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Personal Hotspots Can Enhance Your Morning Commute

Every morning that I wake up for work, I go through the same routine: I take a shower, get ready, drink a cup of coffee (maybe two), have something to eat and commute. To be honest, I'm really not a fan of commuting -- my 50-minute train ride into Union Station isn't ideal. I wanted to utilize this time to prepare myself, and more importantly my clients, for a successful day of PR.

Like most PR professionals, I'm obsessed with social media, technology, mobility, news stories and everything in between. It's no surprise that my two favorite devices, the iPhone and iPad, accompany me on the train. I found myself actually enjoying the 50-minute commute, while I read tweets and news articles from my iPhone. This was a great cure to my Metra boredom.

In time, however, reading articles on the 5x7cm iPhone screen was becoming a pain. My iPad didn’t have 3G capabilities, but I found a solution: the personal hotspot.

A personal hotspot lets you share your iPhone's data connection with up to five devices for Internet access. I use a hotspot to connect my iPad and laptop to 3G, which is extremely convenient during my downtown commute. I pay a flat fee every month for a hotspot, but I figure I'm still saving money in the long run. The iPad 3G is more expensive than the regular version, plus you’re still charged for an extra data package – just like a smartphone.

My mornings now consist of easy access to my favorite websites, news publications and iPad apps. I really enjoy getting ahead, even before I arrive at the office.

In the world of PR, it's essential to keep up with social media and breaking news. With my hotspot, I've been able to enhance my pitching by reading news updates and recent twitter trends on the train. I also love using the Mashable iPad to learn about the latest technologies. I've received some great feedback on a few story ideas and pitches that I’ve developed during my commute.

To clarify, I’m not saying that everyone should purchase an iPad and personal hotspot, but instead of dwelling over your commute, use this time to get ahead on your work and generate new ideas. Reading a daily newspaper or monthly magazine is also a great source to spark creativity. Who knows, but your next great pitch might just stem from your commute!