Mobility is vital today. In the past you would need a laptop to take your office anywhere. Now you take your tablet, phone, and laptop as a mobile office to Starbucks, shared office spaces, Panera, or even someone else’s office. What are some essentials you may need?
Remote Storage: It’s vital that you be able to access files on multiple devices. Sometimes you need to retrieve a file that may only be at home, on your desktop, on a thumb drive, etc and forward it to a business contact. That’s where Dropbox comes in. Dropbox can be accessed on a phone, a tablet, and a laptop, making it possible to access files anywhere. Microsoft OneDrive and the Icloud are also useful for accessing files across multiple platforms.
Power Strip: It’s good to carry a small power strip in your car, you can tuck it in your spare tire compartment or hide it away in the trunk. Sometimes you will be at Panera, the airport, or Starbucks and find there’s 1 outlet and 5 people nearby. This will allow you to not only service your fellow office-anywhere people but also allow you to stretch an outlet from one seat to another, i.e. if the seat in front or in back of you has an outlet, you do now too. This also allows you to charge all your devices at any location so you can stay remote the whole day, i.e. work and charge at Panera in the morning and then change locations to a Starbucks in the afternoon with a full charge.
Spare Battery: It’s good to have extra batteries for your laptop, phone, or other devices if they are removable. This allows you to work longer if no power outlet is available.
Hot Spot: There are some places that do not have WiFi or you need a secure WiFi spot for business. You can get a low cost plan from Freedompop – I have a plan that costs $3.00 a month and rolls over unused data. You may also tether your phone into a hot spot if your wireless company and device offer that. This allows you to outrun busy places like Panera or have WiFi where no one else does.
Spare Power Adapters: It’s very efficient to have extra power adapters. It’s good to have 3: 1 at your home office, 1 in your car / laptop bag, and 1 at your most frequently visited client. This allows you to save time by not having to constantly pull your adapter out of your home office every time you leave, or constantly plug in at a client you see every week. It’s also good to have extra adapters so you can charge while on-the-go with your power strip. Take that lunch break to charge your devices.
Spare Mouse: Nothing says prepared like having a bluetooth or wireless mouse in your bag. This means you can have a wired mouse at home and then when you pack up and go, assuming you have a spare power adapter, you simply lift your laptop out and pack it, then when you get to the remote location, unpack it, unpack your mouse that was already in your bag, and you’re ready to go! The Microsoft Arc touch Mouse and the Apple Magic Mouse both lay relatively flat, making transport easy.
Carrying Case: A good carrying case is vital because your laptop will endure ‘wear and tear’ simply by pulling it in and out of the case, setting it down, picking it up, etc. A good case will be able to hold the computer, power supply, and mouse. Make sure it’s comfortable for you to carry, not too large that it’s a burden but not too small that nothing fits!