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The ability to mobilize work to feel productive and be productive while on-the-go can be challenging. Writing is easy to do when you’re sitting at home at your desk or at the kitchen table, or wherever you create. But when traveling, running errands, or just needing to work in a different environment outside of home, being mobile becomes an essential part of being productive.

But Candace, what about all your posts from Panera Bread and the mouth-watering pictures you post of your Frozen Caramel?

 Well, let’s take a look at what my experience has been:

I feel the urge to work at Panera Bread. All I have to do is pack up the phone, the iPad Mini, the laptop, all the charging cords, make sure I have my flash drive to perform a backup just in case, my purse, the heavy utility bag to carry that old-as-Methuselah laptop in, and did I remember my phone? I forget. Bulky, heavy, and I have to hold on to all that stuff while I order my Frozen Caramel for fear of it being stolen while I wait in line. Ridiculous! My laptop weighs at least 10 lbs – minimum. That gets heavy while standing in line holding a purse and trying to carry an order of food or drink, having to find a table, then unpack all that stuff and get settled in at a table or booth if I’m lucky enough to find a spot with an electrical outlet – a very cumbersome experience.

But Candace, when you write, you should be unplugged, disconnected from the world around you, in the zoneYou shouldn’t be carrying all those devices anyway.

Let’s keep in mind that cafes are public places. There are distractions all around in these types of environments. Unplugging from the world means plugging into the zone – my music. . . which means the phone is a must. Besides, let’s not forget that the pursuit of dreams should not mean the abandonment of life responsibilities. I am still a mother and daughter. The phone goes wherever I go in order for the school and/or mom to be able to reach me. Regardless of the level of stress endured, there is no stress great enough for me to be so disconnected from life that I can’t be reached by my children and aging parents.

Well, why don’t you just use your iPad Mini? It’s much smaller and more compact.

I would love to use my Ipad Mini . . . if I had a keyboard for it. All that screen tapping can be very annoying when dishing out multiple pages.

So Candace, if the laptop wasn’t working out, what did you do to change things and make yourself more mobile?

I’m glad you asked. We love our tablet devices. But reality is, you can’t do everything on these apparatuses. Today, there are many tablets available that allow you to be able to work efficiently in everything. But I didn’t have that capability with mine. The laptop was just too bulky and heavy to consistently do what I need to do on-the-go. I am a writer. I need to be able to efficiently transfer my thoughts to paper. I love the weight and mobility of my iPad Mini, but tapping paragraph-after-paragraph, page-after-page on that screen was nuts! I finally invested in a wireless bluetooth keyboard to attach to my mini. Let’s call it an experiment. I may take it back. I want – needed – the ability to make my writing mobile without the fuss. My mini fits easily into my purse without adding an excessive amount of weight. The keyboard allows me to traditionally type and get my thoughts out quickly and I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my stuff while I wait in line. So far so good.

What lead to all of this? Couldn’t you just stay home in your writing space and work? Isn’t that why you created that space in the first place?

Yes. I created my space for writing. But as I have learned and am continuing to learn, things don’t always go according to plan. For example, I was waiting at the doctor’s office the other day. This should have been a quick visit. However, the doctor was behind schedule and we ended up in the waiting room for about 40 minutes. As the minutes ticked by all I could think about is how much progress I could be making on my current book. After 40 minutes we finally made it into the room, only to wait an additional 20 minutes. The best I could do was post to FaceBook, and even that wasn’t that creative since I was so miffed about waiting for so long. How much calmer I would have been if I could have used my time more wisely. I had brought a book with me and tried to convince myself that it counted as “research”. But the truth of the matter was that I felt unproductive. I can not afford whole days throughout the week that yield no writing results. Lesson learned.

A day without writing is a day wasted. What are some ways you work on-the-go? What suggestions do you have to make writing more efficient?