After an interesting, but also exhausting STC Summit and reinstalling everything on my desktop (starting with the operating system), I'm back to more regular work. A few lessons learned from this trip:
An iPad alone is insufficient equipment if you turned in translations just before leaving. As it turned out, two of my clients needed additions to work I had sent just before I left for Chicago. Fortunately this time I was staying at the conference hotel, so I could scoot up to my room during Monday's lunch break to deal with these texts. When packing I had decided at the last minute that I didn't need both the iPad and netbook, and left the latter at home. As a result I had to translate without CAT tools or even a decent keyboard. I had brought my bluetooth keyboard for the iPad and got the job done, but typing with timelag to the screen and without being able to switch to a German keyboard was frustrating. Next time I'll bring the netbook (and probably not need it).
It is worth paying for mobile access to CRM (customer relationship management) data. Sage ACT!'s service, where the data resides in the "cloud" still worries me, but there is an iPad app called "iTract for ACT!" that synchs with the ACT! database on my computer. I downloaded a trial version, but haven't yet had a chance to test it. If it lets me input the business cards I'm accumulating at these events while waiting for my plane, then sync them with my desktop when I get back, it will be worth buying.
There is an Android app called "PDAnet" that lets me use my phone to connect other devices to the internet. I should figure out whether there is a way to hook my iPad up to my phone. That way I could be much more productive while waiting for 2-hour plane delays caused by bad weather in New York. After all, there is only so much online work one can do on a smartphone's pull-out mini keyboard and mini screen.
Do you have any other road warrior tips for running your business while not in your (home) office? Please share them in the comments section below.