by Tammy Taylor
I’m a full-time rancher but I’m also a full-time blogger. (How does she do it, folks?? LOL) Recently RancherMan & I were planning a road trip 7 hour away and I knew we would be away from the ranch for a week and a half. I hated to leave my blog work at home getting further & further behind until I returned, but what’s a girl to do? Well luckily I’m married to my handsome I.T. guy, and what a wonderful electronic age we live in! RancherMan has me covered with a pretty sweet setup that allows me to take my computer on the road and work in the car instead of staring blankly out the window for hours on end worried about the work piling up at home. Wanna see my on-the-road office?
First & foremost is this little *laptop desk – it weighs almost nothing and is easy to toss in the back seat when we’re about to hit the road. This keeps my laptop steady and also reduces the heat on my legs from the computer sitting on my lap. It’s got a smooth surface on top and came with a small LED flexible-neck light (which I’ve removed for my trip) and a cup holder which I use to hold small flash drives and the like. The bottom is a fabric pillow filled with what seems to be little styrofoam-ball padding to help it sit securely on my lap.
Ditch the Mouse
Next is this *Logitec Wireless Trackball. I typically work with a trackball at home anyway, but it’s doubly important in the car since there’s even less room to navigate a mouse while working. Although I’ve used many different models in the past I love this Logitech design best, it fits my hand comfortably and the roller ball makes quick work of any text navigation or photo editing.
Then of course I’ll need this *Dual USB Car Charger – they’re pretty common and very inexpensive. It just plugs into the car’s power port and has both 1-amp & 2-amp USB ports so I can use it to charge either tablets, cell phones or both at the same time. We keep ours plugged in all the time in the car and we keep a spare cell phone charging cable in our glove box for a quick charge if my cell phone needs a little juice while we’re out & about.
I Need Some Power!
Our most recent addition is this *Schumacher Power Inverter. In the past I’ve had troubles with my laptop battery running down while I was working on the road for any length of time. Using this power inverter assures I always have a steady stream of energy when I need it. It converts 12 volt dc to to 110 ac & has a standard 110 electric plug to run small electronic devices such my laptop, tablet, etc. It’s small & plugs onto the cigarette lighter power port and has a secondary USB charging port so I can use it to charge my phone at the same time if I wish. I love this thing – it’s made a big difference in my working travel and was much less expensive and flexible than buying another spare battery for my laptop.
Mobile Hot Spot
I’m able to access the internet on the road using this *Internet On The Go hotspot device. I simply turn it on and log in using my password and BOOM! Internet service. We love the pay-as-you-go convenience and although they have different plans available, the beauty of our plan is that we simply buy data and load it onto the device and as long as we log in at least once every 60 days, our data does not expire! We’ve used this hotspot on trips to the Texas coast, trips to Red River NM and many others. It will allow up to 5 devices to log on at one time if needed. During an extended family vacation one year, the vacation house we rented had no wifi so we allowed family members to log onto it as well – they simply bought a refill data card to reimburse us for their usage – much less expensive for them than spending the week for their whole family running off of their plan’s data allowance.
Can I Borrow Some Extra Data Please?
RancherMan & I also have a monthly pay-as-you-go cell phone plan and as long as we continue to buy monthly service our unused data rolls over into the next month as well. Sometimes when RancherMan has plenty of rollover minutes stored up on his cell phone plan we tether off of his phone instead of using the hotspot. This keeps us from having to buy data for the hotspot while rollover minutes on his cell phone go unused. Hey, every dollar saved is a dollar earned!
So there ya go – my on-the-road rolling workplace and it comes with everything except the water cooler. By using this mobile office I’m able to enjoy our little get-away without the burdens of worry about work left undone at home. Gotta love it!
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