How the Microsoft Surface Pro improved my workday

By now, surely you've seen the commercial from Microsoft declaring that they've produced a tablet that can "Finally replace your laptop."  Well, if you're like me, I huffed at the notion that a tablet could really replace my laptop.  Afterall, I've been trying to codger ways to make my iPad work for me in the business world for 2+ years with nothing but email access and frustration.  So, being the realist & cynic that I am, took the plunge to put their proclamation to the test.  Fast forward 45 days of everyday use on my new Surface Pro 3, imagine that, their claims have come to fruition!

Here is a brief walk through of my experience transitioning from a laptop to a Surface for all-day everyday use.

The Transition:

It took me 30 minutes start to finish to have my Surface unboxed, configured, logged in, Outlook setup, Lync running, and Microsoft Office Suite installed and functioning.  (Admittedly, I don't have a list of 40 applications that I use regularly, though if I did I could have installed them all.) I was headed immediately out the door to a meeting, where I used it in the field for the first time.

Out of Office Use:

First, and foremost, the biggest benefit is size and portability. I don't hesitate for a second taking it with me every, and I mean every time I walk out of the office. No more situations where I wish I'd taken my laptop, but didn’t want to deal with lugging it around or waiting for it to boot up. This device is light, small, and instantly on when I need it to be.

Second advantage is the amount of administrative time it has saved me.  I'm in external client facing meetings several times a week, actively taking notes for my own reference and to be recorded in our company system for all employees to reference details, as needed. It used to take me roughly five hours a week to transfer handwritten notes from my trusty yellow pad, into permanent notes within our CRM system. Now, leveraging Microsoft OneNote, all my notes are already typed, so it's a right-click and copy/paste and I'm done. For meetings in which it seems inappropriate to type, I simply grab the pen and take handwritten notes on it. I just need to right- click translate to text afterwards. Again, that’s two clicks and hours saved. Most importantly, it syncs up to my SharePoint site, so even if I'm offline, all my changes are uploaded as soon as I get reconnected to the internet.

Third plus is its battery life. I've not officially used a stopwatch to record the amount of battery life I get on it, but that’s mainly because I've yet run into a situation where I've depleted the battery completely. There are regularly full days I'm in the field going from meeting to meeting and I never have battery life issues.

The Desk Situation:

Transitioning from this portable device to in-office work has been seamless. By using an external adapter I can seamlessly connect to two 24" monitors while at my desk. I can then use my standard size keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth and there’s no productivity impact because it’s the exact same setup.

Overall, this transition has helped make me more productive on-the-go and minimize administrative time. This seamless work tool is helping me keep work on track and provide boosted service to clients.


What is a Surface, and why is Jeff rambling about it? Check out the product here.

Nice buzz words Jeff, what do they do for me?  Learn more from a few of our previously recorded webinars.

OneNote Webinar

SharePoint & Lync


 written by: Jeff Newton - 3/26/2015