Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure—or simply working at a local coffee shop—you’ll occasionally need to run your business from somewhere other than your office. What technologies can help make managing your business remotely more productive and less hasslesome?
Here are seven technologies to check out:
- Note-taking/organizing app
When on the go, it can be harder to keep yourself organized and jot down notes. Apps like Evernote, Google Keep and Bear make it easy for you to take notes and create task lists wherever you happen to be, while accessing those notes across multiple devices—including smartphone, tablet computer or laptop. Many note-taking apps are free and let you record audio and store information you clip from emails and websites. Eric Hobbs, CEO of Technology Associates, a business technology consulting firm in Cary, North Carolina, uses Evernote extensively when traveling. “One thing you can do is tag your to-do items based on location,” he says. “So I have things that are tagged at home or in the office, and I can easily pull up those individual lists wherever I need them.”
If you’ll be working from a hotel or coffee shop with public Wi-Fi, you can protect your business data by creating a secure connection using a virtual private network (VPN). It essentially hides your IP address and shields your browsing activity from people who might be tempted to snoop. ExpressVPN, NordVPN and IPVanish are three VPN services to consider. Pricing generally ranges from $3 to $10 per month.
- Project management app
The ability to keep all of your various project-related tasks and assets organized in one place is more valuable than ever when you’re traveling. Project management such as Monday.com, Basecamp or Trello provide a one-stop place for you and employees to organize and collaborate on various projects.
- Team chat and video calling app
Responding to emails can bog you down when you’re traveling. Consider getting a communication tool such as Slack, Google Hangouts Chat (available to Google’s G Suite customers at no additional cost) or Flock that allows you to more quickly ping your employees or respond to their questions. Many include video calling. Pricing varies widely depending on features provided, but some offer a limited free version for small teams.
- Phone and voicemail tools
Your phone and voicemail system should offer you features that give you flexibility to work from wherever without missing important calls, and to easily manage your voicemails. Spectrum Business Phone, for example, offers call forwarding and “voicemail to email”—allowing business owners to access calls and messages directly from home or when they’re on the road.
- File management app
If you’re working while traveling, at some point you’ll likely need to access and collaborate on various types of documents, whether word-processing files or PowerPoints. A cloud-based file management tool such as Dropbox or Google Drive (available for teams through G Suite) lets you more quickly share and collaborate on files when working remotely, while also controlling access to those files.
- Mobile apps for your key tech solutions
Most popular business tools today, from customer relationship management (CRM) software to data analytics to accounting programs, offer mobile apps that allow you to use those programs from your smartphone or tablet. Make sure you have the apps you’ll need while away from the office pre-downloaded on your devices.
Modern technology has made managing a business on-the-go and responding to customers’ needs easier than ever before. But you’ll save time—and potentially agony—by having the right technologies ready to go before you leave.Print this article