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Voicemail, Away Greetings and Remaining Reachable From the Road

Pre-Trip Planning, Telework & Virtual Officing, technology
June 8th, 2011 No Comments »

If you’re a home office worker, a road warrior, a teleworker, a virtual officer or just a workationing mom or dad who’s hitting the highway but expecting to take a little work in tow, how will you help those trying to reach you to actually reach you. A voicemail I received today helped highlight that question. It also revealed that with email, texts, pins, BBMs, Facebook, tweets, IM, LinkedIn messages, some people still rely on vmail. And as antiquated as we may believe it to be, we still must serve those people’s needs.

In the message, the person left her query. She also commented that my outbound greeting referenced Cinco de Mayo. A greeting a month old, eh? Goes to show how little attention many of us pay to our vmail greetings.

This got me to thinking, though… Assuming people actually listen to greetings, what should we say or request of those trying to reach us? What about for teleworkers, road warriors and even workationing entrepreneurs?

Read More »

Home Office Highway: Americana a Way Norman Rockwell Never Envisioned

Pre-Trip Planning
June 3rd, 2011 No Comments »

Summertime’s a great time to hit the open road – without leaving life behind. Technology widely available to the consumer market helps the “anywhere” office – and online personality – come alive without an electrical outlet or Ethernet cable in sight. This is Americana in a way Norman Rockwell never could have imagined.

This summer, the Home Office Highway ‘11 road show will showcase the tech, tools and tips that empower people to work and play from the interstate highway – or the information superhighway. The three-week excursion and social media event will highlight how “location independence” can be found wherever life’s journey ventures.

This year, we’ll travel from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco. Part sightseeing trip, part college tour, all fun-n-games. The van will have laptops, digital cameras and other technology common to the modern family home.

Read More »

The Lonely Planet Offers Smart Global Travel Tips

Pre-Trip Planning
September 8th, 2009 No Comments »

Hitting the road to locales little known? Travel wisely. With the right tools and plans, you can travel light - and like a pro - no matter where the open road takes you on this lonely planet…

LogMeIn, Skype & Custom Earplugs: Just What the Road Warrior Ordered

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Reviews, technology
August 11th, 2009 No Comments »

Paul Holstein’s summer trips to Europe are a holiday indeed — especially considering how little he has to worry about staying connected during his time away.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

This is the second installment of a two-part snapshot offered by the owner of CableOrganizer.com into the must-bring tech that keeps him productive “across the pond” — as if he hadn’t even left his Fort Lauderdale offices.

Last time, we looked at some of Holstein’s hardware selections. This time, it’s his software and accessories he’ll introduce us to…

Syncplicity is a software application allows you to setup one or more folders on your hard drive and it synchronizes that folder with all your other computers.  In my case, that’s office, home, and laptop.

When I need to make a presentation or work on a document both at home and the office, I make sure I keep the document in my synchronized folder.  I gave a presentation in Boston a few months ago and forgot to put the presentation on my USB flash drive.  No worries, it was on the syncplicity server.  I just fired up my web browser and downloaded it.  Unlike other sync programs, Syncplicity copies all your files to the cloud so that your computers don’t need to be all on to synchronize.  It works really well with my next favorite software…

RoboForm. How many times do you sign up for a website at the office, then try to access it from home?  Or how often do you change your password for sensitive sites with a complicated password, then you need access from your laptop or you forgot the password?  Well, with Roboform, it remembers all your logins.  When you open a page with a login, it fills in the information for you.  In addition, it generates really secure passwords for you and it will even fill out your name, address and credit card information that is needed on a lot of sites.  When I use RoboForm in combination with Syncplicity, I don’t have to worry about remembering logins anymore.  They are always up to date.

LogMeIn is fantastic and free.  They have a paid version, but if you have syncplicity, you really don’t need it.  I use logmein to access my enterprise programs such as our ERP program and our accounting system.

Skype is the mother of all VOIP applications.  I use it all the time to save money on phone calls.  Skype lets you call regular phone numbers for about 3 cents per minute.  That’s a lot cheaper than most other plans and the voice quality is great.  In addition, you can even do video conferencing with people who have Skype.

Sound is an important and often overlooked component of travel. I also carry my Bose Headset with a special microphone adapter and my custom earplugs. The Bose Quite Comfort headsets are a lifesaver on long trips.  You’d be amazed how much calmer and relaxed you are after a long trip if you use noise cancelling headsets. I found a special communications kit that you can use with it that lets you make phone calls.  This is incredibly useful in crowded airports or on the road.  You can hear your callers perfectly no matter how much noise is around you.  The sound quality is great on the other end as well.

I also had custom earplugs made for me.  These are incredibly comfortable and allow me to sleep with the earplugs in.  I can even turn my head on the side on my pillow with no discomfort.  I used them on the plane and also in noisy hotel rooms.  It cost me about $100 but it is well worth it.

Indeed.

iPhone, Smart Laptop Add Balance to Road Warrior’s Mobile Life

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Reviews, technology
August 9th, 2009 No Comments »

When Paul Holstein heads to Europe for summer holidays, he’s packed and ready for business.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

The owner of CableOrganizer.com offered a snapshot into the must-bring tech that keeps him productive “across the pond” — as if he hadn’t even left his Fort Lauderdale offices.

His take…

What a perfect topic for me.  I’m on vacation in France now and, of course, totally connected.

My favorite laptop these days it the Toshiba Portege R600-ST4203. It’s built for the traveler.  It’s 2.4 pounds and one inch thick.  You can’t imagine how this changes everything.  You don’t need to carry a separate laptop bag if you don’t want to.  You can tuck it into your regular carry-on suitcase.

Alternatively, you can carry a small laptop bag and add clothes to it for short trips. Forget the headset and webcam.  Those are built right in to the laptop.  They are built into most laptops today.  That saves you a lot of effort as well. Read More »

CNET Has Big Sky, Home Office Goes Deep South

Pre-Trip Planning
July 16th, 2009 No Comments »

road trip by b-r-ian on flickrccCreating an ideal home office on the road is nothing new. And apparently it’s nothing unique either.

CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman has hit the highway — taking a car full of gadgets to the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains to seek out interesting hot spots for technology, science, military, nature, aviation, and more.

His itinerary is taking Terdiman to a firefighting technology center in Montana, a maker of commuter train engines in Idaho, an innovative wind farm in Wyoming, and much, much more. Check it out.

Remote Home Office & Telework Tools: A Road Warrior Pre-Departure Check

Pre-Trip Planning, The New Work, The Road Warrior
July 5th, 2009 No Comments »

Jeff @ work at the dinette home office

Jeff @ work at the dinette home office

Cloud computing, Location Independence, the Anywhere Office…

Whatever it’s known by, remote work done beyond the traditional and home office liberates millions of workers every year. Already, countless teleworkers are untethered to work. And more agile remote work strategies and policies ould free even more to explore boundless opportunities – if they knew and used the tools needed to explore this New Way to Work.

Home Office Highway explores those tools and strategies. Over the next month, we’ll write about trip preparation and lessons learned, the tools we’ll use and the applications we’ll log on to from the road.

Travel with us as we reveal how the right technology, client expectations, and family ground rules can help you work wisely from the road. So hit the highway in your RV, a minivan or the family sedan, or set up shop in a beachfront cottage or timeshare.

For many businesses, the ability to work remotely creates a key disaster recovery / business continuity solution.

Remember: “Work is not a place. It’s a thing.” It’s a big country out there. Don’t let a thing like work get in the way of exploring up close and personal.

Cool Tools Power Up the Home Office / Road Warrior Experience

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Review, The New Work, The Road Warrior, technology
April 13th, 2009 No Comments »

The people at CoolTools recently reviewed several cool apps — ideal for the home officer-turned-road warrior.

boxwave-versachargerAccording to writer Arthur Heafer, the Versacharger is a combo 110V AC and 12V DC USB converter to charge phones, PDAs, and various other electronics. Purchase additional USB connectors and “tips” as you go for specific gadgets. Some GPS units also can be charged with appropriate voltage transducers.

Heafer has used this charger over a year, mostly when traveling. It greatly reduces the amount of cables, chargers, wall wart and the like carried around. Heafer keeps all my devices (GPS, Palm T/X, cell phone) and charger in a small cloth, drawstring bag, along with a Ziploc bag for all the various tips (Add’l Tip: He uses a gold marking pen to write which tip goes with which device). Read More »

Wired Magazine Dissects the Mobile Home Office

Pre-Trip Planning, The New Work, The Road Warrior
April 8th, 2009 No Comments »

Wired Magazine takes a look at the Nomadic Geek's lifestyle -- when the desk is exchanged for the driver seat of an RV.

Wired Magazine takes a look at the Nomadic Geek's lifestyle -- when the desk is exchanged for the driver seat of an RV or the dinette of an Airstream.

The good folks at Wired took a novel look at mobile home officing.

Where Home Office Highway hit the road in a C-Class RV, Wired’s take on “Nomadic Geeks” was to “Take Your Job and Shove It — Into an Airstream.”

Cell phones and swiping bandwidth. Biofuel and satellite reception. Very cool — and kinda high-tech.

One guy even said to do this full time you’d have to lower your fee in exchange for spotty availability (hey, we gotta explore the woods and hike the trails a little bit, no?).

“Yesterday’s freeloading hippie is today’s wireless world traveler,” they wrote. They “talked to some nomadic geeks to find out how to trade in your mortgage for flexible hours and an ever-changing, million-dollar view.”

Home Office Highway does the same — sans the million-dollar view and permanent vocation-meets-vacation lifestyle. Temp as our trip may be, the lessons learned and technology used make being a nomad a life-changing experience everytime you hit the road, Jack.

Home Office Highway TV

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Review, Product Reviews, Telework & Virtual Officing, The Road Warrior, organization
April 3rd, 2009 1 Comment »

SCROLL DOWN FOR NEW BLOG POSTS &

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Home Office Highway has several new features for home officers, teleworkers, road warriors or anyone who wants balance when they work remotely. First, we’ve posted a library of videos, and created a sister site rich with great cools for working from the road.

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There’s also Chief Home Officer, where home-based workers can discover the technology, tools and tips to work from the home office. With News, Reviews & Tips from the home office’s front lines, Chief Home Officer explores how to become a well-balanced home-officer.

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