Fast – you need to know the basics to get out and work on the go. Here are easy things you’ll want and need to be able to roam and get your job done.
A Stylish Laptop Bag. And Simple Shoes.
A matter of practicality and style – when you go out to work and network in your local workspace or cafe, you should look decent, with function and protecting your laptop in mind.
There are so many options to pick from — sporty, feminine, or whatever.
I can’t resist borrowing my husband’s Adidas gym bag with built-in laptop case and pairing it with matching flips flops. Yes, mine to the left have really gotten a lot of use and are near the day of their funeral. But the matching casual gear is cool. When I wear it I feel relaxed but put together. That feeling is motivating.
Some people are boycotting Nike right now and if you’re one of them you can opt for Jansport, but either way, both companies make really cool backpacks with a laptop pouch. They aren’t the only ones, and there are few other name brands, lots of styles and colors to choose from within price range of $50-$100.
Or if you want to fly out the door and are feeling particularly spunky, throw all of your work stuff into a huge but sturdy tote with a neutral pair of shoes to look put together without making too much effort or having to leave anything behind.
An Up-To-Date Cell Phone
Besides wanting to look stylish as you work and wander, you’ll want to get as much done as possible and you won’t be able to pull out your laptop everywhere you go. Being able to access all of your work apps on your cell phone will make you so much more productive so that you can complete simple tasks right away and not have to wait until you’re sitting down.
For example, at any given time, I might need to have the following apps going all at once:
- Slack (To stay in touch with co-workers)
- FB Messenger (To be accessible to immediate family, but I use Lite to reduce battery and memory consumption)
- Mobile CRM – Usually I’m on 1 or 2 at any given time
- A dedicated VOIP system app
If your phone doesn’t have an adequate processor, it’ll crash when you have a lot of apps open or try to run larger ones alone. Here’s a link to a simple article on this subject that covers knowing what you need in a cell phone from a technological standpoint in a simple to understand way. You can focus on the sections labeled Good Performance, Up-to-date OS, Bloatware, Battery Life, and Storage to start.
Of course, you’ll need to give yourself a break from work from time to time. When you do, you can turn off your app notifications so that your cell phone doesn’t end up driving you mad.
Hotspot or Wireless Cards
I love work cafes, but when I go to them, I am extremely wary of open WiFi.
Many cell phone providers provide hotspot service at a good price; mine is only $5.00 in addition to my plan. I have MetroPCS because I’m frugal and a commitment-phobe when it comes to cell phone contracts. My hotspot connection and speed is decent most of the time, but there are some random places where it barely works at all.
If travelling internationally for extended periods of time and you’ll be out of range from your usual internet service provider(s), you can usually buy a WiFi USB locally for less than $25 so that you have a private and more stable connection.
There have been times that I have not been able to avoid using open WiFi, for example when I have been in international airports. I wouldn’t buy a WiFi card in a country I’ll only spend few hours in, but still have wanted to check in at work.
This is where VPN comes in handy. This is about the only occasion I’ll use open WiFi but I will also log into my VPN service for a more secure and private connection. It’s not 100% foolproof against hackers, but it adds an extra layer of security.
VPN also helps if you need to access a website that isn’t available in the country you’re in. For example while abroad, I needed to make VOIP calls but the ports to upload audio were blocked so no one could hear me when I dialed out. I used VPN to log into a server from another country and voila! I was back in business.
Logging in to VPN can present a challenge because it usually means you’re logged into more than 1 server at a time and this can affect your speed or cause your connection to drop occasionally. You can expect to try a number of different services until you find the right one. I’ve tried two and was able to use ExpressVPN for an extended period of time without too many issues.
Earbuds (not a headset, although you need that too)
I don’t suggest plowing through your whole call list while working on the go – that could get really obnoxious for the people around you. But for the odd call here and there, or if you want to get lost in your music during a beast mode productivity session, you should have earbuds.
I’m not talking about anything high tech. This is more of a comfort item.
You can spend $10 (just make sure they at least have a mic on them) and they’ll serve their purpose. But if you’re going to work when you’re out and about, don’t leave home without them.
What are your must-have basics for running around and working? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading!