By Menisha Naran: Head of Business Marketing Programmes and Planning, Telefónica UK
Hands up: I’m a geek. I love technology, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
This is partly down to the fact that I have pretty much grown up in the tech industry. I started my career over ten years ago at IBM in New Zealand, but after a couple of years I moved swiftly to Microsoft where I spent almost six years. Next up came a short stint in Financial Services, which was a bit like a technology time-warp given the prehistoric systems I had to use! I then made the leap to the UK and returned to Microsoft, back into the loving arms of tech that I know and love. And then it was on to O2 in 2013.
Not only has my career been heavily tech-focused, but the trajectory of my life would be unrecognisable if it weren’t for technology. For me, digital and the use of digital products is all about managing the ever-increasingly busy lives that we need – building on the trend towards the complete consumerisation of IT that has been steadily growing in recent years. I find that there’s no such thing as switching off any more – it’s more like always on and always connected. That’s the new normal. But finding the balance is really important, and something that I am passionate about for both myself and my team. For instance, I have chosen to have two phones by way of trying to achieve that balance.
Speaking of devices, you might be surprised to hear that despite my working history, I am not just a Microsoft fan girl. I balance my life with Microsoft products at work and Apple products at home, so I believe that I literally have the best of both worlds. When choosing digital products, it’s much more important to focus on what the tech can help me to do, rather than being blindly brand-loyal.
Another area of my life that spans both sides of my life is organisation. I’m into digital note-taking in a big way, and maintain a clear split between work and home. At work I am all about OneNote: thanks to its ease and simplicity of use, the integration that it offers with Outlook, and the fact that I used to be a Product Manager for Office at Microsoft. Using OneNote is just ingrained in what I do now – it’s my new normal, and I have truly tried to banish the pen.
And you won’t catch me scribbling handwritten notes at home, either. For personal things I use Evernote, sharing a notebook with my husband across multiple devices. We essentially use this simple note-taking tool to run our lives. Evernote houses everything from our weekly grocery list, plans for dinner, our next holiday itinerary, as well as the packing lists for those ever-important European weekend getaways. We do try and make the most of being in the Northern Hemisphere, as I still call New Zealand home – and nipping to France for the weekend is virtually impossible from my homeland! Thank goodness for technology, giving me the ability to stay connected to family and friends back home.
I don’t just love technology through and through; I love the impact that it has on my life, both professional and personal. If you’d like to find out more about how technology enables better communication and better organisation, just visit our website.