Attending Any Conferences This Year? Travel Tech Can Help You Stay Organized on the Road












Heading to ALA Midwinter in a few weeks? Having the right tech can help you stay connected even when you're away from the library.

Sharing Documents

Services that let you create or share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files can help you stay productive while you're on the road. TechSoup offers a few different solutions: 

  • Citrix ShareFile allows you securely upload and share large files with your coworkers from anywhere you might be working. Sending sensitive information? Sharefile has enhanced, encrypted security that comply with HIPAA requirements.  Eligible organizations can receive 50 percent off a one-year subscription through TechSoup.
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps lets you take Office on the road with Internet-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can also create new documents, store them in Microsoft SkyDrive, and then share them with others on your team.
  • Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits lets you have the best of both worlds: the full capabilities and secure environment of installed software with the collaborative, anywhere availability of the cloud.
  • You can use Huddle to share and edit documents, manage projects and tasks, and communicate with your staff with whiteboards and discussion threads.

Mobile Gadgets and Apps

A smartphone is the perfect traveling companion: it provides directions, maps, apps, Internet connectivity, and more. Get the most out of your mobile companion with these apps and gadgets:  

  • Need Internet connectivity in a pinch? Mobile Beacon offers 4G mobile broadband mobile hotspots to eligible nonprofits, charities, schools, and libraries. With a hotspot, you can connect computers or Wi-Fi enabled devices, like smartphones or tablets.
  • Springpad (Android, iOS) is a free app that brings together social networking and good, old fashioned note-taking to help you stay organized on the road.  
  • Mophie Juice Pack battery charging cases keep your phone powered and protected. According to Mophie, the cases provide up to 80% extra power when you need it, making it perfect for a long car or bus trip.

Work Remotely

When you're away from the library, communication is key. Here are some solutions from the TechSoup donation program to help you stay in touch: 

  • Citrix's line of "GoTo" products (GoToAssist, GoToWebinar, GoToMyPC, and GoToTraining) help you remotely access your organization's computers from offsite locations or hold online meetings or training sessions that can be recorded.
  • Microsoft Lync 2013 helps you stay in touch with your staff, volunteers, and constituents while you're away from the office. Lync is an all-in-one tool for video calls, web conferencing, instant messaging, and voice calls. The app also includes a real-time note-taking feature so you can keep track of ideas and notes from your meetings.
  • You can access VoIP services from any location with a phone, mobile phone, or any Internet-connected device. Which service from TechSoup is right for your organization? 

Stay Secure

Have you ever lost anything while traveling? How about your computer or smartphone? I had the unfortunate experience of having my brand new smartphone stolen out of my coat pocket while traveling. While I was sad about my phone, I was more upset by losing all the pictures, notes, and contact information I saved on it. Luckily, I backed it up before I left on my laptop, but I lost all the photos I took on my trip.  Before you leave, make sure to back up everything on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. TechSoup offers an array of solutions for protecting your tech.  

Other Travel-Friendly Accessories

Many airports are not very accommodating to technology and personal gadgets.  I've held up security lines unpacking my gadgets and struggled with my various cases. I've also been that person who sits on the floor behind the airport gate ticketing booth just so I can charge my laptop. Thankfully, there are gadgets and accessories available that can help ease the stress of the airport.

  • The Grid-It Organization System helps you organize your chargers, cords, headphones, and devices so you don't lose any important pieces on your trip.
  • Kensington's line of AbsolutePower chargers lets you juice up your laptop and two USB devices (like a smartphone or tablet) simultaneously. This is a great gadget when you're at the airport and there's a shortage of available outlets.
  • Protect your tech! Check out Timbuk2's line of stylish TSA-approved backpacks and laptop sleeves.
  • Going overseas? The iBattz Mojo Slim Universal Power Adapter can be used in more that 150 countries. It also won't take up much room in your suitcase. 

Got any other go-to apps, gadgets, or tools for working while traveling? Log in and share them in the comments.