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Over the last couple of days, as W-2s begin to arrive and tax prep commences, I was reading through my year end travel mileage logs and annual credit card totals and began to think about my daily routine. I came to the realization that I no longer work in any particular office. This isn’t to say that I work from home or that I’m in constant vacation mode. I simply mean that I’m on the road so much that I almost feel like a traveling salesperson with a mobile phone and credit card. I’ve decided to take this opportunity to give you the rundown on some of my mobile tools so that may be of use to others who are also clocking a few hundred thousand miles of annual travel.
Mornings are a time for testing my FitBit with some exercice (50th birthday present from my brothers Kevin and Dennis) and prioritizing my tasks: overnight emails from Asia, Europe and early risers, news feeds, texts and Slack messages. I like Slack because I can work through my “on the point” messages before most of my team comes online. Since I’m basically existing on both coasts, I like to be online from dusk till dawn so that I can be accessible and available to our various offices and customers in other time zones.
When it’s morning here, it’s the end of the working day somewhere else. So even before I start checking my schedule, I frequently have a Zoom video call with our European teams and customers. We previously tried to hold similar meetings through Skype, but it wasn’t reliable enough. Zoom is a great solution for screen sharing during meetings. We use this feature to show SaaS demos and documents during Zoom conferences with customers and we use real-time instant messaging to comment on the content and keep notes for later. Everything is just easier with Zoom, and I also consider video conferencing a bit more personal than traditional audio calls. I think it’s important to connect and be personable with your team and your customers.
What is also important is to never forget the “Big Picture” list. I execute offer letters, contracts, and order forms with our service SignNow. E-signatures really simplify business processes, not only for executives but also for accountants, service technicians, real estate agents, sales reps, lawyers, parents, delivery people, teachers, doctors and small businesses. I’m even able to approve invoices in the middle of a workflow while being mobile. SignNow also makes it easy for business owners and entrepreneurs to sign contracts. Recently, we’ve even established working relationships with a number of America’s top athletic universities, enabling high school students to sign letters of Intent on National Signing Day (Feb 7th) with SignNow while on the go.
Like David Berman of Zoom, I use a Tile bluetooth tracker everywhere. It lets you use a smartphone app to monitor the location of any object it is attached to. I put a Tile on or in everything – one in my wallet, one on my phone, one in my luggage, one in my business bag, my daughters use it at college, and we even have one on the collar of our dog Dunkin (yes we like Dunkin Donuts THAT much). Tile ensures that none of my belongings are lost during travel or just in my day-to-day activities.
For me, Uber is a lifesaver when it comes to airports. I share Zoom CEO Eric Yuan’s love of Uber, probably because I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes for an Uber ride. With Uber, I can go straight into a business meeting after arriving at an airport. Nothing is better than being able to meet with happy customers and maximize the quality of those precious customer meetings.
With these mobile apps at my fingertips, I am constantly connected and engaged, and it’s not even part of my job description—I just like it that way.
About the Author: Ken Grohe and his wife recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. He is a proud Cornell, UCLA, and Boston College dad and BC alumni, charity fundraiser, and mobile productivity enthusiast. PDFfiller is a comprehensive online document workflow platform with over 2 million users and more than 20,000 form filling customers per day. SignNow is the world’s top ranking mobile signature platform, used in more than 170 countries and territories around the globe.