With a ban on in-flight electronic devices on nonstop flights from eight nations to the United States, business travelers may find themselves with only a mobile phone on a 15hr flight. Here are three must-have items to maximize productivity even if you just have a small screen to work with.
1. Portable Wireless Keyboards
I suspect there will be a “run” on these if the electronics ban spreads, but for now wireless keyboards are available and quite cheap on Amazon.
Buy one that folds up into your bag or pocket and you can avoid typing documents or constructing spreadsheets with two fingers. You can also buy a laser one, though I find typing on a virtual keyboard more difficult.
While the ease of working on a phone is undoubtedly inferior to working on a laptop, Microsoft Office, Quicken, Quickbooks, and other important business software is available for a mobile platform. You may have to squint at your screen, but it is better than nothing.
2. Phone Stand
If you are typing with both hands, you cannot prop up the phone with a magical third hand. Trying to use part of your seat or a cup is just annoying (beleive me, I have tried). Just buy a stand. I have one from Tumi that I received as gift. I am sure there are many cheaper varieties that do the trick just as well.
3. Portable Charger
Portable chargers have dropped significantly in price, but make sure you get a good one. I like the Zendure model pictured above because it looks like Rimowa luggage, but do not own it. The model I use is mophie powerstation XXL, which provides up 100 hours of battery life and can charge three devices at once.
It is true that many airlines have power outlets not only in business and first class, but even economy class. Even so, it is wise to have a backup and I never leave home without a portable charger.
A portable charger, phone stand, and wireless keyboard: three cheap investments that will make your laptop-free flight much more productive.