Monday, November 01, 2010

Making the most of your Kindle as a communications tool: 10 ways

Maybe you think of a Kindle as the portable way to catch up on a novel, but communicators can use either the Kindle with free 3G and wi-fior the wi-fi enabled Kindle to get communications tasks done. (The latter, at $139, is affordable enough that you can rethink any of these points for a team of people outfitted with Kindles.) Check out my 10 ways to use your Kindle as a communications tool:

  1. Read talking points in a meeting:  Want to go paperless and subtle in a meeting, face-to-face interview or presentation? Email your talking points to your Kindle email address, then adjust the typeface to a readable size; paging through it involves pressing tabs on either side of the device.
  2. Deliver a speech:  You can do the same with a major speech. Good to know: you can hold the Kindle in your hand like a large notecard and page with one thumb pressing on the page tabs. Or just hide it on the lectern. No dropped or shuffled pages.
  3. Decluttering while you work with many reference sources:  If your next writing project requires you to have a variety of documents for ready reference, pile them into your Kindle. It's simple to move from one source to the next and to flag items and find them again.  Working without piles of paper on your desk might help reduce your stress...or let you do your research at the nearest coffee shop.
  4. Staff a speech:  Need to put a text with last-minute changes in front of your leader? A colleague (or you) can email it to your Kindle and you can hand the new text to your principal.  You can also use your Kindle to look up quotes and references, make notes on a text, or dog-ear pages to review later.  If you routinely staff or write speeches, loading your Kindle with books of quotations and other reference books you use is just smart.
  5. At outdoor events:  There's no better device in full sun, if you need to read, surf the web or receive a document that needs tending. 
  6. When you or your boss are giving multiple speeches in a row:  Why lug different texts? Load them all on your Kindle and make that radio tour, speaking tour or other "grand rounds" experience lighter, faster and easier on everyone.
  7. Review and make notes on staff and freelance submissions:  Working with a lot of staff and freelance writers? Give them your Kindle email and take in all those drafts without paper or email on your computer. You can mark pages, select sections to go back to later, and make notes on the documents.
  8. Multitask:  Not a task limited to communicators, but when I can review and mark documents; have the device "read" text to me so I can hear how it sounds; dog-ear book "pages" for future reference; listen to music; send updates to Twitter and Facebook; and buy a book I need--all at a more readable size and format than my phone allows--I'm feeling pretty good.  And you can goof off with Solitaire.  Use Kinstant, a custom landing page for the Kindle's experimental web browser, to get fast access to media and news sites.
  9. Promote a book:  The new ability on 3G-powered Kindles to send updates to Facebook and Twitter also allows you to share short quotes or passages from books to your social networks.
  10. Publish short works: Reports, speeches, data dumps, white papers, you name it: If it's between 10,000 and 30,000 words, it can be published as a Kindle "Single," a new format option. Kindle formats are available for desktop, iPhone, Android and other platforms, and the shopping cart is hard to excel--users can buy right from the device or app. You'll be making your company's or organizations works that much more available.  (Affiliate links included in this post.)
Related posts:  From The Eloquent Woman blog: Why speakers should take a second look at the new Kindle

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