As an entrepreneur I need to stay productive when I travel.
When you’re CEO and Founder of a business, you’ll often be on the road traveling from place to place. It can be hard to stay productive when you travel for business. Since I’ve made many unproductive mistakes, I’ve learned some hacks and productive travel practices that work every time. Many hacks include finding the right tools for the road. I’ve incorporated virtual tools to help me stay in touch and keep a pulse on my business, even when I’m thousands of miles away. Productive travel is possible, in fact, with a plan and the right tools, you can run your business from anywhere.
Here are my top five Productive Travel picks for the small business owner!
My first and favorite tool for productive travel is everything Google. I fought the shift to Google for quite some time, but I’m so glad I finally did it a couple of years ago! With my back-office systems connected through Google apps, I’m really able to communicate with my entire team, check my email, update my calendar, make appointments and even download and make changes to documents even when I’m far away. The best part is that all my content, contacts and information is accessible by my phone, my tablet or iPad – no matter where I am, all I need is either Wi-Fi or a strong digital mobile connection, and I can get to almost everything I need.
A close second to Google apps is one of the best way to stay productive while on the road. My favorite project management app Asana! This tool is so incredibly dynamic. I use it to plan nearly every one of my projects, track the progress of my clients, communicate with my virtual assistants, share documents, images, and drafts, all without having to use email. It’s a relatively simple set up if you have some project management knowledge or experience. And even if you don’t assign a task, it really makes the user interface visual and easy to interpret. One of the other best parts is it is free for up to 15 team members. It’s a great solution for the start-up or solo/small business owner.
Talk about productive travel… if it weren’t for dropbox I might have been caught in a very precarious situation last week. In my scurried to get ready for a conference, between packing my personal belongings, items for my Expo booth, and handouts and giveaways, I somehow had neglected to put my flash drive into my briefcase. The problem with that scenario is that I was Keynote presenter for the half-day workshop at the conference. When I arrived in the presentation room, I realized that I didn’t have my presentation with me. Because I had loaded everything in Dropbox as a backup, all I needed was Wi-Fi access and within minutes I was able to download the entire presentation, complete with animation. Whew!
As my business grows, I rely much more heavily on systems for my webinars and to record coaching sessions. AnyMeeting allows me to plan both individual and recurring meetings, webinars, and conference calls. The reason it’s a great tool for productive travel is its live interface. It includes live chat, screen sharing, presentation slide sharing and video conferencing. All you need is a web/mobile camera and microphone. You can mute calls, host polls for attendees, and record everything. The database holds each recorded session indefinitely for later retrieval. The best feature is its affordable cost. Compared to many other web-conferencing systems out there any meeting is the perfect productive travel webinar solution for the solo or small business owner.
Before Google Drive, Dropbox and Asana, there was Evernote! This tool is an economically viable option. With Evernote, you can travel productively and avoid printing reams of reference materials. Evernote allows you to take screen captures and categorize any information you find in the cybersphere through tagging, notebooks, and categories. This tool makes it very easy to make travel time productive. You can research articles, blog, or do market research while you travel.
In conclusion, these five tools keep me happy and productive when I’m away from the office. (Here are some other ways to stay productive.) In addition to my laptop, I typically carry my iPad and Smart Phone! What a time-saver it is! I can do almost anything with it that I do with my other devices, as long as I have a good mobile data connection. But, the devices are only part of the puzzle – If I didn’t have these five apps locked and loaded and working around the clock for me behind the scenes, no fancy device in the world would help. When you get home, it’s a good idea to reset and rebalance.