Perform high-volume, low-value tasks on the go

November 1, 2012 | Last updated on November 1, 2012
3 min read

You can Review non-urgent e-mails and documents from your phone, laptop or tablet on your commute or between appointments. To do this effectively, you’ll need:

Mobile PDF Reading software

Apps like Repligo for Android (US$4.99) or BlackBerry (US$14.99), or Good Reader for iPhone (US$4.99) will reconfigure PDFs for small screens, transforming a two-column report into a single column to avoid sideways scrolling. The pre-installed reader should suffice on laptops and tablets. Purchase an app to annotate or cut and paste content.


Evernote lets you store Web sites, e-mails and documents on its servers and access them across all your devices: laptop, desktop and BlackBerry, Android or iPhone smartphone.

You can store documents either by e-mailing or uploading them, and share them via the desktop version’s shared folder system. Right-click the Evernote folder you want to share and follow the instructions.

If you want people to modify the contents, upgrade to the premium version for US$5 per month or US$45 per year.

Alternatives like Read it Later, Instapaper, SpringPad or Apple’s Reading List don’t offer the same storage choices, editing functions or media formats, and don’t work on all operating systems.

Keeping ahead of the news

Blogs and news sites use RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, to publish updates in a standard format. An RSS reader puts all new articles and posts in one place so you don’t waste time checking if something’s been updated on multiple Web sites.

To set up RSS feeds on your phone or tablet, download an RSS Reader app. For example:

Prefer newspapers?

Available in all tablet formats, PressReader turns the tablet into a true newspaper reading experience. You can buy one edition at a time or subscribe to papers as diverse as the Washington Post, Bahrain Alayam or Moose Jaw Times Herald.

  • Android phone/tablet: Pulse
  • iPhone/iPad: FlipBoard
  • BlackBerry: Social Feeds (native to OS6 and OS7)
  • BlackBerry Playbook: BlackBerry News, Pipeline

Open the app, go into options and choose “Add feed.” Then browse by topic or subscribe to your favourite Web site. I choose Web sites I don’t visit regularly, such as the Economist, Al-Jazeera, Lifehacker, Fast Company and Wired. But too many feeds will become overwhelming.

Desktop RSS Options

Web-Based: Google Reader Software: Outlook, Reeder

Look for the RSS or XML icon on Web sites, usually seen in the top corner or in the address bar itself. You can also Google “name of Web site (e.g. Advisor.Ca) RSS.” Click on the icon to add it to your Google or browser RSS feeds. Add it to Outlook by opening Tools > Account Settings > RSS Feeds > New and pasting the link. (I use Google; it’s accessible anywhere.)

The bottom line

Start each day with a quick review of new e-mail and forward relevant articles, tax bulletins and manager commentary to your personal Evernote e-mail address for later reading. Then delete those documents from your inbox and focus on the vital notes from clients and head office.