I often blog about mobile working, and recently I again found myself working whilst away. There are simple steps I take to make my mobile working easier, and I thought I would share some of them in this blog post.
Usually when people think of working indoors when travelling, they think of road warriors working in hotels, hostels, B&Bs or outside at a bench. However I often find myself in none of those locations for the bulk of a day, and on this occasion I was in a relative’s house.
Even though I spent much of last summer working outdoors, in this blog post I am covering indoor working, but much of below is applicable to outdoor working as well, which I’ve covered before on this blog. At some stage in the next few weeks, I will blog again about outdoor working.
Give me the power!
I already knew I was going to have easy access to a power socket on my recent trip, but before I departed I had already charged up a laptop battery, just in case I wanted to move around with the laptop (which I did).
When the power situation is uncertain I will usually have more than two laptop batteries with me. I also have a couple of ‘profiles’ for power usage, to make sure I can squeeze more out of the batteries. Turning down processor speed and laptop brightness can add crucial minutes to my battery life.
- Make sure you have a backup power source.
- Already have different power usage profiles configured beforehand.
Usually I carry around my durable ‘lap-it’ lapdesk, which means I can work when sitting at a bench, on a bed or just sat on the ground. I’m not sure if lap-it’s are even made any more, but this lapdesk has been critical to my mobile working.
However on my recent trip, I had access to a small table and chair, which I positioned near a window to enjoy a lovely view.
- If you don’t know the location well, have a secondary work area plan. i.e. lapdesk, dressing table etc.
I don’t carry around a notebook full of passwords, but neither are my passwords easy to remember. I use complex passwords, and store them in an encrypted file using the KeePass software. This software not only enables me to store my passwords on my laptop, but also means I can quickly paste my password and move on.
- Don’t carry around a password book.
- Use complex passwords.
On my recent trip I had access to a strong wifi connection, but often I don’t need any internet access or will use a connection via my mobile phone. I use a ‘Pay As You Go’, aka PAYG mobile phone, and make sure I keep my usage down to a minimum.
I always make sure my mobile phone has been charged up before leaving, and even if I don’t intend on using the phone for internet access, I take a cable just in case I need an internet connection, and also to charge the phone.
- Don’t rely on wifi access and have a secondary means of internet access if possible.
- If using a mobile phone, make sure you have the means to charge it up.
On this location I needed to share documents and photos with others, and rather than emailing them, I just placed them in a shared Dropbox folder.
- You don’t have to rely on email, usb drives or network shares to share important documents and photos.
I could write more, but I’ve covered how I made working at a mobile location easier on my recent trip.
Please expect further blog posts on the topic of mobile working.