How to Work Offline Without Internet Connection

How to Work Offline Without Internet Connection

Eric Chen
Sep 6, 2011

Google recently announced a new offline feature for their suite of productivity products, including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar. Even in the increasingly cloud-based world today, there are still plenty of time when we don't have a reliable internet connection. Join us as well take a look at what offline Google apps are all about and discover some ways you can effectively work offline when you are not connected.

How to get Google apps offline and what it means for you: Offline Gmail, Docs and Calendars all require Chrome browser to work. To get the offline features for these three services, simply download the official Google extensions for your Chrome browser. Get your extensions for Gmail, Docs, and Calendar by clicking on the links. This means that you will be able to access all three of these web apps while you're offline.

Right now, Gmail will work like a full feature email client giving you the ability to search through your inbox as well as compose a message but the features are a bit limited for Docs and Calendar. In offline Google Calendar, you are only able to view and RSVP to existing events, but you won't be able to create new events. And in Google Docs you're limited to viewing existing documents without the ability to edit them. Google is promising the push updates to expand the features, so we'll definitely keep an eye out for those. While we wait, lets look at some ways you can utilize your offline time and how you can work effectively even without a connection.

Embrace your time offline. As we've iterated before sometimes having an internet connection is actually what's distracting us from work. It is difficult to resist the lure of checking your emails and going on Facebook. We often do our best work and get most inspired while we're not near our computers. Take this time to focus on work that can be done offline, such as processing photos, jotting down ideas, If you find yourself without internet connection, maybe it's a sign that you need to step away from you computer and get inspired.

Always carry a pen and a notebook. Cloud-based note taking apps are becoming more and more embedded into our lives and our workflow. But we always keep a pen and a notebook by our side. There is something about physically writing something down that helps us retain our ideas. And of course with a notebook, you won't be dependent on an internet connection, you'll be able to access the information you have whenever, wherever.

Preparation, preparation, preparation. If you are doing work that needs a connection but you're expecting to go without, plan your workflow around it. Plan out your work so that you can get all the research done that requires a connection, then you'll be able to focus on completing the work while you're without a connection. If possible, make this a priority in your workflow, so always begin with what needs to be done with internet, then move on to things that can be done offline. This way you'll be less likely to be caught off guard when you're unplugged.

Utilize Dropbox's offline solutions. Okay, some of you are going to argue that Dropbox is a cloud-based app. But for those of you that uses Dropbox's desktop app, you know that the documents are actually stored on the machine, Dropbox simply synchronizes the files when there is an internet connection. And here's a helpful tip for access files offline on your iPad, favorite the files you need on Dropbox and they will be available to you when you're offline.

(Top Image: Flickr Member TDOMMDAD licensed for use under Creative Commons; Second Image: The Official Gmail Blog; Third Image: Eric Chen)

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