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Discussion Starter #1
Since I am facinatd by the idea of the mobile office and am slowly making steps towards this mobile office, I've decided to keep everyone informed here about my experiences.

THis would all be much easier if I was using a laptop or tablet pc, but I am not. I am using a typical handheld running WIndows Pocket PC2003. $350

I have purchased a decent inkjet color printer. It has wireless capability via an IR port. ~$170

To make the printer work properly I downloaded a free trial of PrintPocket CE. I'm satisifed with the product to the point that I may actually buy it when the trail is up. $40

I may decide to buy the battery pack for the printer so I never need to plug anything in, and have less to carry around. $60

With this setup I am able to type and print proposals, do instant estimates with a spreadsheet and print the record, even invoices that plug right into my quickbooks when I take the handheld home at the end of the day.

I hope to close more jobs with this $620 investment. Heck! If I close one job the system paid for it's self. I will post updates for all of you who want to try the mobile office.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Originally my mobile office idea revolved around my crusty 800mhz laptop. THis mobile office idea would be mch more functional BUT also much more bulky.

Laptop computer or tablet pc can cost anywhere from $1000-4000.
A simple wire and software can allow you to use your cellphone as a modem for internet $40
I had purchased a cheap canon printer to be used IN my truck, but what about in a home owners house? Use the portable printer I listed above with the battery option. $230

More to come:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ok guys mobile office update: hand held idea scrapped. Tablet PC purchased and operational. $950 for a refurbished compaq.

I have two purchases left and I will have a 100% mobile office. Actually it's functional at this very moment with no internet connectivity. I am buying a cord and software ($35) that allows me to use my cell phone as a modem. :) Last purchase is a mount for the car so I don't have the laptop sitting on the passenger seat ($20) I'm probably going to buy the battery for my printer as well, I don't have that.

At this point the stats are:
Compaq Tablet PC running windows XP.
Wireless compaq printer.
motorolla cell phone.
Filing box for papers, brochures etc...

I was considering removing the passenger seat for more "office" supplies. All my friends tell me I am crazy and the only reason I am second guessing myself is I have nowhere to keep it :)

I should then add some form of connectivity in the office so I can either dial into the server or use the internet to share files. So it's like I'm there even when I'm not.
 

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I really want a tablet PC. Let me know how it works out for you.

Will you take it with you on estimates?
 

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Grumpy, Do you have wireless internet where you are? Big boon if yes. Here it is in cells, so that it only works part time (if you happen to be in the right place).
The Mrs. is in IT, Arrow Communications, Avaya, BellSouth. Maybe she could help you. She handles my problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Teetor yes I could get wireless internet but the attachment costs more than the $45 wire that allows me to use my cell phone as a modem. I'm going the cheap route ;)

Nate, Yes I plan to use it for estimates as soon as I get it customized how I want it. Probably next week I will be using it in full time production. I gotta make sure I have the necessary files etc... blah blah blah
 

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Do you still like your tablet pc?
Are you using it for estimates?

I've been looking at picking one up but I'm still up in the air about it. The ones I'm seeing are about $2,200!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I use my tablet PC every day. I take it with me in the car. I "sometimes" use it for the actual field measurements, but never if I am going up ON the roof. I use it for typing and figuring the estimates, as well as showing pictures to customers and even videos!

I bought mine (compaq) for less than $1000 at http://mpsuperstore.com/ They have one listed like mine for $1100 currently. Definely a must have.
 
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