How do you #AchieveMore? – Microsoft Lumia Wants to Know


Microsoft Lumia set me a challenge to #AchieveMore on my travels as a food and culture writer, so I made a quick Skype Qik video to friends sharing a few ways I’m streamlining what I take, and working more on a single device. Scroll down and ENTER the competition to WIN a Lumia 640 or 640 XL

My work and my interests have taken me far and wide, and the more I travel, the larger my own world becomes, and the harder the challenge of maintaining office and home while on the go. It always helps, of course, that in every destination, no matter how poor or isolated from the general tourists, there are folks who want to share their stories, and most often, there is a delicious meal to enjoy too.

Maki makes breafast, Sahara, Tunisia, May 2015

Maki makes breafast, Sahara, Tunisia, May 2015

My struggle has long stopped being “What will I wear?”, though that does trip me up slightly every time I book at a particularly fancy restaurant, the ones with the stars and servers with LA-approved pearly whites. The desert-friendly loose pants and shirts just don’t cut it. Instead, when asking what I should pack, I invariably mean: what can I safely leave behind this time? When I travel, I’m taking a wardrobe that needs to easily adapt to various countries and climates and social norms, a comprehensive medical kit, and a freelancer’s mobile office. I’m usually working on existing commissions and documenting day-to-day travel either for instant reporting or for future stories. That amounts to a lot of chargers, batteries, lenses, bags and gear. It’s tough being away from a desk full of reference materials too, and let’s be honest: a half-decent and stable work surface.

So when I was asked to be part of Microsoft’s #AchieveMore campaign (How do you #AchieveMore? With Microsoft Lumia) I felt like it spoke directly to what I am currently trying (and not always succeeding) at accomplishing. To achieve more, within the constraints of short work nights after exhausting days on the road, to do it efficiently and without having to lug several superfluous devices from airport to airport, train and cab. On my last trip, I was away for just over 14 weeks. The tools of my trade depend on note-taking, voice recordings, research, tonnes of fact-checking and reading. If one device could take a whack of those jobs on – including a proper and reliable word processor, I had to check it out, right?  

The team at Microsoft Lumia South Africa offered me a Lumia device to document the day-to-day running of Unfortunately for many of the people I adore, and for current and potential work clients, I’m not always in the country for face-to-face meetings. I’ve used Skype on other phones, sure. This is the first time I’ve seen Skype ready and set-up on the main screen from the get-go. The first thing I did was to log in and call my mother, actually. I would have liked to see her beautiful smile (the video function works brilliantly on the Lumia), but she’s yet to in stall Skype on her end. Also, she has a crusty phone with limited video recording ability. I’ve noted it down for my “things-to-sort-out” list when we visit my folks at the end of the year. (Sigh. Now, my longing to see my Ma is that much stronger.)

Lumia 640 XL - image from web

Lumia 640 XL – image from web

I’ll always remain a fan of a laptop – it’s the primary tool of the craft, but the larger screen of the Lumia 640 XL is extremely easy to navigate, and even to read on for a length of time. In fact I can see it replacing another favourite (heavier) device to read the few chapters I usually do every night just before I fall asleep.

Unlikely bedfellows, but, this is 2015, innit?

fab reccomends large stamp

YOU CAN WIN A LUMIA 640 OR 640 XL (depends on stock availability). How? Leave a comment below about how you plan to #AchieveMore with the device.


  • Use the hashtag #AchieveMore in your answer explaining how a Microsoft Lumia will get you there. It doesn’t have to be about work – inspire us with your unique challenges. Be creative, do a little research. Keep it short.
  • Competition open to South African citizens and residents living in the country only.
  • Competition closes Wednesday, 29 July 2015
  • Please leave your email address, and your full name, and ensure you are contactable. You will not be placed on a mailing list or receive any spam from this site. I’m too busy for extra admin, promise!
  • The winner will be chosen by Microsoft Lumia representatives who will contact you directly.
  • Only one entry per person. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Microsoft Lumia offered me the device and a challenge to see if it could streamline my mobile office. I accepted and will be remunerated. As you know, if it was rubbish, I would have marched away. Editorial is my own, as are the opinions expressed here….




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