Setting up a mobile office

wireless-folding-mouseA few weeks ago Corporette posted a great article about setting up a home office. As someone who works from home when I’m not traveling, I thought it was spot on. For a long time I didn’t have space for a separate office, I literally worked sitting on my bed. It was not ideal! We moved recently, and I finally have a dedicated office. It has been amazing, to say the least. Of course it was fine before, but being able to sit at a desk, in a comfortable chair, and close the door when I am done working has been amazing.

I think it’s the same for business travelers and their mobile offices. Of course you can sit down and open your laptop virtually anywhere, and it will work. But there are small things you can keep with you that will make your mobile office more functional and comfortable. Here are my suggestions.

A wireless mouse. Yes, I know. People don’t need a separate mouse these days, they just use the one built into their laptop. But in my experience an external wireless mouse offers more control and is just more comfortable to use. It also makes a “temporary” office feel more real.

Bluetooth headset. I use my earbuds when I have to, but my bluetooth headset is ideal for having meetings on the go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned my head wrong and yanked my earbuds out of my ears in the middle of a meeting.

The right travel bag. Organization is key when you’re on the road, and the right travel bag is comfortable to carry and has a designated place for your laptop and other office gear. Multiple internal pockets are best, as well as a padded laptop space and enough room for files and folders.

Case for supplies and electronics. I like to keep my chargers in a pocket of my travel purse, but I have a small bag for my office supplies, including sticky notes, pens, binder clips, and a small notepad. I have another bag for the electronics listed here.

The extras. A few small extra items help round  out my mobile office. A portable charger is key for powering up my phone at the airport after a long work day. (I keep a multi-prong charging cable in there too, in case I need to charge something besides my phone.) There are also two or three flash drives in my purse.

Readers, what do you use to set up your mobile office?

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