Have briefcase, will travel

A lot of people I know travel a bit in their line of work. A lot of the time these trips range from anything between 20 minutes and 14 hours, pretty much meaning that you go to a customer or a partner, have a meeting or two and then you go back home. The travel involved might be anything from a short walk to a short flight and what has struck me is the obscene amount of crap people take with them.

Now, as much as I enjoy casting the first stone (and second, third and preferably fourth if I have had the time to visit Rocks R Us – for all your stoning to death needs) I should admit that I have been just like that. I used to carry around a laptop, not an extremely heavy one but still, the power supply, some pointless peripherals and a lot of other stuff. No more of that now. My packing now includes a USB memory on my key chain, my K800 and a notebook. And by notebook I mean the kind with paper. You use a pen. No, it doesn’t have automatic hand writing recognition and export to an unusable XML format. It has paper. The thing is, I have noticed that if you don’t bring a computer but rather use the customer’s computer to run your presentation you get a whole lot more of their attention. And the fact that you use a notebook tends to shame them into not opening their own laptops to catch up on their emails while the meeting is going on. Consider this a tip from the coach.

(On longer trips I bring the laptop, naturally, but it stays in the hotel room. It’s a tool, not a crutch people.)


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