Somedays creating means I’m at home, working from my desk or enjoying the natural light from sitting at the dining room table. Other days it means I’m working on the go. Whether traveling in a car, doing weeks of road trips on end, or catching flights, today I thought I would share how I create on the go. We could also title this “How to work out of your car” or “Living the life you’ve wanted as a creative.” One of the best parts about being self-employed means there’s implicit freedom. We can create our own schedules, take on projects that inspire us, and document adventures on the open road. Want an adventure? Go find one and photograph it along the way. A few weeks down the road, it may become a blog post and great content. The downside? Deadlines still exist, as do bills, and the need to make money. So can you have it all? What are some ways that you can create on the open road, doing what you love and finding the next adventure?
Today we share some of our tips and tricks for working from a mobile office and lessons learned from month long travel seasons.
This seems obvious right? But in all seriousness, plan, plan, and then plan some more. Before hitting the road, I make sure I have all my work requests in place and manageable for my time away. Clients have received the emails they need and know what to expect while I’m gone. In order to work in the car, I make sure I’ve downloaded any assets I need for projects in advance and have all copy files saved (this keeps my hotspot nice and tidy) When I’m prepping for gathering new content for the blog, I use Evernote to brainstorm potential post ideas prior to reaching my destination, they remain in list form until they’re ready to be drafted. If I feel super strongly about any content I know I will be creating, I come up with a shot sheet in Evernote as well. For my Instagram account, I have a separate album in my photos on my phone called “Shot sheet.” This holds composition and photo styling ideas that I may want to create while adventuring. I use Latergram, Hootsuite, and schedule posts and social media updates ahead, making sure content will still rollout while I’m away.
I typically take turns driving with someone while on long trips. When I’m not driving you’ll find me behind the laptop, pounding out deadlines, and using the personal hotspot on my phone to submit work to clients. As I collect content on trips, I’ll begin to edit images and write copy. This is something that can make endless hours feel productive. I also find that working on handlettering for blog posts is a great use of time if I’m not able to get any service. Sometimes I bring my sketchbook and pens, while other times I use my iPad and a stylus. If you’re not someone that can work super well in a car, I suggest writing in a journal or doing something more creative. Maybe it means sketching scenery, (I’m imagining a shot of a cool pen drawing of the desert with the desert in the background. Hello “Photo Diary of” or “Inside the Sketchbook” posts), writing music, or choosing to daydream ideas, wordplays, or brainstorm for new content or branding.
With different adventures, comes new scenery and ways to embrace it. Make sure to pull over the car, get some great shots, and stretch your legs. Looking for some ways to stretch your creativity? Issue yourself a creative challenge. Maybe this means doing a photo journal of where you’re going, shooting images only with your iPhone, or spending the car ride by going analog. What would a road trip look like without our iPhones? Crazy thought right? What would our connection and experience be with the world? Try it out for a few hours. Your next adventuring post could be completely different. Maybe instead of doing a typical city guide, ask locals where they go and wander around the city, getting lost in the best of ways. After a long stretch on the road, I always try to find a place to hike and recharge. (Remember long shots in this moment are a huge blessing, as your hair will have that messy tousled look and it isn’t visible whether or not you have makeup on.)
When creating, remind yourself not to be overly ambitious. You’re probably not going to redesign a website while traveling. Pack the tools you know you will need and keep everything else at home. I always make sure I pack my camera, laptop, Polaroid, iPad, and sketchbook. I can keep all of these items in my backpack and can haul them around for lengths of time if necessary.
How do you work from a mobile office?