This article was originally posted on Mashable.
Conducting business on the road can be extremely stressful. As you're balancing packed calendars and navigating an unfamiliar area, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are numerous apps and sites that help smooth out your journey and ensure that you get the most out of business trips—from apps that coordinate your travel itineraries, to software that manages your customer service (right from your mobile phone), to online project management tools to help you remember everything on your to-do list.
Check out the seven tips below to guarantee a smooth and speedy travel experience. Did we forget one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.
1. Operate Your Customer Service Anywhere
Zendesk aims to make customer service simple and stress-free. The product provides customers with user-friendly self-service options so they can troubleshoot with ease, and also offers support through email, Facebook and Twitter. Zendesk has features that allow you to respond to common questions simply and quickly, and the platform integrates easily with business applications like Salesforce to track analytics.
The design is simple and clean, and makes organizing customer service a cinch. Zendesk is also available on iOS, Android, Kindle, BlackBerry and Windows devices—so you can manage your customer service even when you're away from the computer.
2. Stay Organized
Evernote is known for making every aspect of your life easy, organized and productive (and for getting everyone to stop complaining about how stressed they are because of their schedule). For that alone, Evernote receives two thumbs up, but the business version gets even higher rankings for lessening the headache-inducing effects of "out of office" status.
Now, the business savvy can travel without missing a beat thanks to Evernote Business' helpful features: shared company-wide notebooks that give you access to important documents everyone at the office can see, recommended notebooks from higher-ups so you can make sure you don't miss an assignment, integrated search functions to help you find that important document quickly and easily, and access from anywhere. Finally, Evernote Business combines paperless with wireless, and all you'll need for work-on-the-go is a laptop (Wi-Fi is optional if you use offline notebooks).
3. Manage Tasks With Ease (and No Email Overload)
Asana is the go-to platform to de-clutter your digital workspace. With work emails and chains reaching the double (or triple) digits—not to mention social media accounts inundated with tips, requests and more—multitasking at work often means opening more tabs than the typical on-the-go laptop can realistically handle. Asana utilizes a notification system that bypasses traditional email altogether, organizing all work-related tasks in one place and allowing you to create, assign, follow and comment on assignments as you complete them.
Better yet, the Asana app mimics the in-office version, meaning you can stay instantly up-to-date on work progress no matter where you are (and without having to bug anyone for status reports).
4. Run Your Social Media from One Platform
If you work in the digital space, you are probably already using HootSuite (or a similar service) as a one-stop shop for controlling your brand's social media messaging on all the major platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube—you get the picture.
From the dashboard, you can manage social media conversations: You can join, group and measure them, and plan conversations of your own, even without a laptop. The Hootsuite app works on Android, iOS and iPad, so you only need one application to address all aspects of your social community, saving precious battery and time.
5. Use the Cloud
Often considered an office essential by working professionals around the globe (more than 2 million businesses utilize the service), Dropbox can be an asset to travelers who want easy access to file-sharing on the go. Dropbox functions as a file-hosting service, providing cloud storage, file synchronization and more to its 200 million users.
Accessing and sharing documents, photos and other business essentials can be tricky while on the road. Dropbox makes it a cinch for businesses or traveling professionals to stay in the loop—or send that last-minute proposal, spreadsheet or presentation—with the click of a mouse (or the tap of a finger or stylus). Dropbox is available as an online platform or as a free mobile app for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire, giving professionals instant and easy access to their most crucial data during business trips.
There are several different versions of Dropbox currently available for download including a basic, free version (2 GB of storage), Dropbox Pro ($99 per user per year with 100 GB of storage) and Dropbox for Business ($795 per year for 5 users with unlimited storage).
6. Coordinate Travel Plans Seamlessly
This “all-in-one travel organizer” can be a useful management tool for traveling professionals. The online travel itinerary and trip planner addresses everything from accommodations and flight reservations to maps and restaurant confirmations—all in one comprehensive platform. TripIt for Teams also offers a travel calendar function, making it easy for multiple travelers to coordinate details of their respective business trips.
The basic version of TripIt is free, with a Pro version available for $49 per year, and TripIt for Teams starting at $29 per month—more details of each plan are on the TripIt blog.
7. Schedule Meetings Anywhere
Easily join and participate in meetings without stepping foot in the office or conference room; it's an online service and mobile app available for iOS, Android and Windows Phones.
GoToMeeting is a useful solution for business travelers who need to be in two places at once. Users can view, join and set up or host meetings and HD video conferences, as well as easily invite colleagues via email or text. The down side is that business travel is no longer an excuse to miss out on that riveting sales performance presentation.