Communication Tools for Travel

Grjip-It Organizer

This organizer simplifies travel. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

I travel frequently for work, so much in fact, that I can basically pack a bag in less than an hour without much thought.

However, I’m always careful to ensure I have the necessary communications tools with me.

Notebook Many times I’ll be in meetings where I can simply take notes on the computer. Other times I’m in the field interviewing people so an old-fashioned notebook works best for me. I never mastered the art of recording interviews and transcribing them.

Pens I like to take a few pens – ballpoint and rollerball – and at least one highlighter.

Batteries I put fresh batteries in my camera and carry extras. I’ve visited places where I only expected to take a few photos and instead took hundreds. There’s nothing worse than the perfect shot and the camera dies.

Chargers I keep them all together in one place. I actually have two sets so I can keep one set with my suitcase. This also is helpful if you accidentally leave one behind in a hotel room.  

Grid-ItTM organizer This is a handy organizer where you can put your chargers, a small digital camera or any other materials. I discovered it in a magazine and immediately went online to purchase it.

Jump drive I’m often in places where connectivity isn’t the best and if I need to share a file, a jump drive is the way to go. It’s also a convenient back-up for photos.

Sticky Notes I’m a list maker so I carry sticky notes just in case I want to make a reminder that I can then easily remove and toss.

Cameras I’ve been known to have three cameras with me on a trip, and I’m not a professional photographer. I have a small one that tucks neatly into a pocket. I also have a 35mm SLR. And I use my smartphone as my backup camera.

Business cards I always bring extras with me just in case. At conferences I share dozens of them but my business card organizer is only good for about 25.

I also take a page from TSA and put the pens, batteries, jump drives, sticky notes and extra business cards in a quart Ziploc bag so everything is in one place and easy to find. The chargers and camera are tucked neatly into my Grid-ItTM for easy storage.

Mobile Growth Changes How We Live

Coint toss appAt the start of most sports events there is a coin toss. For my volleyball team, the winner gets to either pick serve or side. It was my week for the coin toss, only when it was time for the referee to toss the coin, he simply hit a button on his smartphone and we watched as a coin soared in the “air” and then, fortunately for me, landed on tails.

If not every day, at least every week, I am amazed by the things I can do on my phone. And it’s only going to continue. Cisco reported that global traffic on data networks grew by 70 percent last year. To put this in context, traffic on mobile data networks in 2012 was almost 12 times greater than total Internet traffic around the world in 2000.

Still don’t believe the trend. How about these stats?

  • A survey of U.S. adult smartphone owners found that 63% of female respondents and 73% of male respondents don’t go an hour without checking their phone (Source: Harris Interactive, June 2012).
  • Cell phone users between 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on an average day, more than 3,200 per month (Source: Pew Research Centre, Sept. 2012).

My favorite app lets me swipe my phone at Starbucks to pay for my latte. Admittedly, the ease of use is probably fueling my addiction because I don’t have to worry about carrying cash. And I like the free drink I get after 15 – which arrives with increasing frequency.

I couldn’t have completed my photo-a-day project last year without my smart phone, which is almost always with me. I could snap a photo at any time and know that I had my photo for the day. Several of them are still saved in my gallery where they continue to make me smile when I look at them.

My trainer encourages me to log walks (although he’d prefer them to be runs). I can track calories. I can set up reminders to take a 10-minute walk mid-afternoon.

During intermission at a Broadway show earlier this week, I saw a sea of tiny boxes glowing blue in the dim lights. Most people weren’t rushing to the restrooms; they were checking their devices.

Where will mobile take us next?