By Laura Stack
1. Use a Thumb Drive (just in case …)
It’s tiny, inexpensive, and in a pinch, just might save your career. These little gadgets can go right on your keychain, or for the truly paranoid, around your neck for safekeeping. You can use it as an emergency backup for files essential to your trip. If your laptop is stolen, your battery is fried, or you come face to face with the blue screen of death, you’ll have a backup of your files; like that presentation you came so far to deliver. I had a computer refuse to start up once, but I was immediately able to upload my PowerPoint presentation to the client’s laptop and carry on.
2. Simplify with a Docking Station
Do you find yourself transferring files between a desktop computer and your laptop when you need to travel or bring work home? This was one of the biggest frustrations and wastes of time for me for many years. Unless your work requires some serious computer resources (I’m talking way beyond Microsoft Office here), you can probably stop using that desktop machine altogether (I use a Sony VAIO). A docking station means you’ll be able to keep your nice big monitor and full-size keyboard, but still be able to pop your computer out of the dock and slip it into your laptop bag and have all your files in one place. It really is the best of both worlds.
3. Access Your Computer Remotely
If taking your computer with you isn’t an option, consider setting up remote access. Some companies provide this through a virtual network. Otherwise, similar technology is available through sites like www.gotomypc.com. As long as you have internet access, you’ll have access to the files and programs on your computer. Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to operate your PC just as if it were right in front of you.
4. Load Up a Phone Card
Hotel telephone fees can be outrageous and cell phone service can leave you hanging when you least expect it. I’ve often not had reception from my hotel room, couldn’t get an internet connection (to use Skype), and had to use the land line. Get a prepaid phone card or calling card service so you can make calls from your room without racking up
phone charges or wandering around the parking lot searching for a signal.
Since 1992, Laura Stack has presented keynotes and seminars that help leaders, teams, and individuals achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. As the President of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., she has implemented productivity-improvement programs at companies such as Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, and Bank of America, as well as government agencies and national associations. She is the bestselling author of four books and has been a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, Xerox, and Office Depot. Laura is the 2011-2012 president of the National Speakers Association. To have Laura speak at your next event, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com.