The worst thing about being on the road for work is that nagging urge to run back to the office to catch up on all that you’ve missed while away. Taking care of business while on the road shouldn’t be a hassle when it’s a necessity.
Entrepreneurs and business types using the latest in mobile tools and gadgets to get business accomplished en route. Here are a few choice traveling tools that make the business day run smoother -- no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what form of transportation is getting you there.
The iPhone: an obvious perk for the stationary and mobile user alike. Between the easy to use interface, reliability, quick Internet connection and plethora of applications, the Apple product is hailed by enough people to stop the list here. With endless applications to download, fans/users like CareerDiva's Eve Tahmincioglu, real estate broker and interior design consultant Natasha Kapij, and HotelChatter and Jaunted editor Juliana Shallcross live and die for the iPhone.
There’s nothing like being able to search the Internet while on the road; the iPhone makes it so easy, says Tahmincioglu. Searching the net has saved me in so many situations. The interface is so simple and the endless applications are amazing; Kapij has yet to find a gadget as all-in-one for her mobile needs. I don’t carry a laptop or camera with me anymore. I replaced them with the iPhone. She uses it to record brainstorm ideas, take notes and solve problems she encounters in real estate development, design and construction.
The beloved iPhone applications seem to be the clincher in creating iPhonophiles -- most of which are free. Shallcross is dedicated to her Twitterific program. It allows you to take pictures and upload them so when traveling I can give real time tips within the Twittersphere. She also has a 25-in-1-memory card read to upload photos to her computer.
Those whose lives do not begin and end with the iPhone have useful mobile tools, too.
Free and fee-based WiFi services are lifesavers for those carrying laptops. From Starbucks to local coffee shops; airports, train stations and buses, along with the airborne plane, moving train, bus and automobile, wireless access gets work done in real time. Setting up wireless fax and printer also make for an efficient portable experience without a pit stop at the costly Kinko’s or local copy center.
Sometimes I have to go over details on the spot, says Kapij. I prefer to use coffee shops so the client can relax rather than meet in a more uptight office environment .
In-flight WiFi service is available via Internet provider Gogo Inflight on three airlines: American, Delta and Virgin America. There are WiFi equipped public transportation buses in cities like Cincinnati, Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Reno, Austin and Seattle. Shuttle bus lines like Bus DC-NY offer free WiFi along the rides between cities like New York and Washington, DC, and like the three airlines listed also have electrical sockets to keep enough juice in laptop and cell phone batteries for longer trips.
Google maps and GPS systems are obvious lifesavers for multi-tasking road warriors. The maps are amazing and the way that application figures out traffic patterns and can warn you about what is ahead is remarkable,, says Tahmincioglu. GPS is a timesaver for someone on the road a lot like Kapij. Sometimes I am going to places I haven’t been before and with little time to get there. Making a wrong turn is cut out of the equation .
Of course there is always room for more mobile office improvement. Actor Aaron Eckhart said he’d like [cars] to be a little more business friendly. I bought this RangeRover and although it has all the phone accessories and everything, they have no place to put the phone or computer,; he said. There’s no place on the right side where the middle console is to even put a piece of paper and write .
Perhaps in between movies, Eckhart can work with car designers to reconfigure car interiors.