Make it easy: Tips for staying productive this summer

(BPT) - With the warm weather putting beach and barbecue plans in full swing, it can be tough to stay productive during the summer months. The key to getting it all done lies in finding the right device that makes work portable, so you can enjoy the sun without needing to be glued to your office. The following tips can help you ensure that the technology you have makes it easy to make more happen in less time.

* Do some quick research: With the amount of choices available, it can feel overwhelming to start looking for the right tablet or PC. To make the process of going into a store or searching online more personal (not to mention faster), utilize Staples Tablet Research Center or an online device quiz. These tools quickly associate what is most important to you, such as features, benefits or programs to get your work done like Microsoft Office, and price with an actual recommendation. Be sure to also select a retailer that has a dedicated team of tech experts who can help you weed through all the choices in person as well as online.

* Have work and play on your terms: It's not just the summer months when you will be on the move and still need to get work done. Make sure you select a device that is easily portable and can fit into your bag without weighing you down. When shopping, see how each device feels in your everyday handbag or backpack to get a sense of how it fits. Next, try testing it out on your lap for a few minutes. Does the device feel comfortable so that you can work on a PowerPoint presentation while you're taking in a great summer day? When you want to relax and take in a movie or play a game with the kids, does the device feature a kick-stand for hands free viewing? What is the picture like on the screen? How do the speakers sound? Can the kids (and you) use the device as an art canvas? For example, the Surface Pro 3 comes with the all-new Surface Pen to deliver the most natural writing and drawing experience on a tablet. Make sure that both work and play are accounted for in the way that you really experience them.

* Secure a support system: Retailers offer a variety of tech support and warrantee options, though many seem too good to be true and limit you to service just at the store you purchased the device from. Make sure your support system is easily accessible and available so that it goes where you do. Accidents happen, so also take care to choose a protection plan that not only covers any surprising hardware issues, but those moments where the device slips out of your hands and onto the patio. For example, SquareTrade, the No. 1 rated protection plan, is available through Staples and offers 100 percent hardware coverage no matter what part of the world you're in.

'With today's technology, customers can be productive anywhere and at any time, no matter what shape their office may take,' says Conor Kearney, vice president of technology products and services for Staples. 'A device should enhance the experience of making things happen while also capturing the creativity that hits us without a moment's notice. It's about portable productivity.'

The technology marketplace is an amazing place, though a crowded one. Finding the right device to make things happen this summer - and beyond - should be a quick and simple process with these tips.

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