As an academic I get to travel to different places for conferences or to give talks. It’s a great part of this job, but it can also be stressful sometimes. In this post I explain how I simplify the travel process and plan my conference trips with Todoist and Evernote.
Create a project
The first thing that helps me stay on top of everything, is to see a trip as a project. Each time I decide I’m going somewhere, I create a project in Todoist and a notebook in Evernote. The Todoist project is for actions I need to take, and Evernote is for information.
As soon as I know I am going, I already have a few tasks I can add to Todoist, such as:
- Register for conference
- Book flight or train
- Book hotel
- Prepare presentation
- Submit reimbursement forms
Although I usually add these tasks by hand each time, I now decided I can automate the process a bit more. I created a Todoist template! Here’s what I started with:
Now I can import this template anytime I’m going to travel! If you are a Todoist user and want the full template, I will be sharing it through my newsletter – sign up here if you don’t want to miss it! (Mailchimp, no spam, you can always unsubscribe).
Preparing the trip
The next part happens in Evernote. When I book my flight or hotel (I use booking.com, which for the same hotel, can still be cheaper than the “special rate” via the conference website) etc, I email the confirmations to my Evernote, so I have all the documents in one place.
I also use the notebook to write an outline for my talk and store other information I might need for my trip.
Just before the trip
A few days before the trip, I always do the following:
- Make the Evernote notebook available offline, so I can access all the information without using internet
- Print the most important documents*
- Share the notebook with my partner in case of an emergency
*At one point I decided to stop doing this and save trees, but then my phone died completely just as I got off the plane… I didn’t get lost thanks to skills such as “following the people with the poster tubes”, but it would be more relaxing to just have the directions printed out.
If I’m going away for longer than a few nights, I might also create a packing list in Evernote – of course for travel with a carry-on.
During the trip
I use the Evernote notebook to make notes about the talks, or to add business cards I receive.
If you need to provide receipts for food etc to receive reimbursement, you could also take pictures of the receipts and store them here.
After the trip
Once I am home again and I want to submit my reimbursement form, all the documents are already there in my Evernote, so this has become a painless process, rather than searching for everything in my email.
The final thing is to archive the Todoist project and “archive” the Evernote notebook. Evernote doesn’t have such a function, so what I do is:
- Tag all the notes with a name that describes the trip, like “London 2018”
- Move notes to a general “Archive” notebook
- Delete the original notebook
I’m curious to hear how you plan for travel – is it different each time or do you have a process? Let me know in the comments below.