If you are someone who often travels for work or has the luxury of being able to run your own business from anywhere and you take advantage of that, then you know that remaining productive while on the go can be a challenge. There are many people, myself included, who have been able to perfect the art of working on the go. Here are some best practices and tips to help you stay productive and get more done on the go.
Tips and Strategies for Staying Productive and Getting More Done on the Go
When it comes to staying productive and getting work done while traveling, there are a few things you need to consider:
- What device will I be working on?
- How will I stay connected?
- How will I access the programs and files I need?
Technology and planning play a significant role in answering these questions, and it is essential that you get them right if you want to work while traveling. Let’s take a look at how you do that.
Picking the Right Device
Mobile technology has advanced so much over the years that we can now use smaller mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to handle the information we once needed larger servers to process. The challenge, at times, however, is their size and the ability to work productively on such a small screen. This is why it is essential to understand what devices you are comfortable handling specific types of tasks on.
Smartphones are great for checking and replying to email. They may not, however, be so great for creating and editing documents.
Tablets, however, may. They tend to have a larger screen size making working on documents and more intricate tasks easier. Many also allow for connection to a desktop-grade keyboard, which essentially turns them into mini laptops. This can greatly increase functionality and your ability to get more done.
Another option, of course, is your laptop. If you are someone who travels extensively, I suggest getting a smaller laptop with increased processing speed and storage. The more compact size makes it easier for use on airplanes (have you ever tried working on a 17” laptop when riding in coach?) and is much more portable and lightweight.
The advantages of smartphones and tablets are that you can often use them with either a mobile connection from your provider. Laptops, do not afford this same luxury – so it is something to consider. Because as you will see in the next section, staying connected is crucial.
TRIP PLANNING TIP: Before you head out the door for your trip, plan out exactly what types of tasks you will need to work on while traveling and only bring the devices you need. Don’t forget your power cords, batteries, noise-canceling headphones or other essentials you will need to work efficiently.
Staying Connected While on the Go
Staying connected while on the go is crucial for getting things done. Without some sort of reliable internet connection, you will just spend time spinning your wheels.
Here’s are the two main ways you can stay connected while traveling.
Mobile Network Connection
Your smartphone and some tablets can stay connected using your mobile provider’s network connection. Be sure when choosing your provider that they have adequate service in the area where you live and typically travel.
You also want to ensure that when choosing your mobile plan, you consider how much data you will need to avoid any overage charges. If possible, get a plan with unlimited data just to be sure.
One of the most common ways people stay connected while traveling is through a WiFi connection. Most airplanes, trains, and hotels have either free or paid WiFi connections available – just check before you leave for your trip as part of your planning process.
Security is a major issue to consider when using any free or shared WiFi connection and shouldn’t be ignored. To keep you and your information safe, follow these few tips:
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when connecting
- Use HTTPS whenever possible
- Keep your antivirus and antimalware protection up to date
- Turn off WiFi when not in use.
You can also opt to purchase a subscription through a service like Gogo or Boingo, which will ensure you always have a connection when traveling within their coverage area. Another option is to purchase and carry a MiFi device (essentially a portable router), with you.
Many mobile providers will also allow you to use your mobile device as a hotspot. This will enable you to use the data and connection from your smartphone or tablet to connect your laptop in areas where no other WiFi service is available.
TRIP PLANNING TIP: Find out what connection options are available where you will be traveling before you go. Does the hotel have paid or free Wifi? Does your mobile provider have reliable service where you will be? By knowing this before you will go, you can decide how you will connect before you leave and if connections are not available during part of your trip, you can plan other activities to concentrate on that time such as reading, studying, and business planning.
Accessing Programs and Documents on the Go
A big part of staying productive while traveling is having access to programs and tools with robust mobile functionality and all of your business documents. Working while on the go needs to feel just like you are sitting at your desk in the office.
For document creation and processing, consider using Microsoft Office 365. You can install it on your laptop and mobile devices so you can create and edit word documents, excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations.
Use cloud file storage applications like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive to save those documents and then access them from anywhere and any device.
Take that all one step further by using Adobe Document Cloud. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365, allowing you to quickly turn your documents into PDF files that you can edit and organize.
You can also use Adobe Sign, an e-signature solution that is integrated with Microsoft Office 365, to get contracts and other vital documents signed in just seconds… while on the go! You can then seamlessly save those documents back to your file sharing solution in just a few clicks on the app.
But what about physical documents that you need to scan or edit while on the go? Adobe has a solution for that, too! Adobe Scan lets you capture forms, pictures, business cards, documents with just a click. The app then integrates with to allow you to save and edit the captured documents. . Imagine – a quick snap of your business travel receipts with a quick note added and then saved right to a file you can share with your bookkeeper. Genius…and unbelievably productive! Take a look at how the app works in this video below and try it out for yourself by downloading Adobe Scan.
I am on the road traveling over 250 days a year. It has taken me time to become a productive road warrior, and it is in thanks to the many tips I have shared today. So before you head out the door on your next trip, take time to plan what devices you will need, how you will stay connected and get the tools to keep you productive in place before you go!
Ramon Ray is a small business expert, motivational keynote speaker and founder of SmartHustle.com. He’s a global speaker, best-selling author and works with tech brands to help them better reach small business owners.