If you are traveling for business, you will probably be traveling with and dependent upon at least a smartphone and a laptop to get all of your work done and stay connected with your colleagues and family. That means these devices will need to operate at peak performance while minimizing the risk of a failure that could leave you in the lurch or forced to use an expensive business center at your hotel or serviced apartment.
With that in mind, here are six must do tech tips to do before you leave on your next business trip to ensure you stay productive and connected:
1. Download Any Computer or Software Updates. Before you leave on a business trip, be sure to download and run any and all operating system and software updates (e.g. Windows, Internet browser, Adobe etc.) as such updates can not only take time to download (a real pain if you are in a location with slow Internet), they might even crash your computer after they install. If you use Windows, you can update your operating system by going to the Tools menu and selecting Microsoft Update while Apple Mac users should be able to click on the apple in the top left hand corner of the computer screen and select Software Update.
2. Update and Run the Virus Scan. Make sure the virus definitions for your antivirus software are all up-to-date and do comprehensive virus scans before you leave just in case your antivirus discovers something big that cannot be quarantined while you are away.
3. Reschedule Scans and Download Updates. Both Windows and antivirus software scans and updates that need to be downloaded can not only take awhile to download, they can slow down your laptop’s performance or your ability to use the Internet considerably while they download. That means it might be a good idea to reschedule any weekly scans or updates to take place after you return home from your business trip.
4. Run Disk Cleanup. Windows is rather notorious for cluttering up a hard drive with junk or orphaned files that can slow your computer’s performance or even cause it to crash. Running the Disk Cleanup wizard and using its advanced settings to delete shadow copies of Windows backups before you leave on your business trip will likely improve your laptop’s performance while you travel.
5. Clean-out Your Email and SMS Inbox. If you get tons of email or SMS and/or are carrying around multiple devices to access various types of messages, be aware that the storage space on those devices can quickly fill up if messages aren’t being kept on your corporate server. Be especially careful about email downloaded to or sent from your laptop’s Windows Mail or Microsoft Outlook programs as these programs are notorious space hogs on your hard drive – which can cause it to fill up and then fail at the worst possible moment when you are on a business trip.
6. Drop Copies of Important Files into the Cloud and Get Synced. Cloud storage services like Dropbox should mean that you will never need to make a frantic call to your secretary asking for a large and important file to be emailed over in a hurry. So before you leave on a business trip, make sure you are carrying the latest and most up-to-date copies of any files you might need by simply dropping them into a cloud storage service. Likewise, make sure that all of the devices you use are synced so that you aren’t also calling your secretary for an important phone number, email message or address.