The following is a guest post from momAgenda COMM blogger Leticia Barr.
Whether you like to grab your laptop and take it to work at your local coffee shop, are a road warrior who uses the car as a mobile office, or rack up miles as a frequent flier, do you work efficiently when on the go?
It’s a skill to be able to set up work virtually from any location and here are 7 tips for successfully setting up a portable office.
Invest in a bag that is roomy yet comfortable. Hauling around a laptop can take its toll on your back so invest in a bag that has space for everything you need and is comfortable to carry during long waits in a TSA security line. Timbuk2 has great messenger bags and if you like backpacks, Incase has some sleek ones with lots of organizational pockets for Mac lovers.
Keep your devices organized. Kangaroom’s Personal Media Pouch keeps everything nicely organized thanks to 6 pockets that are just the right size for your MP3 player, compact video camera, and all their associated chargers. If you have a hard time telling which cords are which, label them. Mabel’s Labels Cord Control label pack are specifically designed to organize your devices.
Pack your cords in your carry on. During my last cross country trip, my flight had a 3 ½ hour weather delay that could have been much longer. It gave me plenty of time to catch up on work and wander into a tech store at the airport where I asked the employees what their best sellers were. They said chargers. With air travel being just a bit unpredictable at times, you never know when you might be delayed. A slight delay can turn into a longer delay that can end up draining your devices of their juice. Pack smart and put those devices in your carry on just in case.
Bring along a mini plugging strip. Have you ever had the problem of too many devices and not enough outlets? That’s a common problem when I travel so I pack the Belkin USB Mini Hub that features 3 outlets and 2 USB ports which allows me to charge my laptop, phone, tablet, and camera battery simultaneously while leaving room for still more plugs. Traveling internationally? Bring along Travelon’s Universal 3-in-1 Adapter, Converter, and USB Charger.
Invest in a mobile USB device or portable hotspot. Depending on where you are going, you may be blessed by the gods of free wifi. Airports such as San Francisco, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Washington Dulles offer complimentary wireless access but others charge a small fortune for connectivity. Having your own reliable way to connect not only is a smart internet security move but doesn’t make you dependent on the speed of someone else’s network.
Don’t always rely on the cloud. Cloud computing is great when you have an internet connection. Not all airlines have in-flight wifi so if you work solely on Google Docs, you may need an option like Evernote. Evernote works across devices like iPhone, iPad, and laptops and independently of the web so you can create a document on one device and then access it on others when you have an internet connection again.
Take along a notebook and a pen just in case. After all, you never know when technology might fail you and you have to rely on old school pen and paper!
What are some of your tips for creating a portable office?