9 Essential Mobile Office Apps for Holiday Road Warriors

October 2015

Too often, taking time off for holiday vacations becomes more stressful than working straight through the New Year. Whether you worry about how client issues are being handled in your absence or you dread the email pileup awaiting you on your return, time off can seem like more trouble than it’s worth.

But it does not have to be that way. With a smart approach—tapping the right talent and using the right tools—you can set up a mobile office that allows you to keep a finger on the company’s pulse while relaxing with family and friends. 

1. Check your Connectivity.

Before heading out the door, determine when you will have remote access to WiFi so you can plan how and where you can get some work done. Apps such as WiFiMapper for iPhone can help you find hotspots or public WiFi almost anywhere in the world, and Time Warner Cable customers can scout out available WiFi access by checking the Hotspot Coverage Map.

2. Get the Basics.

For business owners on the go this season, the Microsoft Office 365 apps are the foundation for creating a mobile office. With a subscription to Office 365, you will get access to the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps. The subscription also includes Outlook email and calendar functions. What’s more, you can use Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage platform, which allows you to automatically update, sync and store your Office documents from any desktop or mobile device. The Microsoft Office 365 suite can be used on Android or iOS device. 

3. Choose a Virtual File Cabinet.

You will want to be able to access your company’s important documents and information. This has gotten easier (and more affordable) than ever as cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Mozy, make it easy to safely access, modify and share any company data.

4. Access Your Office Anywhere.

Time Warner Cable Business Class offers a wide range of cloud services to its customers, offering online backup and access to Microsoft Hosted Exchange that provides simple sharing of email, scheduling and contacts.

5. Automate Your Travel and Other Tasks.

Workflow is an app that can automate repetitive tasks by connecting your other apps so they can work together. For example, if you add a flight to your calendar app, Workflow can automatically use the Uber app to book a ride from the airport to Thanksgiving dinner. If you are catching up on some work while en route, this app allows you to automate work-related tasks, such as automatically zipping and emailing large files, setting reminders on projects across platforms, and automatically resizing and uploading images to your social media accounts. The possibilities are nearly endless. However, currently this app is available only for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

6. Keep Track of Your Projects.

If you are worried that particular projects will fall behind or client services won’t be delivered, use a task management system like Asana, Trello, Smartsheet or Mavenlink. These programs allow you to set deadlines for projects or specific steps. You easily can check a status when it is most convenient for you without having to email or call employees.  

7. Continue the Collaboration.

An app called Quip will allow you and those you are working with to create, import and share documents, to-do lists, notes and more. This app has additional features useful to holiday travelers that provide integrated messaging and collaborative editing. This helps you to quickly get in touch with your employees or freelancers, as well as view their edits. Quip can import documents from Dropbox, Drive and Evernote, and export documents to PDF and Office formats. 

8. Communicate Conveniently.

If you will be trying to manage more complicated projects from a distance, it might be worth looking into communication tools beyond phone, email and even Quip. Group messaging or calling options tools such as Skype and Google Hangouts allow business owners to create a group meeting anywhere. 

9. Stay Charged

Finally, all these apps will do you no good if your device runs out of power. The Mophie portable power source is roughly the size of a business-card holder but has built-in lightning or micro USB ports that can power multiple gadgets at up to four times the speed of a standard charger.



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