Last week I felt like I took another step forward into the 21st century.
I went on a trip and used United’s iPhone app to download my boarding pass. It was so easy—no papers to print out and keep track of. On my flight out, I was a little nervous since it was the first time, but I quickly figured out how to scan the QR code to make it through security and then board the plane. I was feeling good and pretty ‘with it’. I am not a technology-averse person, but I wouldn’t say I’m an early adopter.
On the way back, I had a slight panic attack. I was in the security line trying to download the email containing the link to access my boarding pass and my email client wouldn’t load. I was in a long line of people, feverishly checking the bars on my phone to see how the service was and doing everything I could to get my email going. All the while I was wondering how much time it would take to go back to the check-in kiosk and print my boarding pass. Luckily, just as I got up to the TSA agent, I heard the ding of the email and I was able to pass through.
I’m sure that if you are a frequent traveler, you’re thinking, “Duh, what took you so long? Of course this is the way to go, and it isn’t even that new.” For me, though, it was a big deal and a breakthrough. Now I can say I’ve done it, and I’m never going back to paper.
I also started to consider what things are second nature to me that might not be for others. Since I spend my days on web meetings and conference calls, I don’t think much about the fact that all my meetings are held using web conferencing, whether I have a document to share or not. I am addicted to the built-in tools available for scheduling and joining meetings. Just as I will never print my boarding pass again, I will not pick up the phone and dial a bunch of numbers. The easy way to go is just to click a link in my Outlook calendar and let the system do all the work. All I have to do is answer my phone.
I can understand why people might be intimidated by web conferencing and want to stick with straight audio conference calls. It’s what they’re used to and if it works, why should they change? I know the feeling. After all, how long did it take me to start using the iPhone apps? But, now that I’ve been reminded about the little conveniences that result from taking a chance and trying something new, I am more willing than ever to embrace technology. I don’t have to be on the forefront, but I don’t want to kick myself for missing out on some great new app or software that could have made my life a whole lot easier.
What’s an app that you can’t live without that I should try? Is web conferencing one thing that you’ve adopted to make your meetings better?