For the last couple of weeks, I have been traveling the country from coast to coast. I started my recent journey by heading to Los Angeles. From there, I then traveled to Laughlin Nevada followed by Las Vegas Nevada. And then back home to Belmont North Carolina. This week I’ve been took another trip to Myrtle Beach South Carolina.

Through all this traveling, I’ve learned something about myself. I’ve learned something that’s changed about myself. I have learned how to traveling get work done. πŸ™‚

In past years, whenever I would travel almost anywhere, I would have difficulty sleeping in hotels and it would be much less productive while I was on the road. These days, I have found a way to relax more and sleep better in hotels, and after much effort I’ve put together a set of tools that help me to be productive in a matter where it is that I might be working.

These tools include the following items:

  • A Verizon wireless air card-this is become one of the keys to my success while I’m traveling very I’ve tried to play the game of picking up wi-fi hotspots wherever I might find them, but the hassle of having to set up an account or pay for service poll is stymied my efforts to rapidly get some work done while I had some battery life left in my laptop.
  • A 3G wireless router-I don’t use this all the time when traveling, however when I use this in conjunction with my Verizon wireless air card, I can rapidly set up a WiFi network and help those around me to work efficiently as well which definitely helps my team efforts.
  • The digital camera with about 8 GB of flash cards-as a writer and a blogger this is just essential, but all that extra flash card space makes it very easy for me to capture information whether it’s a good picture, or even a snapshot of an important document that I can’t lug around with me. When I attend conferences, they tend to load you down with a lot of garbage that you don’t need physically, but you do need the digital information that’s contained on top of all those printouts. So I snapped a picture of it and have it in my computer ready to go when I’m repaired to read.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10-using this program not actually write this article, but for several reasons it is invaluable when I’m on the road. When I’m in the airport, I can plug my laptop in any given wall, set my laptop on the ground, plug in my headset and type away without having to keep things on my lap or crowded around me. This is fantastic when I need to read something, and take notes on it with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10.
  • A Sony voice recorder-when I don’t have time to get my laptop out, I can take voice notes and have been converted into text with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 after-the-fact. This is great for writing e-mails or even drafting articles or reports. It’s even good if he does have a good idea that you don’t want to miss a chance to document.
  • A PayPal card-to heck with a pain in the neck American Express card that charges you a yearly fee so that you can accumulate points for airliners that are just about out of business and won’t let you redeem them when you want to, I’ll take my PayPal card any day of the week. PayPal operates in the easily understood business of cash. You get 1% cashback on all of your purchases, and you can easily download a spreadsheet version of your expenses whenever you like or even import those expenses directly into QuickBooks. It’s easy, it’s fast, and they give you cash back that you can actually spend.
  • A portable Western Digital 320 GB hard drive-I have a large hard drive in my laptop, but I find these little bitty hard drives that connect to your computer via USB to be exceptionally handy, even more so than the little USB drives that I used to carry. I don’t have to constantly put things onto a USB drive and take him back off again. I just put everything on the portable hard drive and what I need to make a transfer it’s all right there ready to be transferred or copied.

These are the tools that have made it possible for me to be much more effective when traveling on the road. There’s one item on here that is probably a notable exception, and that any mention of a cell phone.

A cell phone is definitely essential, but I’m currently in between cell phones. I’m not one of those crazy people that doesn’t have a cell phone. I’m one of those people that had to give up their smart phone or a small little Nokia while I look for a replacement smart phone.

I used to be hooked on my Treo, but Verizon Wireless’s extremely poor service and even worse execution of configuring the Treo 700 P. to work on the Verizon wireless network as we me off the use of my smart phone of choice. Verizon wireless loaded down the trail was so much garbage software that the device barely took a phone call or record a voicemail let alone send or receive e-mail successfully or any of the other things the smartphone should be able to do.

So these days, I’m shopping around for new smart phone. I refuse to do business with AT&T so iPhone is out of the question. AT&T stole thousand dollars from a few years back and it just won’t do business with them ever again. Right now I have a cell plan through T-Mobile, which has been an excellent service provider for me over the years even though their network is now not as fast as some of their competitors. They are reliable and in my experience they have been very honest. These days I’ll choose honesty and reliability over speed, corruption, and terrible service.

So I’m looking for a good smartphone that will work on T-Mobile’s network. I think I might try the Nokia N95. I’ve been very impressed by the capabilities of this particular phone. It’s a little pricey, but if I can use it on the T-Mobile network it might just be the next tool to be added to my list above. πŸ™‚

Now, all I need to do is find a way to beat my diet coke habit and learn how to exercise on a regular basis while I’m traveling.  If I could achieve those goals, I’d be very happy with my ability to travel well.  I don’t like packing extra exercise clothes and shoes, but it is a necessary evil.  I haven’t found a good way to get off Diet Coke either, even though I’ve tried about everything from green tea to bottled water.  I’ve even considered but not tried supplement drinks like Orovo and various vitamin and energy drinks, but they just seem like I’d be swapping the devil I know for the one I do not.

Regardless, I am happy that I have gotten better at getting things done on the road, and will start finding a way to get better in these new areas going forward.

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