Every once and a while you do have to pack things up and head out of the home office to a far away destination. Whether it’s for vacation, road trip, business trip, or a day at the café. There are certain important things that you might never want to leave home without. Here is a list:
Laptop – this is a given, and a must. Never ever leave home without your trusty laptop; you never know when you might have to work on something important. Things pop up all the time, and just because you’re on “vacation”, doesn’t always mean you’re on vacation from your web working career. Not like you want to be anyway.
Mobile Device – Having a phone or handheld with you at all times that accepts both emails and sms is a great addition to your web worker bag. This allows you to stay on top of all new developments, and always be in touch with your operations. A Blackberry is great, but maybe not always necessary. Google’s latest release of the Gmail mobile application pulls in email to Motorola’s and Nokia’s with ease.
Pen and paper – Nothing is easier than pulling out a pen and pad of paper to jot notes or thoughts down. Especially if you’re on a plane, or really don’t feel like unpacking your laptop gear. It’s a quick and easy solution for getting your thoughts out. Try a notebook with a hard cover so your notes don’t get crinkled. Remember to carry an extra few of your favorite pens, and a pencil just incase.
iPod – Not only is it great for passing the time, but it is also a great way to stay up to date with the latest podcasts. The iPod can also be used as a portable hard drive to store files and backups, or items that you might have to work on when you are on the road.
Portable Storage device – Keep this on your person at all times. You can use this as your backup tool. This can be used as a backup for any projects that you have worked on while on your journey. If your laptop gets held up for some reason at the airport, or bumped the wrong way, you wouldn’t want to loose all of your new data would you. An iPod works well, but you can also utilize a flash memory key, or a small external drive depending on the typical file sizes you deal with.
12-volt adapter – This handy little device ensures that you have power when you’re on the road. The device plugs straight into your automobiles “cigarette lighter/ 12 volt power outlet” so that you can plug in standard household items like your laptop. The 12 volt adapter replaces a ton of other adapters, and they are great to keep juices flowing to your devices. There are even some units on the market that have the ability to plug in and charge USB2 devices like iPods.
Wifi locater – If you’re on the road, you might want to hook up to a wireless signal. Being new to the area, you might not know where the best connection is, that’s where the locator comes into play. If you don’t have one, you might end up walking around aimlessly with your laptop open looking for a signal. Now whether the signals are open or not is a different story.
Reading material – You never know when a flight or train might be cancelled or delayed. Or a conference starts later than expected. Or you just want to kick back and relax with a good old fashioned book or magazine. Pack a few.
Cords and Cables – Every once and a while you seem to forget the most important data or power cable, and run out of juice. Ok, maybe it’s just me? Double check you have all the necessary cables and cords you need for all of your devices. Don’t worry, its 2006, and hopefully by 2010 we won’t ever need those pesky things again. Then again, we were supposed to have flying cars by 2001 weren’t we?
The Web Worker bag – Last but not least, the thread that holds all of our important information together, the bag, sack, backpack, portfolio, wheeled luggage thing. The main features of a workable bag for the traveling web worker should be comfort, style, security, and tons of pockets. The bag has to be comfortable since you will be lugging it around with all of your devices inside.
Of course it has to have a little style as well. Most of all it has to be able to protect your devices, and have enough room and places inside to organize your materials. Since your babies will be carried inside, there has to be adequate padding in case the dreaded “dropping” occurs. Wouldn’t want to cause any damage to your business tools, would you. Having locks on the bag is totally up to you. It’s not like the bag will ever leave your side, I hope. Adequate storage for all of your devices is high on the list. It’s good if you are able to pack them all up so they are all within easy access, without having to shuffle too much around. Which might not be possible during cramped flights.
There you have it. A list of the top priority items web workers might want to think about packing for their next journey. Is there anything important I’m missing here that you find useful when you are off on a business, vacation, or cafe trip?
UPDATE 12/19/06: One of our readers, Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, wrote a post the day before this one was published called 10 items you NEED to pack as a Mobile Worker. It specifically mentioned Web Worker Daily and said this was the sort of post Boris would like to read here. Chris had this post in the works for a while and didn’t know about Boris’ post. When Chris published it, I failed to tell him about Boris’ post even though I was aware the posts were very similar. We apologize to Boris and want to tell the WWD community that we believe in giving credit for all the good ideas you have. There will of course be situations where we write similar things to you without knowledge of what you’ve written. So please let us know, like Boris did, when it seems we have not properly credited you. Feel free to contact me directly (anne-dot-zelenka AT gmail) if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks. – Anne Zelenka, Lead Writer, Web Worker Daily