7 essential products to help you work from a patio right now
Can we get a call-in number for that meeting?
Summer in Canada! Three months of longer, warmer days…glorious… and rare. Who wants to work when it's gorgeous outside? Enter the mobile office - everything you need for a day's work in your favourite shop, museum or beach. There are the basics, which you already have: a good laptop, phone and battery charger. But these are our favourite items, simple but essential, for getting the most out of an out-of-office work sesh. The sooner you finish that report, the sooner you can punch out and head to the pub. Oh wait…
If you need to meet deadlines, the Pomodoro method of hyper-focused un-interrupted work might be for you. Professor and author Erin Tolley likes the 25 Minutes app, as well, when she needs to focus on a task. Activate it and work until the timer buzzes. $1.69 for the ad-free version.
Tiny Scanner App
"Sometimes I have to send a fax or print a document; these can be the biggest challenge for me away from the office," says Robin Hammond, a Toronto lawyer. She uses Tiny Scanner to scan documents to PDF. $6.99. Available on Apple and Android.
Noisy surroundings can affect your ability to work so noise-cancelling headphones are a must. Bose is the best in-class according to CNet but the QuietComfort® 35 wireless headphones are very expensive at $350.If you're looking for something significantly cheaper, Sony has a serviceable pair for $49.99 Bestbuy.ca
Sometimes the touchscreen option on a tablet or phone isn't enough when you have to answer a ton of emails or work on a proposal. Enter the mobile keyboard and there are many options - roll-up, fold-up, compact and bluetooth-enabled. The Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard is one of most dynamic options; it works with most devices and the iOS and Android operation systems. $55 Amazon.ca
Yes, your phone has a voice recorder but when you're conducting an interview (or recording that brilliant idea!), you want a recorder that minimizes background noises and focuses on the speaker. There are many options out there but we went with the Olympus Digital Voice Recorder WS-853 because it has a whopping 110 hours of recording time. It runs on three AAA batteries so you don't have to worry about charging it every night. $92.35 Amazon.ca or $98.99 BestBuy.ca
Microsoft Office 365, OpenOffice and Google Docs
These tools may seem obvious but if you're starting a mobile office, they are life-changing for storage and collaboration with clients or team members. No more storing files on your hard drive and emailing them. Instead, it's all about storing everything in the cloud and instant collaboration on projects. We're grouping these together because they offer similar products: cloud/server-based email, word processor and spreadsheet software.. Free-$15.20 per month.
A backpack is the best way to carry your mobile office — it's better for your back than a shoulder bag. There are a ton of options out there: mO851's Urban Backpack for an eye-watering $540 and Everlane's Nylon Square Backpack for $58 (US) but we like Herschel's Settlement Backpack. It's big enough to carry a 15-inch laptop and sleek enough to go from the conference room to the coffee table. $64.99 Herschelsupply.ca