Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Commuting in Sydney - what it means

I am frustrated with the poor quality reception from Optus 3G and even Telstra NextG wasn't cutting it on my current train line. I catch a train from Riverwood station to Wynyard and I may as well not be connected as the reception is that poor. It doesn't help that the tunnels have very poor reception as well.

I need to be connected in order to do most of my laptop type work. For work purposes I need to be connected and even on my personal stuff I have my head in the clouds most of the time and need to be connected to update the bargainhunter.com.au blogs or visit elance.com to connect with some of the contractors.

I use to have great use of my commute time when I was travelling by bus to work every day from Kellyville Ridge to the city. It helped that I was at the end of the line both ways (well one stop from each end!). So I ALWAYS got a seat and I had heaps of time to get work done. Too much time. 1.5 hours each way! I'm not complaining about my shorter commute times. I just want to try and maximise the time I have on the commute.

So I started googling. Thinking that maybe someone had a way to optimise working on a train/bus situation. I googled for "commute optimise work" and variations on the theme. Most of the hits sounded right. I even limited the search to lifehacker.com thinking that may help me out. But in the US "commute" usually means being in a car and stuck in traffic! So they talk about making phone calls or listening to self improvement or educational or audio books. All good and well if you have headphones on a train or bus situation. But phone calls would likely get glares. W has also told me about when he was in Japan and was given "the look" and people moved away when they talked on the train to each other. (The theory is that no one talks on a train in Japan as it's considered rude). In Sydney it's not nearly that bad but still uncouth if you listen to loud music or talk on the phone too loudly and for a lengthy period.

So how does one optimise 'working' time on a bus or train (or ferry!) in Sydney or other similar type commuting cities? Most people have their smart phones out and Blackberry smart phones and can tap away at that. For some smart phones it will still require a connection.

I'm investigating options of using portable apps for things like email (even offline Gmail doesn't work too well for me) and have already resorted to cutting and pasting text into my blog posts. Maybe I should have stuck to Wordpress so I could do offline blogging via something like Live Writer.

Any ideas?
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