Being productive at work is one thing, but how do you stay productive while traveling and on the go? There are lots of great apps out there to help you stay on top of things at your desk, but what apps will you need to use while you are out traveling? Here is our list of the best apps to keep you productive while traveling and working.
First and foremost, let’s make sure your phone is secure. Making sure your phone is protected against viruses is important, but safeguarding it for theft is also vital. If someone get’s a hold of your phone either through theft or malware/viruses, it is important to have options that can safeguard your data in one way or another.
Lookout has your back when it comes to mobile security on iPhones and Android devices. You can use Lookout to track and find your phone, send a message to the person who found your phone, set off an alarm, and you can even have it call your selected friends. On Android you can also use it to back up your files and protect your phone from viruses and other malware.
Prey is an easy to use anti-theft protection app. You can easily track down your phone using the GPS, helping you find a lost or stolen phone.
Keeping track of your tasks and to do’s is vital while working remotely. As you are moving around from place to place or are even just outside of your normal office, you will need to make sure that you have access to your tasks on your mobile device as well as your work computer, so apps that are supported across various operating systems and offer syncing are the best bet.
Wunderlist is a great, easy, and beautiful way to keep all of your tasks organized in one place. It offers apps for almost every desktop or smartphone environment, so having access to your apps no matter what device you are using is possible.
If you have a Google email address, this might be the easiest task management solution for you. It sits nicely inside of your Gmail interface in addition to having apps available on Android and iOS. If you don’t like the default mobile applications don’t fear, there is a plethora of prettier looking apps that integrate well with Gtasks.
2Do is an amazing looking and highly functional to do list application. The tabbed interface gives you lots of control over your task organization, the easy drag and drop to calendar makes it simple to schedule tasks to dates, you tag your tasks for even easier sorting, and so much more can be done with this amazing and beautiful app.
Any.do takes a minimalistic approach to its interface and design. The app easily integrates with Google tasks for simple syncing, along with a ton of other task services. You can enter in tasks simply by speaking them and then easily arrange them with drag and drop gestures. After you have made your tasks, you can easily share them with whoever you need to.
Habit Factor can help you out on your trip by turning your daily habits or repeating tasks into a sort of game. When you complete your habit or task for the day you get a streak mark on your calendar, don’t miss a day to keep the streak going!
Do it (tomorrow)
Do it tomorrow is the ultimate to do list for the procrastinator. The interface is simple in that it only lets you create tasks for today and tomorrow. This can help you stay focused on the immediate tasks that you have on hand, whatever you don’t finish at the end of the day becomes your to do for tomorrow. This can be very handy while traveling productively, as your schedule will probably be a little crazy and you can simply move uncompleted tasks to the next day.
Time Tracking and Billing
We all like to get paid, it’s what makes the world go around. So how do you make sure that you are still getting paid and keeping track of things while on the go? Use these great apps to track time and to invoice your company or your company’s clients. Be sure to check your app store, as there are a lot of other great options that are only available on Android or only on iOS.
This app lets you easily create and send invoices. Choose from over 20 different styles and templates to use, which you can further customize with your logo and more on the desktop software.
Zoho Invoice is another great option for invoicing. You can use and customize pre built templates to make sure that your invoices look good without needed to be a designer. You can also track your time in this app, keep track of unpaid invoices and send auto reminders, use it globally, and accept payments online!
This is the powerful mobile friendly version of the desktop software. It allows you to create, track, and send invoices, manage customers, create estimates, notify you when customers are calling (Android), and many more tools that will help you stay on top of CRM and business accounting while on the go.
This amazingly helpful little app is essentially a glorified calculator for your business. Instead of pulling up your calculator, trying to remember all of the exact numbers, and worrying about if you entered the numbers in the proper order you can use this handy little app to have all of the automated for you. It makes getting an accurate estimate to your potential client both quick and easy.
Getting clients and customers to want to pay you is hard enough, so don’t make the buying process any more difficult for either one of you by making sure that you can accept credit cards, no matter where you are.
Square was a game changer when it comes to mobile payments. They introduced the world’s first mobile credit card payment app and hardware so that real people can accept credit cards safely, no matter where they are. This can help you take customers from leads and potential clients and turn them into paying customers in the swipe of a card. Get customers paid up on the spot, no matter where you go.
Intuit GoPayment is a similar option to square but it is brought to us by the same people that make Quickbooks. Aside from the potentially smaller interest rate that is collected, the other big reason to use this mobile payment system is because of the easy integration with Quickbooks. If you use Quickbooks for your business accounting then this app is a no-brainer for the mobile entrepreneur.
If you use PayPal, you will need this app. You can send money, request money, manage your account, find local places that accept PayPal, deposit checks with your camera, and more. It’s the power of PayPal with a few bonus features all wrapped into one powerful app.
This is the simplified version of the PayPal app that is meant for using their mobile card reader (similar to Square or Intuit GoPayments’ card readers). It’s a great option for those who heavily rely on PayPal and are looking for a mobile payment option.
While working on the go, money might be the last thing you have time to keep track of. These tools help make your life easier by making the process more automated so that you aren’t wasting precious moments trying to figure out if you have enough money left in your budget to do them in the first place.
If you haven’t heard about Mint, you are really missing out. Mint makes managing your money a pleasant experience by automating many of the tedious tasks and giving you a beautiful interface that is as easy to use as it is good looking. Mint pulls all of your accounts together in one place and helps you know when you have gone over budget in various product categories that you can specify, the perfect tool for making sure you are staying within budget on your trips.
Concur is an excellent service that was designed for the mobile entrepreneur. You can easily track your spending and expenses while on a business trip to easily get reimbursed by your company. There is a paid service that is required to use this app, but you can check out the free trial to get started and see if Concur works for you.
File Syncing and Sharing
While on the go is almost certain that you will be working on files and then need to send them out to the right people. Email can work decent, but what about when you need access to files quickly from your phone or there are just too many files to even think about sending over email? That’s where these great apps step in to save the day.
Dropbox set the standard when it comes to file syncing, and now they offer file sharing that is just as simple and easy to use as the rest of the application.
In addition to the entire suite of office applications in the cloud, Google also offers file syncing similar to Dropbox. The free file storage is no longer limited to just Google Docs, you can upload and share all the file types that you will need. They up the ante by offering more free initial storage space than Dropbox. Overall, drive is a great option if you are a Google user.
This app plays a different role in sharing content. If you want to send something to directly to the people around you, open up this app and you can easily share media and other files between devices. It is designed to feel like using NFC, but without actually needing NFC technology on your phone.
This app doesn’t directly share files, but it is definitely worth mentioning. This app lets you easily snap a few pictures and then create a PDF file out of those images. This can be great for working on the go when you don’t have access to a scanner.
Having access to office documents on the go is a must in todays world if we are to stay productive while traveling. Not having access to view or edit these files that are used almost exclusively in the business world could be a huge set back for your productivity. That is where these apps come into play, gone are the days when working with office documents was exclusively for the traditional computer.
This app can do wonders for your productivity while traveling. How many times have you received a MS Word file or an Excel Spreadsheet from a client that you couldn’t view on your phone? Waiting until you get back to your computer to view the file is a huge disadvantage for the mobile worker. With this app you don’t have to wait because you can view and edit Microsoft Office files directly on your phone or tablet. Wow your clients and customers by showing them a little presentation from your phone or tablet or show them some data that backs up your argument to win the deal. Having an app that can handle Microsoft’s file formats on your phone can be a huge advantage to staying productive while traveling.
Documents to go
If you are looking for a free solution and you only really need to view Microsoft Office files, this app is for you. Without the ability to be able to edit MS Office files, you are a little bit limited with what you can do, but at least you can view and show files to clients/customers while you work out of the office.
Communication & Social Media
Staying in touch with the people that you need and being able to access and share things on your social networks is probably vital to what you do. Being on the road is no excuse for being disconnected with the power of these social communication tools that help boost your productivity.
Skype is one great tool for business, letting you chat with audio and/or video, send files, share screens, and more on the desktop client. Stay in touch with the mobile version of the software, use it for chat or even video chatting if you have a front facing camera.
While Google chat may not be the best looking app available, it is quite functional. If all of your contacts are stored in your Google account, you essentially can’t live without this app.
Google Chat is built in on Android, search for the app named “Talk”
IMO Instant Messaging
IMO instant messenger is a great app to use because it not another chat service, but a service that pulls all of your chat services into one place so that you can more easily connect with and chat with the people you need to be talking to without having to constantly switch between applications.
Hootsuite is the beesneez when it comes to social media management software. This powerful web and smartphone app will transform the way you do social media. You need it while you travel because it pulls almost all of your social channels right into one app and even lets you schedule updates for a later time. This is only scratching the surface on what this app is capable of, so be sure to check out their site for more details.
You never know when that eurika moment will hit you, so you should always be prepared. That’s where note taking apps come into play. Getting a note application is one thing, but making sure that it all syncs to the web and that you can access it again later (like when you return to the hotel room later that day, or even for when you get back to your office) is vital if you are to stay productive while traveling. If you are going to take notes, it makes sense to make sure that is easy to do while at the same time being extensive and thorough enough to make sure that you will know what the notes mean when you come back to them later on.
Evernote is probably the most well known note taking software out there. You can take notes and keep them super organized with ease. Take standard notes, web clippings, and almost anything else you can think of.
SpringPad is the lovechild of Evernote and Pinterest. It’s beauty meets powerful note taking. Like Evernote, you can take almost any kind of note that you want and organize them by putting them into different notebooks and applying tags to further organize them.
Let us know in the comments what apps you can’t live without when traveling.
This article was written for you by Chris Steurer, a freelance marketing consultant and designer for small and medium sized businesses. You can follow me on Twitter or circle me on Google+ to say hi and stay connected.