A car might not seem like the ideal office space, but for some people their car is both their transportation and a sort of moving cubicle. Unfortunately, when cars serve double duty they often wind up looking messy and disorganized as their drivers search for misplaced documents, cell phones and other job-related and personal items. If your wheels are also your workplace, here are a few tips to make your day “at the office” both safe and productive.
Front seat organizers can transform a messy passenger seat into an organized office space. These organizers usually strap to the passenger seat and provide you with storage for all your daily work and driving essentials. Front seat organizers usually have slots for file folders, magazines, iPods, cell phones, CDs and cups, and are moderately priced at around $40.
Get A Sticky Pad
Are you tired of thinking you’ve lost your sunglasses or cell phone only to find that they’ve slid under your car seats? If that’s happened to you, then you may want to consider getting a sticky pad. Sticky pads grip to your dashboard and provide a safe, non-adhesive sticky surface that can hold smaller items like cell phones, sunglasses, pens, coins and toll booth tokens. Sticky pads are usually non-magnetic, heat-resistant, removable and reusable. They can usually be found for about $15 at most auto or office supply stores.
Many newer GPS models have color map displays and audio prompts that will call out your directions. GPS devices designed for automobiles usually have hotels, restaurants and popular attractions pre-loaded so that you can easily locate your destination. Having this easy-to-use, hands-free device will make you more efficient and safer while you drive.
You should also consider getting a GPS holder so that you can re-program routes without becoming distracted on the road. Many GPS holders also have coin and cup holder attachments, too. The price tag for a GPS unit is $150-$300 and holders cost about $10. Be sure not to leave it in the car or it may be lifted. If you already have a SmartPhone, just buy the GPS software and a holder.
One of the handiest devices on the market is the smart phone. Many now come equipped with cameras, video and digital tape recorders so that you can snap work pictures, make video recordings of events or use the audio device for dictation. Thousands of other apps can be purchased inexpensively to help you improve productivity, and many of the best apps are completely free. There are even voice recognition apps that can transcribe your dictation so that notes can later be turned into e-mails or documents.
Consider A Console Vault
If you are frequently traveling with valuables, it may be worth your while to consider a console vault. Console vaults are custom made for your car and allow you to securely transport electronics, confidential documents, cash, medication, firearms and jewelry with the confidence of knowing that it will all remain in a secure location. Most console vaults are pry-resistant and have locks that will even deter someone who attempts to drill it open.
Get An Auto Desk
Auto desks are great for anyone who spends serious hours out of the office and on the road. A more elaborate version of the auto organizer, an auto desk turns your passenger seat into a true work area. Plug your computer and cell phone into outlets that provide electricity through the cigarette lighter. Some auto desks have an additional pullout surface that can accommodate a notepad. Many auto desks are also equipped with hanging file folders and office supply compartments for pens and maps. They usually run $250-$300 and can be purchased at auto supply and office supply stores or from online specialty retailers.
Get A Car Clothes Hanger Pole
Do you find yourself in and out of meetings? A car clothes hanger pole can help if you have suits, jackets or dresses that need to look fresh and crisp. Clothing car bars are great if you’re a sales rep or spend days away from home. While most car clothing poles stretch between the back grab bars, a few models attach to the passenger headrest or backseat travel hooks. Auto clothes racks and hangers start at about $8 and can be easily found online.
Organization is essential if you are using your vehicle both for transportation and as an office. Consider your needs and your car and then look around and see what’s out there. With a bit of research, you’re certain to find products that suit your mobile workspace.
Author Casey Stevens is a salesman for shipping companies and spends tons of time working in his car. He also writes for truckertotrucker.com, a site which has all types of Trucks For Sale, listed and sold by actual truck owners. The choices include all areas of the country, such as these georgia trucks. Feature photo by jclark/flickr creative commons.