- Days: 13
- Flights: 9
- Miles traveled: 13,215
- Current location: Orlando, FL
- Next Stop: Bogota, Columbia
I made a quick trip to Seattle (Friday night to Sunday night) to touch base and to fulfill my Navy Reserve duty for the month. After a whirlwind of laundry, honey-do chores, military training and packing, I caught a red-eye to New York last night as the first leg of my 21-hour odyssey to Bogota.
Maintaining a Position of Power
One thing that struck me during this trip is how important it is to manage electric power consumption as a vagabond entrepreneur. Power availability is one of those keystone logistical issues that requires some planning, a few pieces of equipment and a bit of vigilance. Unless you’re planning on disappearing into the jungle for a week or some other remote location where there will be no power source, it usually doesn’t take much these days to ensure your critical equipment stays juiced. For most of my travel adventures, the following guidelines work well for me:
- Pick devices with long-lasting batteries and low power consumption. Most decent notebook computers these days come standard with lithium-ion batteries that will give you over 5 hours of power. My iPad will generally last well over 10 hours on a single charge, and my MacBook Pro will plug away for around 5 hours on most tasks.
- Reduce the drain. I keep the bluetooth on all of my devices turned off until it is needed. The same goes for the wireless transceiver when I am not connected to the internet. Turning down screen brightness helps extend the charge, and save the DVD drive for a time when you can plug in.
- Charge early and often. This is a no-brainer; when an outlet is available, max out the charge on EVERYTHING. I carry a mini-power strip for just this purpose and can charge three devices from one outlet.
- Carry a back-up power supply. Regardless of how well you choose your devices, minimize the drains and vigilantly charge, you will still find yourself in situations in which your devices will run out of power. That is why I always carry a back-up power source. My portable power source of choice right now is a Hypermac battery. If I need to power a dying device, the Hypermac acts as a charger via USB or a Magsafe adaptor. Hypermac maintains that the 60w-hr battery will extend my MacBook Pro’s battery to 14 hours, my iPad to 34 hours and my iPhone by 14 times. That gives me several days (MacBook/iPad/iPhone combined) to find a power source and is a segue to my last point.
- Sync data between devices. I am almost obsessed with ensuring I can access my data from a variety of devices and locations. With most of my systems, that means that the data from one device is synchronized with a central location which, in turn, acts as a hub to synchronize the data on my other devices. If one device is about to die from a lack of power, I simply switch to another and forge ahead. Among a variety of other cloud-synched applications, I use Dropbox and Box for data and Google Apps for mail on my MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone to make sure I can switch to another device and keep working.
The Power Plan
We can spend a good deal of time, money and effort planning our business information systems to support us remotely. But, all of that is useless if we don’t combine it with a good power supply and management plan. So, before you take off on your next adventure, take a moment to consider how you will stay juiced and keep your business clicking along smoothly.