Any period where you must spend ample amounts of time away from the office (like planting and harvest season!) is stressful. Emails pile up, paper accumulates and you can feel as if you are doing double duty.
By planning out likely tasks before the whirlwind of planting season starts, you can ensure you have all of the tools that you need to run your farm office remotely. This will save you time and prevent a headache when things slow down again.
A smartphone is an obvious requirement for your mobile "tractor cab" office, but here are five more must-haves that I recommend when on-the-go:
1. Bluetooth or your favorite headset – Not only is a hands-free device required in many states when driving, it is convenient for working remotely. If you do not have one yet, here is a list of some best-selling bluetooth headsets.
2. Mobile device battery backup – When you spend a lot of time away from the farm office, a battery backup for your mobile device is a necessity. The Mophie juice pack battery backup is now available for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
3. Cloud Storage – Once you begin to use cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive, you will wonder how you ever made it without them. It is incredibly convenient to have all of your files readily available in cloud storage, even if you're spending the day in the field.
4. Scanning App – Scan receipts, documents and any other item from your phone. I use TinyScan, an app that allows you to scan and email documents for free. The pro version allows you to synchronize with cloud storage, among other amenities. Simply do a quick search on your device's app store to find a PDF scanner that works for you.
5. Signature App – I use SignEasy, a simple app to help you sign and send documents from your smartphone or tablet. There are plenty of other signature app options. Again, simply search your app store to find a signature app that works for you.
Whenever possible, try before you buy and check out product reviews to find the product or application that works best in your mobile farm office. Establishing the tools that you need for your mobile smart office is invaluable when on-the-go.
The opinions of Jessica Michael are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.