I’m a hockey dad. And with two kids playing, I’m at a rink three nights a week for practice, plus games on the weekends. I don’t have a lot of down time at home to take care of paperwork or hunker down at a desk. With life on the go, I need tech that can keep up and help me stay on track. I recently found a way to turn my network-connected Samsung Galaxy tablet into a personal computer, and it’s done wonders for my organizational skills. Here’s how I did it:
Step 1: Buy the right accessories
First things first: If you’re going to use your tablet as a computer, I absolutely recommend buying a wireless keyboard to go with it. It’s faster and less tiring than using a software keyboard, and it won’t take up any precious real estate on the tablet screen.
I’ve been using the ZAGGkeys™ Universal Bluetooth® Keyboard with my tablet and it’s great. The keyboard also doubles as a tablet stand, which makes it even easier to work efficiently from anywhere.
Step 2: Download the necessary apps and tools
I often find myself opening or editing documents on the go, which is why Microsoft® Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint take up prime spots on my tablet Home screen. For quick note-taking or note-sharing, Evernote is my app of choice. I can categorize everything with relevant tags—to-do lists, household repairs, recipes, etc.—and its powerful search tool can resurface anything I need at a moment’s notice.
Step 3: Use Multi Window to multitask
As manager for my son’s team, a lot of what I do involves scheduling with other parents. I could do that on my phone if I had to, of course, but the tablet’s larger screen makes the job a whole lot easier.
With the Multi Window feature, I can pull up two apps side by side (which really comes in handy when I need to refer to the hockey schedule while writing emails).
Step 4: Connect to the network
My daughter’s in middle school and has quite a bit of homework, so when her brother’s team is on the ice, she’s usually at the heated snack bar doing her homework. And the other night when she asked for help, turns out I didn’t remember as much about the Pythagorean theorem as I ought to. Samsung Galaxy Note to the rescue. There’s Wi-Fi at the rink, but it’s often slow, so I rely on the 4G LTE data instead. In seconds, I had the answers I needed, and after a few minutes of review, it all came back. (The key bit, in case you’ve forgotten, is a2 + b2 = c2).
Step 5: Back it up to the cloud
I’ve learned the hard way that I need a backup of all my important files and data. The Verizon Cloud app lets me save photos, videos, music and documents safely and securely. (New users get 5 GB of free storage space to start. But you can reserve up to 1 TB for a monthly fee.)