Tools I Use: One Phone


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I only have one phone. Yes, one (1) mobile phone. It simplifies life.

No home phone. No one of any value called us at home. Killed off that phone line.

No fax nor telex (that is so last century). No paper to scan either (that’s for another post).

No office phone. If a workplace issues me a phone, I program the office line to automatically forward to my phone. Minutes are not an issue since I have plenty of them.

I am not a slave to a phone nor multiple phones. However, access and simplicity for myself as well as anyone trying to call me (for the immediacy) is key.

I believe that in the 21st century, we have no reason to have multiple phone numbers nor phones. No juggling phones necessary.

Work-life balance

Most mobile phones have caller ID which identifies the caller, often by name. You can either take the call or you will not. That is the balance within your 168 hour week.

I do not need two or more separate devices to determine if it is work-related or not. I have met people that have up to five (5) mobile phones (often executives). Where is the balance there? I call that a juggling act, not a balancing act. Most of these people are dead and not of old age. Simplify your life rather than cluttering it.

It is very simple. One phone number to reach me. Period. If you can’t reach me, you can leave me a voicemail or text me. All to my one phone. I will follow up when I am available.

I accept a very few unscheduled calls from people calling me when it is not a robocall, some other useless call I don’t care about and when I am not on airplane mode working. I will tell you if you are wasting your time and mine very directly. I am really not shy about this. People deserve honesty 100% of the time, even if it bruises their ego (sometimes people mistaken ego for feelings). They’ll live. They deserve to know even if they call me names afterwards. Why? Because few have the courage to do this, so they rarely hear it. This not because people are too nice, but because many are too afraid to offend or have any form of confrontation.  I call it candor. Try it. You really should. With respect. And setting the scene for direction of the conversation with some framing.

Battery life

Many people struggle using a mobile phone charged for the entire day. That is the top buying criteria when I get a mobile phone. It lasts all day, or I don’t buy it. I am not blind (yet) so I don’t need a big screen. I know how to dim my screen to save battery life. I put my phone on airplane mode when I am in meetings that don’t require internet access. I am conscious of what apps suck battery life. All cars I ride/drive in have a phone charger, and I carry a phone charger with my laptop just in case. Be prepared.

Mobile hotspot

My mobile phone has the option to be a mobile hotspot to provide my laptop a wifi connection from anywhere I have mobile phone connection. I am not one to go off grid even if I were to go camping like I did when I was Boy Scout. This hotspot feature has proven invaluable many times in case a wifi connection is spotty or if I run into an unreliable ISP.  This is a second option for data which sometimes becomes the only option in order to remain connected  for online collaborative meetings, podcast interviews, webinars or quick email.

Unlimited data plan

In the early days of mobile phones, people talked a lot,m but the mobile phone provider would limit the number of minutes you could call per month. Now our Voice (minutes), Messaging (unlimited) and Data plan should be as close to unlimited as possible. This is a given cost of doing business for any basic or advanced operations today. When you are remote this matters even more. You learn quickly where dodgy spots are and adapt to avoid them.

Global Calls

If I need to call someone across the globe, I either use apps like Google HangoutSkype, Whatsapp or Zoom. Most people I need to speak with know how to use these tools. Otherwise, I use these tools to call their one phone. I am not the only one with just one phone.


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