I’ve travelled to 9 different cities already this year and I’ve got 4 different major work projects going on, so keeping on top of everything on the go is something I’ve had to get good at out of necessity. This week’s Work Smart video is a question from Daniel Beck, a work-at-homer like I am, about how to not let your whole organization system fall to pieces once you leave your (home) office.
I was lucky enough to get none other than David Allen to agree to be my expert in this segment. I was pretty nervous talking to David, as his material has been an inspiration for me for years now. Hopefully I didn’t come off as too much of a dork on Skype with him.
Here’s the final, 2-minute video clip.
In short, the key to staying productive while travelling is to create a to-go system that’s as effective as your home system. A big part of that for me, which got cut from the final segment, is having a good portable inbox. I use a $2 plastic envelope with a Velcro closure, which I slip in next to my laptop in my bag. Expense receipts, business cards, and random pieces of paper that you tend to collect as you travel all go in that plastic envelope, which I dump out as soon as I get home.
We’ve just wrapped the first four video segments, and starting in on the next batch of four, so I need questions! If you want to appear in a future episode, email me your question to email@example.com.
Nicely done. Good production values. The graphics are top notch. Who did the graphics and editing?
Keep linking to the videos here and I’ll watch them. But I’m not going to the Fast Company web site to look for them. You may have seen my comment on your latest post there, I don’t like their site design.
I’ve been running into similar designs in a few places and it’s annoying. I’ve decided to draw the line at these big roll-over pop-ups and bad comment systems. Why can’t they do something like what you’ve got here? I had no problem signing up and commenting.
One trick I learned from another consulting developer was to create a VM for each development project/client. You can base them off a snapshot with a standard toolset install. These can be small, as you only include what you need to be functional on the project. When traveling, you can copy the VM from a workstation to a laptop, and back again when you return home. Keep project specific artifacts in the VM, including client specific email, IM, productivity, and other required accounts. Keep your personal productivity tools in the host OSs, and sync them as usual. When you’ve completed the project, clean up and archive the VM for when you work for that client again.