Logitech’s Smallest Keyboard

Writing on a tablet with a portable Bluetooth keyboard is easier than ever. Of late, I have to work from different locations daily. This situation has forced me back to my ASUS tablet and the Logitech keyboard. I wrote an article on the combination of the two of them earlier this year. They make a formidable pair.

Let’s Talk Weight

My current laptop is a seven-year-old 13.3″ ASUS Zenbook (named Zeus) that weighs in at 3.2 lbs. It is thin and light, but not as easy to carry as a 9.7″ tablet and small keyboard. First, the charging cable is larger, and second, the battery is getting weaker as it ages. It is still the original battery. I have upgraded the hard drive from a 128 GB SSD to a 480 GB SSD. The battery will probably be the next replacement required. I’m not sure I can upgrade the RAM, but it would be nice.

Back to the Keyboard

The Logitech Keys-to-Go Bluetooth keyboard is the ultimate in thin and light. I have the one made specifically for Android that seems to no longer be available on Amazon. They made the blue one for Android, a red one for iPad, and a black one for Windows. The Windows keyboard is the only one showing up on Amazon now. They are all interchangeable, but each has a few special keys set aside for OS functions specific to each one.ASUS Tablet & Logitech Keyboard

My amazement continues as I use this keyboard and in how easy it is to type. The keys have a good feel and enough travel to let you know the key is depressed. The built-in battery lasts a long time, then a quick connection to a charger with a Micro USB connector puts the green light back on. It is a fantastic device.

Living in the Past

I used a 12.1″ Dell laptop for about eight years, so I’m used to a smaller keyboard. It was my work and personal laptop, and I loved it. I had to retire it when both hinges broke. A sad day.

The Logitech keyboard is even smaller than the one on “Baby Dell,” but the spacing on the keys is enough to touch type. I’m not as fast as I was when I was typing every day, but it is getting better with each use.

Fresh and Cool

I have used this combination for a few days now, writing in the WordPress Android app. Currently, this works because I have WiFi available. The WordPress app requires a connection to the website but has no offline function. The app would not even open when I tried it last year. I’m not sure what I will do when I end up somewhere with no connection. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, I guess.

I have enjoyed writing regularly again. It gets my brain active, and after a bit, the creative juices begin to flow. It is something I have missed.

Back to Writing

When writing, I use the Grammarly app as well as the Hemmingway app. I have not figured out an easy way to incorporate either into this portable writing process. When I have completed writing on the tablet, I upload it as a draft to my WordPress site and finish formatting on my laptop. By uploading the document, I can check the grammar and sentence structure before publishing. So far, the process seems to work.

I know there is a Grammarly keyboard for Android, but I don’t think it will work while I’m using the Logitech keyboard. I may have to experiment with that.

New Goals

Since I have committed to getting my writing chops back in shape, this combination is helpful. I throw them in a small bag and head out the door. The bag has a charger and cables for the tablet and phone, so no need to remember to grab extras.

I will try to give an update as I continue this new journey.

What portable tech are you using? I’m always open to new ideas.

Oh, and you DO name your tech devices, don’t you? Or is it just me?

I Tried to Move from Evernote to Onenote

I tried to move from Evernote to Onenote. I really did.
I rearranged notes, exported them into Onenote, and spent an entire month working only in Onenote. It was a struggle.

Not a Onenote Newbie

I first used Onenote when Microsoft released it in 2003. It was different than any software available and made organizing easy and fun. Organizing was effortless, and finding pertinent information was easy.

It was part of the Office suite in 2003 and allowed complete control and creativity. It was super.

As a salesman, it was a great way to keep notes together about a particular customer: Notes, documents, emails … all of it. I loved Onenote.

Evernote released their application in 2008 in a public beta. It made an immediate impact on the note-taking community. The buzz in the tech community was loud and clear, “you have to try this software.” So I did.

I joined the Crowd in 2009

I opened my account with Evernote in October 2009. I admit I didn’t get it. I searched for articles and information on how to set up and use Evernote. I found a lot of information on the ways people were using Evernote. Soon, it became my “go to” application for information storage.

Along with many others, I became upset with Evernote when they changed up the plans. I had been a “free” user for years, and they removed the one feature I used all the time … email to Evernote.

So what did I do? I upgraded to the lowest paid plan. Then later to the highest personal plan. Why? I finally got it.

Still an Amateur

I’m still an amateur user compared to most with only 3300 notes, but it grows every day.

Have you switched from one to the other? I’d like to hear about your experience.

Can an Android Tablet Replace a Laptop?

ASUS Tablet & Logitech Keyboard

Can a tablet replace a laptop? This is a question asked every day by many people. And if so, which tablet? And how do you get it to work like your laptop? I am always looking for a lighter bag when traveling. One caveat: I have never used an Apple device, so I can’t speak to them. I am an Android and Windows guy.

My Path

In March of 2017, I purchased a small, Bluetooth Logitech keyboard to accompany my 7″ Nexus tablet. In June, I upgraded the tablet to an ASUS Zenpad 3S 9.7″ tablet and paired it with the keyboard. That was when it became clear the future had arrived. The 7″ tablet worked but was a little small on for my eyes. Moving up to the larger tablet made a huge difference.

Full disclosure, I am typing this on my laptop since I’m at my desk. When traveling, the tablet keyboard combo works great.

Using the tablet keyboard combination does post challenges. Some automated tasks don’t work. Some software applications were not available in the app store. And the keyboard and screen are smaller.

I found workarounds for some automated tasks, I used available apps, and the size was an easy one for me. My laptop for seven years was a 12.1″ Dell computer named Baby Dell. I found the smaller keyboard easier and faster to type on than the big, clunky desktop keyboards. But that may just be me.

My Experience with Limitations

The limitations depend on what you regularly do on your computer. My primary functions are writing and research.

Here is a list from my experience.

  • WordPress App
  • Microsoft Word App
  • Microsoft Excel App
  • Google Docs and Sheets
  • Scrivener
  • Open Live Writer
  • WAMP for testing before updating a website
  • Grammarly
  • Hindenburg
  • Phrase Express
  • Evernote App
  • Onenote App
  • Misc. Notes apps

Blue = Good; Red = Bad; Green = Sometimes Sorta Maybe

The apps in Blue work as good and sometimes better on Andriod than Windows. The apps in Red have proven to be a challenge in Android. Grammarly does have the web application, but nothing native to Android for inline work. The apps in Green are a different story. Phrase Express and a few notes apps can sync through Dropbox if you want to work on that, but I’m not that motivated.

While my experience may not equal yours, I am interested in your stories. Have you tried this setup? Have you found a way to make it work? Has it been a disaster? Let me know below.

How do Web Applications Line up?

In the last article, I promised a chart to show how the web-based application of Google and Zoho lined up with Microsoft‘s offerings. This will help in determining whether your company’s technology strategy might benefit from web-based products.

Microsoft Google Zoho
Word Docs Writer
Excel Docs Sheet
Outlook Gmail/Calendar Mail/Planner
Publisher Page Creator  
PowerPoint Presentations Show
Access   Creator
OneNote Notebook Notebook
Search Search  
Chat Chat Chat
  Desktop  
  Picasa  
  Blogger  
  Groups  
  Web Alerts  
  Reader (RSS)  
Maps Maps  
    Meeting
    Projects
    CRM
    Wiki
    Polls

As you can see, the basics are covered, with extras from Google and Zoho. In fairness to Microsoft, they are adding new web-based applications as part of their Live website, but the purpose of this series is to determine if expensive desktop software can be replaced by free or in-expensive web-applications.

Not a Perfect Match

You will notice that each application doesn’t have a perfect match across the board, but in most cases, there is a program that is related in functions. Some of the distinctions between the programs are covered in previous articles in the series, but I’ll take a closer look at the main applications that are shared between all the contenders.

Specifically, I will continue the series with a look at real-life use of the word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and mail/calendar programs. Do these programs translate into everyday use, or are they just not adequate?

Tip of the Iceberg

There are many other web-based applications in daily use by thousands of people. This list of Microsoft, Google, and Zoho products is just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of applications reside on the web, and in the coming months, I will write about them, too.

This Web-Based Application series serves one purpose—to whet your appetite to the possibilities—to begin the discussion of what can be done with programming code and a little secret sauce.

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A Closer Look at Google Web Applications

Most people are familiar with Google’s Gmail application. It is lightweight, easy to use, and accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. It has redefined the word webmail for those of us using it daily. Some reasons: Conversation mode, search, and labels are a few of the tools that make it the killer web-application for most businesses.

Gmail might be the application that launched Google into the web software business, but is certainly wasn’t the last. With more than a baker’s dozen of applications, Google has jumped into this market completely. A few applications overlap with the Zoho list from yesterday, but others are solely Google’s.

Here is the list for Google.

  1. Search—Web search toolGoogle Search
  1. Docs—Feature-rich word processor
  2. Spreadsheets—Fully functioning spreadsheetGDocsandSheets
  3. Gmail—Webmail done rightGmail
  4. Calendar—Calendar on steroidsGCalendar
  5. Page Creator—Web-page creator
  6. Notebook—Collect all your web “stuff” into one place
  7. Desktop—Local search, including network drives
  8. Picasa—Photo software + web photosPicasa
  9. Blogger—Free blogging software
  10. Groups—Water cooler gathering placeGGroups
  11. Web Alerts—See what’s said about your company on the web
  12. Reader—Bring the web to youGReader
  13. Maps—Find an address and get directions
  14. Chat—Real-time communication

The more you look at the features of this new breed of online software applications, the more you see the value. They are very robust and combined with other packages, make up a comprehensive collection of business software. The best part … the cost. All of these Google applications are free to use, even for a company.

I use many of these daily, and find them more than adequate for business use. The newest application I use is Google Alerts. I have set up searches for my name, company, and product lines. Google scours the Internet, gathers every instance of matching criteria and sends me an email with links and brief descriptions of the articles. This keeps me in touch with what is said about me or the company, allowing me to respond or ignore at my discretion.

Are you starting to feel overwhelmed with the choices out there, just waiting for your company to try? First, determine what company processes can benefit from the advantages of online software. Second, run a limited, controlled test with the application to make sure it is capable of doing the job. Third, put together an implementation plan for bringing the application to the rest of the employees.

Next, I’ll show you how the products from Zoho and Google map to your current products. It will give you a better picture of which applications you want to look at first.

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Zoho’s New Business Product

zoho1.GIFLast week, I began a series on web-based applications for businesses, focusing on Google and Zoho. In today’s article I focus on the Zoho product line, showing the diversity of their applications. Next up, I’ll take a closer look at the applications available from Google.

Last night, I received an email from Zoho announcing their new product lineup being announced at the Office 2.0 conference today.

zoho-business.png

They are announcing the next evolution in their web-based office suite—Zoho Business and Zoho Personal. Below is the news release giving details on the differences between the two products.

Currently, Zoho has a broad set of applications for individuals and business users and today we are categorizing them and defining our business model. To start with, Zoho Applications will be categorized into two – Zoho Personal & Zoho Business.

Zoho Personal is what we offer today for individuals. As we said previously, our applications will continue to remain free for individuals.

Zoho Business (ZB) is the new category we are launching and it is aimed at small & mid-sized businesses. ZB will be available in two versions – Free & Pro. Below are some of the highlights of Zoho Business.

  • Company level Admin Console
  • Domain Management (for pointing your domains to Zoho Apps)
  • Centralized User and Group Management
  • Single Sign-on across several Zoho Apps
  • Zoho Apps include Writer, Sheet, Show, Wiki, Notebook, Email, Cal, Tasks, Planner, Viewer, Chat etc.
  • Customization Options
  • Multiple levels of Security including SSL
  • Remote Backup
  • Telephone Support and more.

Zoho Business is currently in private beta with a planned public beta launch in October, 2007. Pricing is yet to be determined for the Pro version, but if it’s anything like their prices before, I’m sure it will be reasonable. As you can see, they are going after the small to mid-size business customer, moving them directly into the path of Microsoft.