by Rory Channer, Chief Business Officer at CircleBack |
Every time I travel by air — except when the wireless is out, of course — I feel grateful to have my phone. The reason? Absolutely everything these days is in the cloud — just like I am!
I think about how, 20 years ago, how much time was lost in transit, when I could have been tracking expenses, saving receipts, hiring travel agents. Clearly, I’m infinitely more productive when I’m on the road these days than I used to be.
So here are the 10 best apps to pack for business travel. Airplane-willing, of course, they’re my — and potentially your — lifeline:
Concur is, legitimately, the one travel/expense manager that could rule them all. Yes, you probably already use it, or have been dazzled by the possibilities of its up-and-coming competitors, but, from Concur’s expense management tools, to its ability to sync with your office for necessary approvals, to the easily exported expense reports, this app — even if it’s cliche — is cliche for a reason.
TripIt makes itinerary planning easy, by storing all your various reservation numbers in one place for easy access. All I do is forward my reservation confirmation emails, and TripIt builds a master itinerary, complete with everything I need. This tool, now owned by the monolith Concur, was created by a founder of Hotwire.
Full disclosure: I’m the chief business officer at CircleBack. But, regardless, I find this app perfect for business travel, something I’ve been doing throughout my entire career. It maintains all my contacts, brings them together in one place and keeps them deduped, accurate and updated. It even notifies me when there are changes, so I can get in touch with potential prospects the minute they start in on new decision-making positions. It also has slick business card scanning and email sig capture.
With a variety of apps for flights, car rental and hotel booking,Skyscanner makes it easy to compare bookings, find the best price and book in app. It’s great for booking on-the-go when those “unexpected” trips arise.
I’m a bit of a foodie, and, between meeting with potential clients over power lunches and treating himself at the end of the day, Yelp is a no-brainer, with its reviews, menus and address-tracking.
The life of an executive, especially the chief business officer, is filled with contracts. Docusign makes executing contracts simple and, more importantly, mobile.
When I work trade shows, Handshake is my go-to app. It allows an entire sales-order process to occur in an attractive app that automatically reports sales back to your business for processing. It also offers on-the-go glances at important client information (previous orders, account assignments and more).
8. Google Drive
I live and die by Google Drive and am able to collaborate and review with my content team anywhere. Whether I’m sharing documents, tracking my teams’ output or reviewing/adjusting our content calendar to know what’s coming, it all happens here.
Any respectable professional must live by Twitter. At an instant, you can check out influencers, top blogs and news from where you aren’t. You can also view your team’s social media stats for the week and keep track of the ever-shifting industry.
Even when I’m elsewhere in the world, teamwork and deadlines loom. The Asana app lets me communicate with my team, view deadline progress and escalate/manage tasks from anywhere. Anyone who manages a team with deadlines and output goals needs Asana.