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The natural result of technology s shrinking size and wireless capabilities has resulted in something miraculous: the office has become portable. Never before have you been able to do so much on the go. The mobile office has risen to meet the demand of a global economy, and more people find themselves needing to use office tools in places far removed from their office building. Contractors and architects show plans and make bids on the job site; executives meet and negotiate business plans over a dinner table; even forest rangers, the people who chose the outdoors over a confining office space, can send and receive data about tree growth and wildlife populations from deep in the wilderness. The office has truly gone mobile.

So what do you need to create a mobile office? We ve compiled a list of useful gadgets and the ways they benefit an employee who is never in the same place twice.

Laptop   The laptop is the original symbol of the mobile office. At first, they were clunky boxes that were only useful for word processing; now they are streamlined, powerful multimedia centers that can handle audio, images, documents, videos and anything else a PC can use. They can connect wirelessly to the Internet, making them invaluable for people who need to check their email frequently.

Compact Printer   Printers used to be solidly stuck in the office because they were too cumbersome to carry around, but now they have slimmed down, much like the laptop, to a manageable, portable size. While you can show documents on your laptop, the compact printer is essential when you need to leave a copy of a file with a client or coworker. The compact printers can print text or photos and can even print in color. While their ink cartridges won t last as long as their bigger office counterparts, they can still handle anything you may need to print for the mobile office.

Smartphone   Staying connected means being able to talk with anyone at a moment s notice. Cell phones have made this possible anywhere in the world, making them an indispensable asset for the mobile office. But smartphones take cell phone technology a step further. You can use a smartphone to check your email or to instant message a contact. You can also read documents, view images, watch videos and listen to audio all in the palm of your hand. You can even type and edit documents, though it s far more ponderous than a laptop because the keyboard is so small.

Digital Camera   Digital cameras are essential in many jobs because people need to document how things look or what state projects are in. Digital photos are a great way to show people what you are talking about, and digital photo files are compatible with smartphones, laptops and compact printers.

Camcorder   Camcorders are small enough that you can take them anywhere and record in just about any setting. Camcorders can be used to document work, record presentations or messages, capture important events or video anything else your job requires. Most camcorders can record in digital formats that are compatible with laptops and smartphones.

With these tools, you can accomplish just about any job away from the office and still stay connected with coworkers and clients. Consider which of these tools will be useful for you because, even if you re job is stationary now, you may find yourself working in a mobile office soon.

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