Recently, I spent a few weeks on a small boat traveling the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers in Canada. At the same time I was very much involved in my AssistU Internship. In other words, I transferred my office on to the boat.
Here is what you need to do/have before you travel:
- Make sure your laptop’s batteries have a long life. If not, take an extra battery as you might not have a chance to charge it for a while. There is nothing more annoying than being in the middle of a task and having to shut down the computer because the battery is almost empty.
- Organize your day in advance and stick to the plan.
- Be flexible.
- While traveling from “A” to B” do not let yourself get too distracted by the scenery.
- Explore all Internet access venues before leaving home, and make sure you have the very best connection for the very best price possible.
- Write everything down in a spiral-bound notebook. You don’t want to jump into the water swimming after your papers.
- Make sure you have all material you might need on your laptop (I had forgotten to transfer some course notes onto the laptop. I needed them and had to work from memory.
- Make sure you have all your passwords stored in a safe place on your laptop.
- Take your external backup device and back up your data regularly – you never know what your laptop decides to do at any moment.
- Take your power surge protector and always attach your laptop’s charger cord to it.
- Take extra batteries for your mouse.
- Get a small portable printer for the odd print job that you might need to do while away.
- Take printing paper, and envelopes in case you need to send any documentation by snail mail.
- Set up your Skype/Google voice, or IM.
- Take a headset for any calls you make from your computer – it is difficult to have a conversation through the laptop’s mike and loudspeaker when there is lots of noise around you.
- Take some dryer sheets with you and add them to your laptop and printer cases – they will absorb the humidity. Also add some to your printer paper and envelopes.
Here is another lesson I learned:
I have always used Entourage (MACs equivalent to Outlook) for my email and project management. All of a sudden I found that receiving email was fine, but when it came to sending nothing worked, as the outgoing settings refer to an ISP outside your present whereabouts. I needed to change my outgoing settings according to the ISP used. This was quite frustrating. I am switching to web-based email and project management tool that allows me access from anywhere without the hassle of needing to change any settings.
And last but not least: If you’re traveling on your boat, get yourself some air fans that run on 12 volt.
These were my experiences. Have you had similar experiences and what would you add to the list? Please let me know.