It is rare that I have time to actually sit at my desk, so I have to be able to be productive from anywhere. For example, I am writing this on my iPad as I sit outside of a courtroom waiting on my case to be called.
Thanks to modern technology, a flexible schedule, and work life integration, it’s necessary for solopreneurs to be able to work away from the office.
But working away from your office can be detrimental to your productivity if you are not prepared. This guide will show you some tips I’ve learned that have allowed me to work from planes, trains, buses, coffee shops, beaches, or pretty much anywhere that is not my office, without skipping a beat.
Planning is crucial when it comes to being productive from anywhere. The first step is knowing exactly what you will be working on to know what you need to have with you.
Knowing what needs to be accomplished will help you be prepared for random downtime when you can squeeze in a little productivity and keeps you from surfing the web instead of focusing on important tasks.
Laptop/Tablet- I like to keep my bag as lightweight as possible so I hate lugging around my Macbook. Ever since I got this iPad keyboard/case/stand combo from Amazon, I’m able to work with just iPad when I’m on the go.
Storage – One way to ensure you always have the files you need is to backup all of your files to the cloud. I use a combination of MyCase case management software, Google Drive, and DropBox. Cloud storage is required if you work from multiple devices.
Power– It’s not always easy to find a power outlet when you are working on the go. To be productive from anywhere, you need to have portable power. I have two of these portable chargers from Amazon that keep my phone and iPad charged no matter where I am.
Scanner (App)-I have a paperless office, so I often need a scanner. I don’t like to carry a lot of stuff, so even portable scanners are too much. I’ve found apps to be an effective way to scan documents on the go. The Google Drive and Evernote apps both have scanning functions, but there are also hundreds of decent free scanner apps on iTunes and Google Play.
Earphones – For listening to music or to discourage people from disturbing you.
Buy wireless WiFi –This is such a great investment for two reasons. One it’s great to have internet anywhere including the subway, park or beach. And having your own secure connection is much safer than relying on sketchy public WiFi.
You can be productive from anywhere without carrying your entire office with you at all times. Packing lite and ensuring you have all of your necessary equipment is key to effectively working on the go.
Start with the right bag. Choose something stylish and functional that is just large enough to hold what you need. If you choose something too big, you’ll inevitably fill it up.
Only carry what you need. Do you really need five pens? Are you carrying files from last week? Pare down to the essentials.
Group like items together and use smaller compartments or bags. I keep all my chargers together in a little bag and keep pens in a small compartment. I use a small wristlet for my wallet, keys and phone, that I slip into my briefcase.
If you’re stuck using sketchy coffee shop WiFi, be sure to use extra precautions. Look out for fake WiFi networks and never share sensitive information over public networks.
Install firewall software as a first level of defense against malware attacks.
Make sure your laptop and phone have passwords and never leave them unattended in a public space. I had a friend who was working at a coffee shop and left her Macbook at the table when she went to order more coffee. Someone came in, grabbed it, and ran away before anyone could do anything.
By applying these tips you can be productive from anywhere in no time.
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