When you're working on the go, you need office tools that can travel with you. The walls defining today's workforce have blurred, with many workers now doing their jobs from a home office, a shared community workspace, or even a hotel room while on a planned business trip. To create a mobile office that allows you to maintain your productivity, it's important that you have exactly what you need to get the job done — no matter where you go.
Whether you're working out of a coffee shop or jet setting around the world, it is crucial to make sure you have the right equipment. Let's look at five essential tools that every mobile office needs.
Invest in the Right Computer
All laptops are not created equal, so it's important to find a laptop that is light and easy to carry but also has everything you need to get the job done. Knowing what tasks you need it to accomplish is key. If you're working all day long with spreadsheets and lots of open files, then you probably want a heavy-duty processor. However, if you're just working remotely for an afternoon and only answering emails or reading documents, then you might be able to get by with something as simple as a well-equipped tablet. Assess your mobile needs and invest accordingly.
Put a Portable Scanner on the List
A portable scanner that can travel with you provides an easy way to digitize paper documents ranging from receipts to reports and then store them on your laptop or smartphone. You have your choice of both wireless and USB models, and they range in size and cost based on their capabilities. Whether you see yourself using a handheld wand-style device or a small desktop version, a portable scanner will come in handy more often than you imagined.
Spring for Plenty of Cloud Storage
When you're working in a mobile setup, few things are as frustrating as realizing that the document you need is on your desktop computer at home or at the office. Cloud storage is a great way to make sure you have access to your important files no matter where you are, and it also lets you move large files without locking up your email. From Dropbox and Google Drive to Microsoft's OneDrive to Apple's iCloud, there's no shortage of options and plans available to fit your needs.
Take Your Internet Connection With You
If you're working on the road, internet coverage can be unpredictable. Invest in a compact, high-speed wireless router and decide between a monthly payment or a pay-as-you-go plan. Check reviews on devices before you select the one that's right for you, and make sure you always use an encrypted password for security.
Bring Backup Power
Of course, you always want to make sure you have a power cord readily available in case your laptop battery starts running low. In addition to your laptop's power cord, make sure you have the right cords for charging peripherals, such as your phone and portable scanner, from your laptop's USB ports when wall outlets are scarce. Also, don't forget to tuck your favorite headphones in your suitcase.
The right tools make a mobile office every bit as productive and efficient as your traditional office setting. Tell us about your favorite on-the-go office tools and accessories on Facebook.