By: Patrick Carroll, Owner Pat’s Computer Rescue
Love it or hate it, business travel plays a significant role in many of our professional lives. We spend countless hours each year on the road or in the air, shuffling from one presentation or trade show to the next. We write business presentations at 30,000 feet; send important emails from taxi cabs; and host conference calls from hotel lobbies.
There’s no denying that in today’s on-the-go business arena, technology is the headlining act. And without our smartphones and laptops and GPS units, we’d be lost—literally.
Below are ten business technologies and gadgets that your career can’t live without. Not only will these devices allow you to work more efficiently from the road, but they will also maximize your overall travel experience.
Smartphones are far-and-away the most important devices used by business travelers today. They allow us to communicate through voice, email, and text, and they offer limitless apps that can make our travel experiences that much more enjoyable.
No more hanging out at the boring hotel bar or ordering takeout from the Applebee’s next door. Just download an app of all the city hotspots—complete with directions on how to get there—then set off and explore! There’s an app for finding the nearest subway station, checking into your flight online, making hotel reservations—you name it, and there’s a business app for it.
#2- Tablet or Notebook Computer
Whether you prefer to travel with a tablet or notebook computer, it’s imperative that you have an operating system at your fingertips that allows you to write reports, share multi-media presentations, balance your budget spreadsheets, and so forth. Fortunately, new tablets and notebooks allow us to travel light without having to drag around bulky laptops.
#3- USB/FLASH DRIVE
External storage devices are small but essential tools for business travelers. They allow you to safely back up your work, and easily transport important files and data. Just don’t make the mistake of taking one of these through airport security!
#4- GPS Unit
Preparing for a meeting is stressful enough without the added anxiety of getting lost on your way there! Most smartphones have these built in, but if yours dosn’t don’t set off without a GPS unit guiding you to your destination. You’ll likely only get one shot at landing the client and you don’t want to be late for your meeting.
#5- Digital Voice Recorder
Again, most smartphones these days have built in digital voice recorders. The are great for making sure you don’t miss anything important at the meeting (or catching up on sleep at the 3rd Annual Ink and Toner Conference). Just record the proceedings and review the important points later on. Just be certain you’re allowed to record what’s being said.
#6- Audio Book Reader
An audio book reader comes in handy if you regularly need to review literature while traveling. Audio books can be played on your car’s CD player, as well as on your smartphone or iPod.
#7- MP3 Player
Music helps us get through those boring times of business travel (see Digital Voice Recorder).
#8- Headphones, Mic and Webcams
Programs such as Skype allow us to talk to clients and business associates from anywhere in the world. To use these programs you must have a headphone and microphone. It’s also nice to have a webcam for face-to-face chats, especially when you’re talking with loved ones back home.
#9- Wireless Air Card or Mobile Hotspot
If you have an internet connection, you can work from almost anywhere. Many internet/phone providers offer reasonably priced wireless cards, as well as mobile hotspots, that allow you to always stay connected.
We hope these nine business gadgets make your business travels more efficient and more enjoyable. If you have any questions, or would like to offer your own recommendations for business travelers, feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-572-7526 x 1001.
Until next time…Pat