The Mobile Office – Organizing Your Car for Business Travel |

I wish I had ____ with me.” You fill in the blank. How many times have you been offsite, meeting with a client, only to discover you were missing a form or a brochure that would have helped you wrap up a discussion?

Whether you are in sales, real estate, consulting or a variety of other jobs, travel is usually involved. Even when you spend most of your day in an office, you still have to travel back and forth, often bringing work with you, or you might be meeting a client for lunch, and have that, “I wish I had…” comment running through your mind.

Here are some basics that would benefit everyone.

Front Seat Calendar: Since everyone is now reachable at any time by cell phone, you would want to have a calendar handy, whether paper or electronic. If you use an electronic calendar but are not syncing with your PDA, then you can periodically print out a monthly calendar and carry that with you.

Notepad: If you have to pull over for an extended talk with a client, you want to make notes on the conversation. Do not count on storing everything in your head for later. Write it down now.

Index Cards: Carry these with you at all times. They can go in your shirt pocket, purse, briefcase, and car. Whenever something comes up that you need to do or want to remember, write it down on an index card. When you get back to the office, staple that to a full sheet of paper and place it in your Daily Action file.

Mileage Log: If you have it close at hand, you will be more likely to remember to record the miles traveled. It is so much harder to do this once a month or to recreate the data at the end of a tax year.

CDs: If you want to make good use of all the travel time, this is an opportunity to listen to recorded business books or to conference break-out sessions. On the other hand, if it is advantageous for you to relax before a meeting or while headed home, pick some music that unwinds you.

To store these materials, you might consider an auto organizer with multiple compartments, one that ties over the headrest and sits against the passenger seat. It provides easy access. When you have a passenger, you simply move it around so that it hangs in back of the seat, still within reach.

Have a zippered plastic case for extra pens, pencils, and other basic desk supplies. You do not want all of these to be loose in case of sudden stops where they could become flying projectiles.

Back Seat Casual Reading: Have a folder of materials handy to grab any time you have unplanned open time-stopped traffic or arriving early for an appointment. It will allow you to effectively utilize your time while you wait, and in turn will lower the potential stress caused by the delay.

Map Book: Even if you have a GPS system, it is a good idea to have a backup for emergencies.

Umbrella: Do not leave this in your trunk. It does not cover you when there is a sudden downpour while you are heading into a meeting.

Trunk Forms and Brochures: Use a small travel box or crate that holds hanging file folders. That way you can keep a supply in the car without having to guess what you may need every time you head out.

Product Samples: Get plastic bins that can contain your products. When you have them organized in containers, it leaves more room in your trunk.

Grippers: These pieces cling to your trunk carpeting and keep things from sliding around. Place them strategically at the corners of your containers.

If you use something up while you are out, make a note on an index card so you will remember to replenish that item when you get back.

Returning to your office, be sure to take out all of the new materials-order forms, business cards, conference bags, ToDo index cards-and bring them in right away. Replenish anything that you have used up. This will ensure that you always have what you need at hand, and your car does not become a clutter trap.

Your car is a reflection of you and your methods. If you find yourself embarrassed or apologizing when someone unexpectedly has to ride with you, make changes today.

The preparation will add to your confidence as you head out to your next meeting knowing that you have what you need. You are in control and you look the part.

© 2008 Denise Landers – Key Organization Systems, Inc.

How to Prepare for Business Travel? |

An aptly organized business travel certainly includes extensive organization and also involves booking travel reservations at economical rates. The following guidelines have been laid out to help each one of us for our business travel preparation.

1) Preparation should start from the very beginning which means that as soon as you get the notice that you are scheduled for business travel, you should start making a to-do travel list. This list will actually enable you to be focused for your trip and will also allow you to tick off completed tasks as you reach your date of travel.

2) You can keep aside a separate large brown envelope whose purpose is to hold all the printouts related to confirmations of flight, hotel, and car rental reservations. This will make your itinerary packet.

3) Make inquiries to your business associate whom you are visiting during the course of your business travel on information about the hotels that lie close to your business destination. You can also inquire whether special hotel rates are provided to the visitors.

4) You should use the help of websites like and which can help you to book flight reservations, car rental and lodging and that too at very economical rates.

5) You can set up free accounts for frequent flyer miles and hotel points and you can update all your upcoming travel using these accounts. The miles and points can come handy while enabling you to receive free future reservations once it has been accumulated to a particular threshold.

6) You should printout the confirmation sheet of each and every reservation as soon as you make one and you should insert the same into your brown envelope.

7) Make sure that you always have all the necessary addresses and contact information of your lodging and meetings. You can also create round trip map searches for all the addresses.

8) You can search over the internet and can try to list out places of entertainment or for dining which you would like to visit on your travel. In this way, you can also research about the prices and locations and can vaguely chalk out your visits to the most prominent spots in the city.

9) In case, you do not intend to rent a car, the best thing to do would be to research cab and other transportation rates in the city you are traveling to.