I have been traveling more than usual lately and working remotely. A wonderful thing about working for myself and the ease of staying connected these days, is that my business keeps running smoothly and unless I want them to, my clients don’t even know I am out of town (and it doesn’t matter anyway).
I am very attached to my connected tools, and take pride in being very responsive. So when traveling, I have found some awesome tools to make my time away as productive (and sometimes more productive!) than I am when I am in my office.
Working Remotely with Cordless Phone Chargers
The hardest thing about traveling is the potential to run out of power on your laptop and phone. Having a USB cord and plug for your phone, as well as your laptop or tablet cord handy is important. I am attentive to plugging in wherever possible, keeping my devices at 100% as often as I can. At most airports, it is easy to find an outlet or power station. Plug in your computer and then use a USB cord to charge your phone from your computer. Carry a fully charged portable cordless phone charger like one of these, and be sure to remember to recharge that when you are settled somewhere and have access to power.
Find Wifi or Tether your Phone
Many tasks require internet – communicating via email, Slack or Skype can’t happen off line. Search for free Wifi in airports, hotels and restaurants. My T-Mobile phone plan also allows me to easily connect my laptop to my phone’s LTE internet connection without incurring extra charges.
I have recently purchased Wifi in the air using GoGoInternet. For $5 you can have 30 minutes of internet or for $10 internet for the whole flight. If you are able to get some work done using the internet on a plane, this is a justifiable business expense – especially if it allows you are travelling for pleasure and finishing work before you land at your destination allows you to enjoy yourself wherever you are going! Be sure to be careful about keeping your sensitive information secure on public, open wifi.
I store all of my files – I mean ALL of them – in Dropbox. Using the Dropbox App and syncing files means I can always have access to every file I could ever need, on any device. Because files are stored in Dropbox and on my computer, I can access the files I want whether I am online of offline. This can also be a problem if you have a lot of files and limited storage on your computer. I have about 160 GB of content/files in my Dropbox, which would not fit on my laptop. The solution to this is to open the Dropbox App on your computer and select Preferences>Account. Here you can select which folders you want to sync from your computer to your Dropbox.
Use Google Drive
Google Drive is a great way to collaborate on documents with others, without having multiple versions, which can get confusing. I have created OnBoarding documents for clients which I can share with them as well as team members. For things like keeping track of where clients have sites hosted, what plugins are installed on each site and which sites I am tracking, a Google Doc is a dynamic tool for client management. A bonus is that all revisions are tracked, so you can be assured information will not be lost and changes can be reversed.
Use Last Pass
Passwords are a necessary evil! It’s not safe to use something that is necessarily easy to remember or type. I have over ___ passwords to keep track of! Thankfully, I use LastPass. This tool keeps my passwords all in one place in the Cloud, so I can access them from anywhere. If I am logged into Google, I can activate the Last Pass Extension, which will auto fill usernames and passwords saved in the Cloud whenever I go to a site I have saved there. When on my phone (iOS), using the Last Pass App, it is super easy to access the app with touch ID, and then can quickly search for the site I am looking for and either copy the password wit one click or even launch the site from the Last Pass App.
Use Desktop Server
For website development, my favorite tool is Desktop Server. It allows me to pull an export of a site and create a local copy of it, and then work on it offline – perfect way to be productive editing a theme or site while on a plane. I have a system in place where I can work on a site locally on my desktop computer, and then when I know I will be travelling and using my laptop for a few days, I export the site and import it to my laptop. When I return, I reverser the process and am up and running on my desktop with the most recent version of the site in minutes.
All of these tools and tips make it easy to work from anywhere and be productive, allowing you to travel, visit family and friends and take a break. Some people may prefer to leave their work behind, but for me, it is a comfort to know I can make the most of downtime and service my clients when they need me.