of attaching existing files from your computer to emails you compose. One note of caution: check with your mobile provider to see if using the Hotspot feature will incur additional charges.