Today’s work environment can call for continually being on-the-go. If you have a job where you have to travel to meet clients regularly, it is easy to feel as if you have lost control of your mobile office organization.
Through 2016, approximately 1.38 million business trips occurred each day, and 74 percent of workers travel less than 250 miles from home. So, whether you are flying, driving, or walking, keeping yourself organized is paramount. It reduces stress and allows you to maintain your professionalism comfortably. Read on for six tips to keep your mobile office organized.
Step 1: Get Rid of the Paper
You are on your way to your next meeting, and you remember that you have to search through your laptop bag for your agenda talking points. Unfortunately, after grabbing your coffee, you stuffed it in your bag because you were in a hurry. Using loose paper and post-it notes guarantee you will have difficulty finding what you need when you need it. Plus you run the risk of spilling hot coffee all over while digging through your bag.
It is a lot easier to use a digital program to organize all your notes and documents. Applications like Evernote, Wunderlist, OneNote, and even Google Docs can help you keep all your records organized. These apps also allow you to share them with clients and co-workers on the spot.
Step 2: Invest in Organizational Tools
Many of us only like to think of our laptops when we work on-the-go. While this will likely be your most important tool, you still have to think of where to put your phone, office supplies — pens, flash drives, chargers, and mini staplers — and any other devices you may need.
It sounds basic, but it makes sense to invest in an organizer bag or organizer insert that can be placed in a laptop bag that allows you to keep track of all loose items. These are effective as it ensures everything has a place, and you know exactly where to find it when you need it.
Digitally, you’ll want to make sure that you have access to all the right contact information at the right time. Use a customer relationship management tool built with mobile capabilities to make sure that you know whether you’re meeting with John Smith at Jonestown Enterprises or Joan Smith at Johnston Corp. These tools can help you with reminders and updates, and even stay in touch with your non-mobile team back at the office.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Digital Files Are in Order
Nothing is worse than trying to work on a project only to find that your files are strewn all over Dropbox, Google Docs, and your personal computer drive. So, take the time to organize your files for easy finds.
Come up with a naming convention that is specific to your project or clients.
Never leave your files loose, always put them in a folder with related materials.
Invest in a program that allows you to search through your personal and cloud-based drives for easy access to files.
It is easy to become overwhelmed when dozens of unorganized files are in front of you, and you cannot remember where you saved your most recent work. Prevent this by making a practice of utilizing the steps above for quick access.
Step 4: Only Focus on the Important Things
Remember, you are on-the-go and do not have space or time to carry everything. Only bring along the essentials:
A flash drive (never hurts to have an extra one just in case)
A mobile hotspot
A minimal amount of office supplies
Step 5: Use a Digital Calendar
There is nothing wrong with using a paper planner because some of us enjoying writing down our tasks and checking them off as we go along. However, it always makes sense to have a backup method for monitoring your assignments, to-do lists, and contacts in case you lose or damage your planner.
Luckily, there are quite a few free options for taking a month or year-long look at your schedule. Google Calendar and Asana are excellent free tools that allow you to keep track of your daily tasks, add events, and even share your schedule with others. Planners are useful, but having a digital calendar means one less thing to carry.
Step 6: Use Your Smartphone Whenever Possible
That little minicomputer can do wonders for keeping life organized while on-the-go. Many apps will keep you from getting overwhelmed, and prevent you from forgetting essential tasks:
Working on-the-go can feel stressful at times. You never feel settled, and you likely have this nagging suspicion that you are forgetting something. However, there are hacks to use that can make your mobile office work for you.
Technology is vital here, but it also helps to have a plan stating what you need, why you need it, and where you can store it. If you practice intentionality as you plan your on-the-go work day, you are well on your way to having an organized mobile office.
About the Author: Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field, and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.