At first it may strike you as exciting, even glamorous; a chance to escape the office, meet someone face-to-face and maybe even visit foreign climes. But eventually, as all the organising, the flying and the rigmarole of transport to and from a hotel/ meeting at the other end dawns on you, the prospect of travelling for work loses its lustre. But help is at hand – or literally in the hand – thanks to digital smartphone technology. Here are some super smart apps that’ll reduce the turbulence involved in getting to and from (and actually experiencing) those long-distance business meetings…
Wouldn’t it be great if something could organise all the details in all those confirmation emails you receive for your trip, so your travel arrangements are easily digestible? Well, there is in the shape of the terrific TripIt. Simply forward those emails to this app and it’ll do the work for you – organise your flight schedules, hotel bookings and meetings info into both a calendar-formatted itinerary. Available on: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry/ price: free (Basic); $49 a year (Pro).
Within just five clicks on your smartphone this free app will ensure you’ve been able to locate and book a perfect hotel room in the major city you’re visiting – on the same day as your arrival – as it taps into its clever-clever list of thousands of last-minute room deals. Ideal for those who’ve either forgotten to book beforehand, found somewhere they wanted to stay’s overbooked or are simply caught having to fly out for a meeting at the last moment. Available on: iOS and Android.
Being one of the world’s most business-oriented and busiest cities, you may well find yourself visiting London for work at some point in the future. In which case, if you fancy spoiling yourself a little while you’re there (and why not?), then a great place to base yourself would be at one of the several Montcalm luxury hotels. And this stay in London app is an excellent example of a hotel-specific digital presence done right. It perfectly reflects the Montcalm brand – enticingly and stylishly elegant but contemporary; efficient and effective – showcasing the venue’s many additional amenities (including cocktail bars and acclaimed restaurants), as well as enabling you to book rooms and edit or cancel reservations.
If he’s being honest, this particular blogger doesn’t put much stock in weather forecasts (let’s be honest, half the time they’re wrong – at least in changeable weather-afflicted Britain. However, not everyone feels that way and, on occasions, when seriously adverse weather is clearly on the way, having an app that provides up-to-the-minute forecasts or even real-time updates for any destination you might visit is more than a little useful. And this is right where the highly recommended WeatherPro comes in. Available on: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry/ price: from around £0.65 ($0.99).
A similar sort of offering to TripIt, this app creates a flight itinerary for you as a simple but rather beautiful interface – the real beauty of it being that it will update changes to your flight in real-time; really handy among business traveller apps, especially for when you’re sitting at the gate itself and immersed in other things so might miss alteration announcements over the airport P.A. system. Moreover, downloading is free. Available on: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
The Uber service allows you not just to book your ride from the airport to your place-of-stay, but also track its arrival time, as well as be assured of a highly recommended professional service. This free app’ll even take care of the payment side of things. Plus, showing up in one of Uber’s private cars – instead of a taxi or minicab – is bound to make for a great impression at that business meeting. Available on: iOS and Android.
If you’re visiting somewhere entirely new and need to hit the ground running (when don’t you?) then this is the – again, free – app for you. Why? Because once you tap in the area where you’ll be staying, it instantly finds services in exactly your vicinity; hotels, banks, petrol stations, coffee shops and even hospitals. Whatever you’ll need, basically. Needless to say, it comes complete with a directions feature so you won’t get lost on the way to wherever you go. Available on: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
If you’re trying to converse with someone for whom English isn’t their first language, just imagine the tables being turned and how difficult it would be for you to do so in their language (should you know little or nothing of it). This is where iTranslate comes in very handy. An easy-to-use and easy-on-the-eye app to break down the language barrier in business meetings – and indeed social meetings too. Best of all, it’s free to download. Très bon! Available on: iOS, Android, OSX and Windows.
Finally, here’s an ideal app for taking notes in meetings – saving you having to pack, get out and then carry around with you cumbersome and fiddly note-taking or recording equipment. It also ensures that everything it ‘records’ is stored in the cloud, so you don’t need to use exactly the same device to retrieve it; any other one with Evernote installed will suffice. Available on: pretty much everything/ price: free (upgrades available for small fees).