8 Tips for Working Away from the House

Sometimes I like to head out and work from a coffee shop or even just the back yard. The change of scenery is nice and helps me take a fresh look at my work. Other times, like today, life sends me out of the house during the time when I need to work.

Today was going to be a nice, simple day. I was going to head to the story to pick up some cold medicine for Taylor and then I’d come home, finish up some custom Squidoo lenses for a client, and work on my sites. Of course, things can never go as planned, can they?

Our dryer stopped working and I need clean clothes so instead I had to quickly wash my clothes at home, toss them in baskets, and spend a few hours drying them at the laundry mat. I was hoping there would at least be wifi there, but no luck. I still got plenty of work done, just not the work I had planned on doing in the afternoon!

I hadn't been to one of these since college. I did not miss it.

I hadn’t been to one of these since college. I did not miss it.

Today is one of those days I’m thankful I invested in a laptop a few months back. Otherwise I would be really far behind for today.

I’m actually writing this in the car on the way home from the laundry mat and I though it made sense for me to share some tips for working outside of the home where there is no wifi.

Since most us of identify as online writers or internet marketers, working without an internet connection just feels weird. I now I end up opening up my browser and going to search something on Bing (yes, I use Bing instead of Google) or check my email and remember I can’t.

So, on to the tips!

  1. If at all possible, prepare ahead of time. I know sometimes you won’t know you’re going to be heading out and need to pack your computer, but if you can you should go through and prepare before you need to leave.
  2. Keep your computer and any other devices you’re bringing charged. I have a Kindle Fire that I love so I try to keep that and my laptop charged. If you happen to have a lot of extended work sessions away from home, it might be worth investing in a second battery. I know a lot of places don’t like letting you plug in your computer while you’re there.
  3. Download research resources ahead of time. I use a lot of PLR in my research. I buy the articles and piece together information while weaving in my own personality. Ruth Pound at The Internet Dream wrote about some cool plugins for your browser a while back that allow you to save webpages as PDFs or send them directly to your Kindle. I use both a lot. Check out that post here.
  4. If you’re going somewhere noisy, I highly suggest bringing some headphones. I prefer ones that cover the ears to block out distractions.  Sometimes I listen to music, other times I just leave them on with no music to block out sound. These ones are really nice and inexpensive.
  5. Bring a notepad and pen. If your laptop dies you’ll need it plus you can jot down notes. I like to have one with me no matter where I’m working. (Or else something like this happens.)
  6. Try not to plan things that are going to be too frustrating. I would never do graphics while I’m out because I’m not very good and if I’m going to stress out over something, I’d rather do it in the comfort of my own home. I generally stick to writing, planning, outlining, and things like that.
  7. Make sure you have antivirus software if you’re using public wifi. It’s not very common, but it’s not unheard of to run into problems using public wifi.
  8. SAVE OFTEN! If your battery dies and you lose your work, you’re going to be mad.

Do you work outside of the house often? What do you do to get ready? Leave a comment below.

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Comments

  1. Excellent advice! May I add that working to GoogleDrive also helps a lot if you’re out and about.

    When my daughter and I had to spend weeks in hospital I would often find that (for lots of silly reasons) I could use my laptop in some locations, the ipad in other locations, and just my phone in others – but if I saved my work to GoogleDrive then I could access it on any of those devices.

    Of course, nicking some paper out of the nurses’ printer and then using a pen worked quite fine too 🙂

    –jo
    Jo recently posted..Sing Like an Old BootMy Profile

    • I actually have that same problem when I go to Children’s Hospital with my sister for check-ups or surgery (she has cerebral palsy and a brain shunt). Depending on where I am one device works and one doesn’t. It’s so annoying!

      Good tip about Google Drive. I use it a lot to share files with partners on different projects. I use DropBox to store all of my work files so they will be on my desktop and laptop. Google Drive may actually be better option though because it works with more devices.

  2. Thanks for sharing my link!

    These are great tips, and I know all too well about the laptop dying or not having wifi when you expected it. When you’re prepared, though, it can work out even better than if things had gone the way you expected. Somehow not having the internet can make you even more focused. Plus, I think it’s good to get out of the house and work in a different environment sometimes.
    Ruth recently posted..Look How Far We’ve Come…My Profile

  3. Great tips 🙂 #8 is really important – hit the save button and hit it often.

    I will grab my laptop and work on the go every now and then too. A lot of times I will work on writing and just take my notes and do my writing on a legal pad with pen and paper instead of getting out the laptop for it. It gives my eyes a break from all the screen time and I sometimes find I get my writing done way faster than I expected.
    Loretta recently posted..Distracted by Distracting DistractionsMy Profile

    • I like to outline articles on a notepad to write later. I have a little notebook where I’ve outlined articles for entire PLR packs just because I got ideas while I was out. When I sit down to write it I just turn to a page and start writing that article.

  4. I have a little carry case that I take with me that houses my camera, wires, and extra pens or paper. It’s really an easy thing to grab as I’m heading out the door.

    When I need to work outside the house, I have a checklist I use that I can go over to make sure nothing was missed. If there’s no wi-fi, there’s not much you can do in the way of instant research, so I do it the night before and print it out.

    Thanks for the great tips here Amanda. I’ll be sure to use them!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..How to Create a Podcast Show, Part 5My Profile

  5. Hi Amanda, new here to your blog by way of Bonnie:) Thank you for the great tips! I love my office, however I should get out more and find another place to inspire creativity.
    Debra Moser recently posted..Do You Believe The Harder You Work The Luckier You Get?My Profile

  6. We don’t get out too much these days so I never take work with me. If I do have an idea or something I have notepad apps on my phone and I can check gmail from my phone. I can also keep up with social media if I have to, but since we don’t get out much, I generally push work out of my mind when we are out.

    We both want to travel one day, so I will definitely plan ahead for that. Ruth is a good example of being able to work on the road. 😉
    Patti Stafford recently posted..Friday Fanfare!My Profile

    • My fiance and I have been talking about traveling. The plan is to save up enough that we can take an RV around the country for a few months since I haven’t even seen much outside of Washington yet.

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