When your definition of “office” is less cubicle and more coffee shops all over the world, there are certain pieces of hardware that make your life a million times easier. Because I’m cheap, I have learned these things the hard way as I watch my web designer boyfriend sail through his days while I curse the gods of wifi and shitty laptop batteries.
For those of you who are either working while traveling the world like we are or even just working in cafes in your city, here are four things that you need to add to your mobile office today.
I’m not talking about the reincarnation kind, although sharing this Karma will also bring you good things. Karma is a device that creates a mobile hotspot wherever you go. It’s tiny, cute, and with no monthly contracts, you only get charged for the data you use.
The price is $14 per gigabyte, but you can also “earn Karma” by letting other people connect to through your device. The exact opposite of closed, password protected connection, Karma will even give you and your piggy-backer each 100 MB of free data and, on top of that, they won’t use any of your data during the time that they’re connected.
2. A Lightweight Computer
My MacBook Air was a big purchase back in 2011 but it has proved itself to be worth it time and time again. At 11”, my sleek little computer fits in almost any purse and weighs less than my water bottle. I feel safe carrying it through even the sketchier cities I find myself in, because who’s going to think that tiny thing is a computer?
The only thing that sucks about it is I have a first generation one and my battery doesn’t really last more than an hour anymore without needing to be plugged in. However, I’ve heard that the new ones have much, much stronger batteries so hopefully that’s not a problem you’ll have to deal with.
Another (potentially cheaper) option is to buy a tablet and an external keyboard. This allows you to access the internet and do all of the basic things that a full laptop does, but takes up a fraction of the space.
Lastly, the newest MacBooks are beautiful and lightweight and perfect for those of you who work in design. Trust me, once you get an eyeful of that retina screen, you’ll never be able to turn back.
3. An External Power Pack
The problem of smartphone batteries dying is one that multiple companies hard trying to solve. You’ve got bags and clothing that double as chargers but really there’s no need to be fancy about it. Just grab an external power pack from a company like Anker for an easy to carry backup for your iPhones crap little battery.
Anker also sells laptop batteries, although (bummer for me) they don’t have one for the Air. Can you get on that, Anker? Thanks.
4. Noise Cancelling headphones
While I usually prefer the hustle and bustle in cafes to the quieter and calmer atmosphere of my apartment, sometimes you really need to put your head down and focus. That’s where noise cancelling headphones like these ones from Bose come in.
It’s also a great signal for those of you who don’t like to talk during the day (i.e., my boyfriend) to those of us who can’t stop chattering (i.e., me) that you want to be left alone.
Paul Jacobson, cropped from original image