Travel

Later on today I’m bound for Sydney to attend a conference. I’ve booked my own accommodation, and I guess I’ll get to find out how comfortable/exciting it is to stay in a backpackers’ for a week.

The thing is, I was supposed to head out yesterday. Or, more to the point, I was supposed to head out on Saturday, but along the way my brain switched that to Sunday, which meant when I woke up on Sunday morning and decided to check my boarding pass, I got a nasty surprise. Thankfully, the nice people at QANTAS were able to switch me over to a flight today with a minimum of fuss, and while I’ll be arriving at my conference a day late, I’ll still catch the majority of the action and hopefully get to do all that networking stuff you’re supposed to do at conferences.

Missing a flight (and having to re-book, re-sort-out accommodation, and face the prospect of lugging all of my stuff to the conference for a day due to the problems with booking inner-city accommodation at the last minutes) I’ve suddenly got paranoid about having all my documentation on-hand. Some stuff is best printed out, but for the majority of my bookings I’m fine with just having it in PDF. Since I won’t be taking my laptop (less things to worry about is probably a good thing, I figure), it better be either accessible in the cloud, or on one or more of my devices.

I’d originally planned to compile all of this - PDFs, text files of directions, etc. - in Evernote, which always seems to be relatively high on peoples’ information-management lists. I’ve used Evernote on-and-off for a few years now, but after putting all my documents in there, I just didn’t feel comfortable with them in there (and when it comes to being in a different city, lost and disconnected from the internet, being comfortable with where your data is, is a pretty good thing to be).

I’ve ended up making a separate folder in Dropbox for all my travel documents. I have it favourited and synced on both my iPhone and iPad so that I should have a copy on my, and if the worst comes to the worst, I have it downloaded in GoodReader for definitely-going-to-be-there backup.

It comes to mind that while Evernote is good for tagging, organising and filing, for things like this trip I really don’t need anything that powerful. What I really need is an easy way to shove more documents into the folder, and a guarantee that I’ll be able to get them on devices. Dropbox/GoodReader do that handily. They’re programs with workflows I’m familiar with, and when I’ve already made one mistake, I need every reassurance I can get that nothing else will break.