These days, it’s easy to
pick up and work from another location. Coffee shops are becoming an
increasingly popular place to work. The white noise of the espresso brewing, orders being taken, and the click of heavy ceramic dishes is a wonderful backdrop for concentration for a lot of people. Look around next time you are in your local shop, and notice how many people are staring into a screen.
If you’ve considered frequenting your local coffee shop to have a meeting, eke out a few minutes of productivity between appointments, or to get some serious work done, there are some things you’ll want to consider taking with you. Here’s a few portable tools to help you out, and keep the peace with your fellow mobile professionals:
1. Laptop (or Tablet)
This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s still shocking to me how many people don’t use a laptop. However, in lieu of a laptop, there are the shiny tablets, which would be just as good (for most) in a mobile situation. Regardless, having a portable computing device is ideal. This doesn’t mean you need to be online, but it sure does make some things much easier. Chances are, you work on it in your office, so put it in your bag, and head out the door.
2. Compact Surge Protector
Have you ever had your hard drive fried by a random power surge? I wouldn’t recommend it. When travelling or working mobile, consider a compact version to be on the safe side. This will keep your electronics safer and your piece of mind intact. Bonus: Some varieties have a USB port so you can charge your other toys…ahem…tools, on the go, as well.
3. Battery Charger
I like to use an external mouse when I’m working for extended periods of time. The touch pad on my laptop is all well and good, but, well, it drives me a little batty. So, if you’re going to carry around a wireless mouse, make sure you have a little battery charger, and for extra bonus points, an extra set of batteries.
4. Power Strip with a Long Cord
There is nothing quite so sad as grown adults baring their teeth over one measly outlet. (Note to shopkeepers: If you like your laptop toting customers to stick around and buy more, make sure you have plenty of outlets to go around.) If you are in a spot where there is only one lonely outlet, make friends and use a travel power strip with a long cord. A handful of people can share one outlet, and everyone keeps on working. See how easy it is to make friends? Now, get back to work.
Last year, I decided to spend my morning working hours in a local bakery. I settled down in a corner booth, and plugged in my headset to listen to a conference call as I sipped my coffee and weeded through the weekend email pile-up. Everything was going splendidly, until the booth next to me thought it would be fun to watch zombie movies on VideoTube. Loudly. Note to inconsiderate neighbors: If you have the urge to watch brain-snatching undead videos, please do so with earphones. Your neighbors will thank you, and they just might share their outlet.
6. Laptop Riser Stand
One of biggest killer of laptops is overheating. Keep your laptop cool and in working order with a stand. The other painful fact of working on a laptop outside the office is neck cramp. Find yourself an adjustable folding stand, and your neck will thank you, too.