So many of us rely on our smartphones to get work done during commutes or to check in on important projects after hours. But as convenient as mobile devices can be, they weren't designed for work productivity. Respondents to our recent identified their top stressors when working via their mobile devices. Read on to discover some of the biggest obstacles to mobile productivity, along with some effective remedies to help you get more done on the road.
1. "It's difficult to do detailed work or long-form writing."
We all know squinting at a smartphone screen and clumsily thumb-typing our way through a complex thought or long set of instructions is a headache. So why insist on trying? Instead, use the annoyance of typing on a mobile device as motivation to keep email messages, directions, and feedback actionable and to the point. , and instead of trying to compose an entire project or presentation on your iPhone or Galaxy Note, focus on creating a tight outline and logical plan that you can flesh out when you're back on your laptop. If you really need to expand an idea, invest in a good Bluetooth keyboard so you can type longer stuff anywhere.
2. "I'm often interrupted by incoming calls or message notifications."
Luckily, most smartphones now have a Do Not Disturb function that can block incoming calls and notifications with the toggle of a switch. On both iOS and Android, you can set a timer on Do Not Disturb so you can work uninterrupted for an hour or two, then automatically receive your recent notifications and attend to any missed calls or messages.
3. "It's difficult to use multiple applications at once."
Use an app like or to connect apps and automate multi-step tasks. Instead of opening several different applications to record and upload a voice memo to Evernote, for example, you can create a workflow to accomplish the same task with just one tap. Better yet, browse the workflows other people have created for inspiration and to easily grab the most useful shortcuts.
4. "Spelling issues & autocorrect slow me down."
Instead of trying to type complete thoughts and long paragraphs on a tiny mobile keyboard, use a handwritten note-taking app to jot down ideas in your own handwriting, without getting tripped up by autocorrect. Try for iPad, or for Android, Windows phones, and Kindle. If your handwriting is as illegible as mine, however, you might opt for a dictation app like instead.
5. "I'm distracted by other apps like Instagram or Candy Crush."
Apps like block a set of chosen apps (social media, personal email, games, etc.) for a set period of time so you're forced to stay on task. Plus, you can always use the lure of your favorite mobile game as motivation to complete an important task and reward yourself for a job well done.
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Read More About Major Mobile Productivity Trends Affecting Work
Interested in other insights on mobile productivity? from our survey to discover just how much we rely on our mobile devices for work, the surprising impact on our work-life balance, and how current mobile work trends will impact how we collaborate with colleagues in the coming years.