The days leading up to a business trip can be stressful, with professionals scrambling to gather the files and equipment they need for meetings, as well as packing clothing and personal items. In addition to this, travelers are also struggling to stay on top of daily business matters. It’s easy to see how small details can be overlooked.
Note-taking apps like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote have become increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes. Instead of relying on Post-It notes and hastily scribbled lists on legal pads, professionals can load these apps onto their mobile devices and have them everywhere they go. Before you plan your next business trip, here are a few reasons you should consider using a note-taking app to make sure your next trip goes smoothly.
If you don’t want to forget anything, experts say you should make a list. Just the process of creating a list cements it in your memory and makes you feel more in control of your environment. In previous decades, workers would make those lists on slips of paper or in daily planners, but checklists have become largely electronic in recent years. Even with that change, though, many professionals rely on tools like basic Notes or dedicated checklist apps to make those lists, which limits them to basic features.
Notes apps bring a higher level of sophistication to the process, letting users create multiple lists and store them in one place. Travelers can set up a list of items to take on business trips and have it operate alongside a to-do list of items related to the business portion of the trip. These apps can also be reached on a user’s PC, smartphone, or tablet, with changes automatically synced to all other devices.
Maintain Travel Documentation
Before the electronic age, a traveler was required to make sure he had all of his necessary paperwork before leaving the house. Plane tickets, hotel reservations, and contact phone numbers had to be on hand before he could leave. In the days leading up to the big travel day, professionals should begin saving this information to the app, starting with emailing all confirmations to the app using the email address issued to you when you create an account.
Many note-taking solutions also let you scan documents directly into the app for easy retrieval later. Any paper-based documents can be pulled up while on the road, eliminating the need to stuff your briefcase with paperwork to drag along with you. This doesn’t have to be limited to your travel documents. You can also scan paperwork related to your meeting into the app to have on hand when you arrive.
Save Points of Interest
Planning a little sightseeing while you’re on the road? Even if you simply need to come up with a few places to take business partners, note-taking apps can help. In the days leading up to your trip, you can search the web for great restaurants and hot spots and, as you find things, load them directly into the app. The Evernote Web Clipper lets you clip websites, links, and pictures to view later, letting you remind yourself of places you don’t want to miss on your trip.
Your clipping isn’t limited to websites. As you flip through your favorite magazines and travel books, you can scan items of interest directly into your note-taking app. If a scanner isn’t available, you can snap photos of the item and save it into your notes. As you stumble upon items of interest about other areas, you can save those in separate notebooks to call up if you ever happen to travel to those places.
Budget and Expense Tracking
Most traveling professionals arrive home with a wad of receipts that have to be sorted and entered. Note-taking apps give you the opportunity to snap receipts and track spending to make expensing easier when you return. Using a smartphone or tablet camera, professionals can snap photos of receipts and save it for later. If a scanner is available, professionals can even scan and save each receipt. This frees travelers from keeping up with stacks of paperwork to submit later.
In addition to receipts, professionals can track the money they’re spending on the road for reimbursement later. By sharing your notebook with your accounting, you can ensure your expenses are processed more quickly, which means you’ll have your reimbursement faster, as well. Note apps also have the ability to integrate with outside apps like Expensify, which can export expense reports based on entered information.
Stay in Touch on the Go
Note-taking apps are more sophisticated than ever. By sharing your network with team members, you can brainstorm on the go or just keep up with what’s going on with various projects. When an entire group shares a notebook, they can be more productive and effective, even if they aren’t in the same place at once. Team members can share documents, update each other on task lists, and even drop in documents a co-worker might need for his important meeting at the remote location.
An app called ifft (if this, then that) provides an even new level of help to professionals as they travel. The app lets professionals automate daily tasks to ensure they continue to happen even in their absence. Every starred item in a user’s Gmail account can be sent to Evernote as a new note for follow-up while on the road. Additionally, emails can be directed to go directly to Evernote for easier management while on the go. This lets professionals ensure as they travel that they can access their work-related emails in one place.
Note-taking apps put the best of today’s technology to use in helping professionals organize their trips. In an increasingly paperless world, these apps are a great way to travel without being bound by old-fashioned documents and receipts. When used with some of the great add-ons available today, professionals will find a note-taking app is the perfect way to manage each of their business trips.
5 key apps for planning your next business trip include:
- Evernote: The most popular business-related note app, Evernote is an all-inclusive tool that syncs between a user’s smartphone, tablet, and PC.
- Microsoft OneNote: Available for free on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, Microsoft OneNote is a robust note-taking tool that builds in collaboration and note-keeping.
- Simplenote: This simple, streamlined note-taking app is designed for Mac, iOS, Android, and Kindle. Because it’s completely free, a professional can try it out to see if it has the options he needs.
- Papyrus: Designed for Android devices, Papyrus works like a paper notepad. Users can use a stylus or finger to make handwritten notes on a device screen, simulating the pen-and-paper experience.
- GNotes: For Gmail users, GNotes is a good choice, since it syncs with a user’s Gmail account. Users can create notes using images, text, handwriting, and more.
Reda is the CEO of cloudswave.com. He is an Entrepreneur with a passion for technology and is experienced in B2B & B2C marketing planning, product management, digital marketing, operations, and advertising sales.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com