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Top 6 Blogs for Frequent Flyers

I am somewhat of a road warrior, where I am in my car a lot. Personally, I travel by airline a lot less for business now being in a startup with an eye on the budget. Technology is an equalizer here. Web applications, mobile apps and the internet on my smartphone and my iPad provide me with the business tools to get work done.  Frequent flyers for business have an equal need to remain productive when mobile.

In my own experience I found that life on a plane is not that difficult, rather, it’s the planning, scheduling and work in between that can get our of hand.  Here are a few notable resources for frequent flying business people to help become more efficient when not ‘wheel up’.

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The Middle Seat Terminal - @middleseat
The Wall St Journal’s frequent flyer blog provides industry news, booking strategies including this great guide to when it’s worth paying for flyer status.

The Points Guy@thepointsguy
All the latest miles and frequent flyer credit cards deals plus hotel and airline reviews to help you maximize the return from your frequent flyer miles, credit card points and hotel points.

UPGRD@upgrd
Two dozen travel bloggers review their experiences, top-tier travel amenities, and how to leverage your points to get the upgrade for cheaper.

FlyerTalk@flyertalk
The world’s most popular frequent flyer community provides blogs and forums to discuss the latest industry news and rewards programs

Road Warriorette @RoadWarriorette
Besides reviewing frequent flyer programs, this blog reviews luggage and other travel accessories, covers travel etiquette and questions about TSA security screenings from a woman’s perspective.

Frugal Travel Guy@frugaltravelguy
Rick Ingersoll, the Frugal Travel Guy, provides hints and tips on “seeing the world at prices you can afford” for both leisure and business. Which rewards credit card has no foreign transaction fee? How do you spend a week in Cape Town on rewards points alone? Read his blog to find out.

10 Tips for Hosting a Productive Conference Call

conference_call_We’ve all had dreadful conference calls. You know the kind – the ones that drag on forever without accomplishing much at all, the ones where you get static, echoes and the sound of someone eating their lunch, the ones that get dominated by one speaker. Now that joining conference calls and online meetings from your mobile phone is easier than ever before, here are 10 tips on making them more productive.

1. Share the agenda with all participants

Would you call a meeting if you didn’t have an agenda? No! Why waste the time? Send the agenda early on so the participants will have time to prepare before the call. You will get more done when everyone is prepared. Agendas will also keep participants focused and allow for easy transitions.

2. Start on time

Waiting for everyone irritates those who were on time and rewards the laggards. Instead, reward those who were on time by starting the call when it was scheduled.

3. Have everyone introduce themselves

As a way of easing into the discussion, have everyone say their name, role and location. Participants will feel more comfortable when they know whom they’re addressing.

4. Gently remind everyone to mute their phone when not speaking

Odds are someone will be dialing in via their mobile phone, on speakerphone, or both! Eliminate the sounds of static, echoes and background noise by having everyone mute their lines. Remind landline callers not to place the call on hold and remind everyone to unmute themselves before speaking. Become familiar with how to mute with your conference call setup.

5. Address everyone by their name and role or location

If participants are unfamiliar with each other, refer to everyone by their name and location, i.e. “How do you see this, Nancy in New York?” This way everyone knows who’s talking and gives perspective to their comments.

6. If the call is scheduled for over an hour plan for breaks

Participants will need time to freshen up – get some water or coffee, use the restroom. Scheduling these breaks avoids a disruption during an important discussion.

7. Keep notes on who is and isn’t contributing

Encourage everyone to contribute. Quiet participants may need some persuading.

8. Summarize and review actions

At the end of the meeting, summarize the findings and ask each participant to go over their action items. This will bring everyone to the same page and let everyone know what to expect from each other.

9. Share meeting notes with all participants

Make sure everyone receives a summary of the meeting including the list of attendees, what was discussed, a brief summary and action steps. This will help everyone reference the meeting and keep track of their action items.

10. Dial into your conference with MobileDay

Don’t get worked up before the meeting digging around your email looking for the dial-in info and then trying to dial all those codes! Let MobileDay dial you in with just one touch and make it simple to set up conference calls! MobileDay is a free conference calling app for iPhone and Android.  http://mobileday.com for more info.

Thanks for reading. Have you got more great conference call tips?  Please leave a comment and add to the discussion.

Mobile Productivity and BYOD – 9 Experts Weigh In

 

As with any good argument there are usually at least two possible outcomes: The Good and The Bad. Such is the case with the Bring Your Own Device  (B.Y.O.D.) trend that has come to business mobile. That is, employees bringing the mobile device of their choice to use at work, such as smartphones and tablets. We won’t pass judgement or opinion in this post, but here is a list of experts we found whose opinion is well regarded on the topic of this consumerization of the enterprise. Does the increase in mobility that a corporate BYOD strategy offers increase or decrease ones personal productivity and therefore a company’s overall productivity? See what these experts have to say:

BYOD decreases productivity

  • Fabienne Faur (@fabiennefaur) of the AFP news service writes that checking email is beginning to cut into productivity: “Many employees are consumed by emails because they are driven by a need to feel part of an organization.” Many companies are finding that restricting access to email outside of work reduces stress, which in turn increases productivity.
  • Tom Kaneshige (@kaneshige) of CIO.com writes that BYOD can limit productivity when employees travel internationally. “Many BYOD smartphone-carrying knowledge workers often take international vacations” and don’t check in on work because their company won’t pay for international roaming. Before BYOD companies would automatically pay for global roaming because the phone was a corporate asset and employees would check-in on work during international vacations. He further predicts that BYOD will decline in 2013 because “support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement typically lead to a higher total cost of ownership with no discernible return on investment or productivity gains,” citing a report from Nucleus Research.
  • Ndubuisi Ekekwe - On the Harvard Business Review Blog Ndubuisi writes that 24/7 connectivity eliminates predictable time off (a key part of a work/life balance) and this jeopardizes long-term productivity. At his company, “there was a perception that if a customer or a colleague needed something and couldn’t get it immediately, the firm would not be taken seriously,” so they implemented a 24/7 availability policy. “Six months later, we noticed that customer complaints were actually up, and team morale was down.”
  • Pedro Hernandez (@pedrohernandez), for Datamation, writes that privacy fears threaten gains in productivity from BYOD. He says 82% of enterprise workers were concerned or extremely concerned that their employer can track their web browsing, and 86% were concerned or extremely concerned that their personal data (photos, music, email) would be deleted without their authorization, citing a survey by Harris Interactive.

BYOD Increases Productivity

  • Peter Silva (@psilvas) in his series on BYOD policies for SYS-CON Media writes that using their preferred device makes employees happier. He goes on to say that “80% of Americans work an extra 30 hours a month on their own time with BYOD,” citing research from Good Technology.
  • Denise Deveau (@denisejdeveau), for the Financial Post, writes that telework has had no negative impact on productivity. “Productivity increases when people know they have the freedom to fit things in when they need to.”
  • Caroline Baldwin (@cl_baldwin) - On ComputerWeekly.com Caroline writes that, “nearly 60% of employees feel work would be more enjoyable if they had a say in the technologies they used, while 60% feel they would be more productive with better IT resources,” citing a report from Evolving Workforce Research.
  • Cesare Garlati (@CesareGarlati) write on the Trend Micro Consumerization Blog that BYOD boosts productivity because, “employees want to use their mobile devices, laptops and home PCs for work, and are also likely to get more out of the technology because they’ll be more familiar with it.” Further, “although productivity gains may offset many of the costs and risks associated with BYOD,” IT leaders should carefully evaluate the role BYOD would play in their organization before making a decision.
The Mobile-Only Experiment
  • Benjamin Robbins (@paladorbenjamin) – The true mobile productivity test is underway. Can one truly be productive on a mobile device? How productive? Benjamin is contributing columnist with The Enterprise Mobility Foundation spending a whole year working solely from a single mobile device. Each week he shares his thoughts and experience with us on what it means to be mobile-only. Will he remain mobile-only after 52 weeks? Benjamin is also  regular blogger on all things mobile in the enterprise.

As most anyone can attest, time is a valuable asset. In business, time is often a gating factor yet getting more done faster is the standard. The undeniable trend of mobile growth in business and personal productivity is both a variable and an opportunity when it comes to managing what little time we have.

Are you more productive in business when you are mobile?

Please share your comments.

aaron-o

“MobileDay Helps Me Dial-in On-time for Meetings”

Aaron O., Benton Harbor, MI

Title: Technology Manager

Company Type: Consumer Goods

Testimonial: “Most days I have back-to-back meetings across town, so I am often driving when meetings start.  Since I started using MobileDay, I’ve been dialing into conference calls on time and safely while commuting.”