Making It Work: When your car is your office.
Updated: Dec 23, 2019
Have you ever daydreamed about a 5x5 cubicle, file cabinets, storage closet, printer, and a desktop computer? No? Well, talk to someone who works out of their car. When I worked in sales, my trunk was filled with retractable banners, portfolios, swag and any other marketing item you can think of. In fact, I bet there's a company logo-covered stress ball lodged under my seat right now.
Without any doubt, there are perks to working on the road. It is always exciting to see new faces, new places, and having freedom. One of the greatest challenges of being a road warrior is packing up your office and taking it with you. There's always that lingering fear of "Am I prepared? Do I have everything?" before hitting the road. There are, however, ways to limit those concerns and make it work. Organization is important but staying organized is vital.
Don't fret! I’ve compiled a list of organizational tools and gadgets that can have your car feeling like a spacious office. A carfice, if you will. You won't? Darn, okay. And, as always, don't forget to download BeeLine Trip Planner to organize your travel. Now available for iPhone and Android!
Trunk Organizer: For starters, this is the flagship piece to your office on wheels. Having compartmentalized storage is what will turn your car into an organized, functioning, office on wheels. An extra pair of shoes, a few ties, and all of the marketing materials you can stand will fit nicely and there's extra room for other personal items that are stored in the trunk.
Accordian File: Collectively, the world is moving away from paper but there is still a need for it at times. Whether it is initial contracts, receipts, or signature pages, they all need to be stored somewhere until they are processed. And no one likes turning in torn, creased, and sometimes coffee stained documents. An accordian file will preserve your documents and it will fit nicely in that trunk organizer.
Voice Pen Recorder: A little amateur-spy-ish, I know, but hear me out. A pen recorder can be your best friend. Have you ever made a point to remember someone's name or wanted to remind yourself of something about a client and forgot? Setting reminders and taking notes in your phone is probably your go-to solution but if you have your phone out, thumbing through apps and typing, it may appear that your are texting or on social media and not really interested in being there. Pulling out a pen recorder, pressing a button for five seconds, and stashing it back in your pocket is far more discreet and professional. Record Gear has a great supply to choose from.
Car Laptop Mount: At the end of every day, I vowed to enter my activity into our CRM. That rarely happened. Primarily because I hated carrying my laptop around so I usually left it at the office or at home. This resulted in me spending my Fridays playing catch up and spending far more time doing so because I had to refresh my memory of what accounts I saw that week. With a car mount set-up (like this one by ENGYC) you may feel inclined to crack open up your laptop and enter your activity throughout the day right in the car.
All or any one of these organizational tools are great for working on the road. Pair this with planning client visits using BeeLine Trip Planner and you, my friend, are ready to seize the day. Happy travels!
Portable Printer: Not every road warrior needs immediate access to a printer but there have been times when the line in Staples or FedEx Kinkos has caused me to go full deep yogic breathing trying to get a one page document printed in between meetings. A portable printer would have been a life saver! They're lightweight, connect over wifi, and compatible with Apple and Android devices. Most importantly, they won't derail your schedule when you need to print a couple of pages.