Whether you’re telecommuting, hoping to start working remotely or already spend most of your time on the road, the prevalence of business-related apps means you can set up a paperless mobile office anywhere. In this five-part series, we’ll share some of our favorite tools for document creation, file sharing, conferencing, project management and travel.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that anything you use to create documents on the go needs to be cross-platform. That is, it needs to be accessible on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. You also need be able to share what you create with co-workers or collaborators. That way, you can make progress on a file without sending multiple emails or versions.
Microsoft Office. If your company already uses Microsoft Office and its suite of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, then you’re probably going to be most comfortable sticking with this paid platform that lets you to store documents in the cloud and track changes. Add-ons include OneNote and SharePoint. Costs start at $5-$10 per user per month.
Apple iWork. If you’re a Mac addict, you’ve probably discovered the enhanced-user experience that Apple’s versions of word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software deliver. The Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps originally cost $10 apiece, but now come free with new laptops and desktops. These upgraded versions also allow users to invite collaborators.
Google Drive. If you’re not tied to one of the above, check out Google Drive. It’s a free platform that lets you create and collaborate on unlimited Google documents ranging from spreadsheets and word files to presentations, web forms, websites, mind maps and more. All you need is a Gmail/G+ account — which you can create with your existing work address. Many project-management tools sync with Google Drive as do conferencing tools like UberConference and Google Hangouts.
Issuu.com. If you can make a PDF, you can create an embeddable digital publication with Issuu.com. All you have to do is create a free Issuu account and upload the PDF, add a description and keywords, and publish. Clipping tools let you cut and share excerpts of your document on multiple social networks. This platform is most valuable if you need a digital version of printed publications like handbooks, event programs and speaker handouts but don’t want to pay hosting and conversion fees.
Canva.com. This free graphic design platform is perfect for creating PowerPoint slide templates, brochures, save-the-date cards and profile images for G+, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Choose from Canva.com templates or enter the document size you need. Images are $1 each or you can upload your own. Export final designs as PDFs or PNGs or share edit links with collaborators.
What do you use to create documents on the go?