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The Right Business Travel App
Business travel can be a complex juggling act. Experienced business travelers know that attending a meeting, closing a deal, or presenting at a conference is just part of the challenge. You’ve got to get yourself to your destination properly equipped, on time, and prepared to deal with an unfamiliar locale. You have to keep yourself in good physical shape so you can be your best while you’re on the job. Finally, you’ve got to stay connected to the team back home—after all, they’re not just taking an extended coffee break while you’re on the road. The Shep team travels often for business. Our time on the road and working remotely is why we so intuitively understand the corporate travel experience and we know a great business travel app can make a huge difference in elevating that experience.
With the right business travel app, your smartphone can be a powerful tool to make your experience as smooth as possible. No doubt you’re already making use of it—like checking in for your flight and getting a mobile boarding pass on your app or taking a look at the extended weather forecast for your destination before you begin to pack. Nowadays, though, that’s only the beginning. The App Store and Google Play are loaded with apps designed to make your professional life easier. Here’s a list of the best business travel apps we’ve found for keeping you organized, connected, and at the top of your game, no matter where on the globe your travels take you.
XE Currency: If you’re traveling abroad, keeping track of the latest exchange rates for local currency is critical for making sure that you’re staying within your per diem. XE Currency gives you live updates on the exchange rates for every world currency, allowing you to track up to ten of them on the free version. It also includes a currency converter calculator so you can easily figure out what that lunch costs in dollars. If you don’t have access to the internet, the app uses the last stored currency value, so you can still make conversions when you’re offline. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.
PackPoint: Making sure that you’ve got all your professional materials in order for a business trip may put the mundane task of packing on the back burner. To avoid that sinking feeling when you realize you forgot your phone charger or toothbrush as you’re headed through the security line, let PackPoint make a customized packing list for you. Enter when and where you’re going to travel, how long you’re going to be there, and the purpose of your trip. The app takes weather into account and gives you a list of the items you should pack. You can hide items you don’t need, add items or update quantities, check off items as you go, and even share your list with fellow travelers. Available for iPhone and Android.
Sleep Watch: While Sleep Watch is not specifically a business travel app, broken sleep is almost a given if you’ve got a hectic travel schedule or are crossing multiple time zones to get to your meeting or business event. Sleep Watch is a free app that converts your Apple Watch into a sleep tracker that logs both the amount and the quality of sleep you get. As you track data over time, Sleep Watch’s AI gives you personalized insight into the factors that are affecting your sleep. Particularly useful for travelers is the Sleep Charge Tracking feature, that helps you recover from recently missed sleep. Available for iPhone.
DocuSign: This easy-to-use secure electronic signature app lets you finalize your business from wherever you are and is one of the ultimate business travel apps. Prepare your documents and get an electronic signature on the spot using your mobile device—no more waiting to send out a contract until after you’ve gotten back to the office. You can send documents and track their status, so you know who signed when. Everything is encrypted so you can transact business safely and securely. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows.
mPassport: If you got food poisoning in Ankara, or broke a crown in Frankfurt, would you know where to turn? The mPassport app helps you find prescreened doctors and dentists abroad in the event that you have a medical issue that just can’t wait until you travel home. Additional features allow you to search for common medications to find out their local brand name and availability, play translations of symptoms and medical terms for non–English speaking caregivers, and submit claims to your insurance. Available for iPhone, Android, and Kindle.
Asana: Whether you’re managing a team or just trying to stay in sync with your co-workers on a project, keeping progress aligned and on schedule can be challenging even when you’re on-site. Asana is a business travel app heavily favored by the Shep team. It lets you set up your projects so that tasks, deadlines, and who’s responsible for what are all clear. The whole team stays informed about progress and priorities, and the web-based format is available wherever you go. You can be sure that work in the office is on track even when you’re hundreds of miles away. Available for iPhone and Android.
Evernote: If you’re the kind of business traveler who likes to make use of every long flight and layover to be productive, Evernote is the app you’ll want to have. You can write and organize notes from your mobile device that sync to the web so they’re accessible from any device. If you’re offline, create a note and it will sync the next time you connect to the internet. The search tool can even search handwritten notes, so you can easily find materials later. Available for iPhone and Android.
Your Phone is Your Toolkit
Your phone can become a useful toolkit for a variety of business travel tasks if you have the right business travel app for your needs. When you’re organized, connected to your team back home, and healthy, you can relax and focus on the objective of your trip rather than getting distracted by the hassles that almost inevitably crop up with travel. It’s worth taking the time before you catch an Uber to the airport to think about what you’ll need to know and do while you’re away. Undoubtedly there’s an app that can help you do it more easily.