One of the greatest benefits you'll receive from using a SmartPhone (cell phone and PDA combined) is the ability to use these devices to send and receive email, and from practically anywhere you can use an ordinary a cell phone.

Even so, given the size and bandwidth limitations inherent to these units, working with email productively on a SmartPhone does require a few unique strategies.

First of all, it should be noted that simply owning a SmartPhone does not automatically entitle you to Internet access. You will need to contact for "data service" with your existing cellular provider.

Assuming that you have both a SmartPhone and data service, here are a few suggestions to make the most of your time online.

While each of these ideas are suggested based on the capabilities of my Kyocera 7135 using Eudora for the Palm, you will no doubt be able to implement most of these regardless of your particular equipment.

  1. Maximize Your Minutes - Configuring your email software to automatically disconnect after sending and receiving email will make the most of your data package. By doing so, your SmartPhone will connect, download email and immediately disconnect. You can then read and reply to emails while offline, reconnecting when you're ready to send and receive a new batch of messages.
  2. Protect Your Address - It's unlikely that you'll want to read every email any sends to you on such a small screen. Instead, the best use of your SmartPhone is to check a deliberately private address that you share with only a select few: such as active clients, family members and your staff.
  3. Take a Quick Peek - Configure your SmartPhone's email software to download just a small portion of incoming emails, such as the first 10 to 15 lines. This allows you to quickly download and review what's in your email account. Individual emails that require your immediate attention can then marked for complete downloading on your next connection.
  4. Cleaning Your Server - While there are a number of options for managing email on your server, what often makes the most sense is to have emails deleted from your server once they are "emptied from trash" on your SmartPhone. This provides you with a mechanism to leave those messages on the server that you want to download to your desktop or notebook when you return to the office. More importantly, emails that you don't need to download all over again can be removed from your email server as well.
  5. Synch Your PC - You can also configure most Palm email software to synchronize email between your SmartPhone and your computer's email client. This allows you to keep your email correspondence up to date on both devices, and is clearly the right way to go.

While sending and receiving email on a SmartPhone may never be quite as convenient as working on a full fledged computer, the ability to keep in contact with customers and clients from anywhere can be a powerful tool. Used properly and thoughtfully, there's no doubt that my Kyocera substantially increases my productivity by converting "down time" to online in a world of increasing email dependence.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale