Taking Your Office With You

Years ago, when I was living in the Bennion‑Taylorsville area, but teaching high school In Park City, I spent a lot of time in my car. Some days I had an evening rehearsal with my students, PTA, or other meetings in the evening. It hardly seemed worth while to drive all the way home, only to drive back two or three hours later.

I met and was impressed with a workshop presenter, Shirley Kawa‑Jump, who had written How to Publish Your Articles. Among other ideas, she talked about the possibility of establishing a mini‑office for your car. Bingo! That’s what I needed!

One Christmas I received a small lap desk with two small drawers: perfect for pens, pencils, discs or (now) a thumb drive or two. The bottom of the desk was a cushion, but the top, a hard wood which could be elevated to the “slant” you wanted while reading, or correcting papers. Flat, it was the perfect platform for a laptop computer.

I checked out Kawa‑Jump’s book for what other items I’d need for my “in‑car office”. A plastic container could become a mini‑post office with scale, stamps, different sizes of envelopes, address labels and a free postal rate card for things which needed to be sent by snail mail (does anyone do that any more?). It was suggested that you could also carry a few pencils, pens, paper clips, sticky notes, lined pads of paper, etc.

That box, or another ‑‑‑ maybe even slightly larger ‑‑‑ could become a “file drawer” for a few folders, research materials, your business and/or tax‑related info, contracts, response letters, etc.

If you plan to use this “office” for longer periods of time, you might want to include a handy pocket‑sized dictionary and a thesaurus (in case you’re parked somewhere without access to the internet), a copy of the good ol’ standard: Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, Writer’s Market (or a few copies of their recent magazines).

This office stood me in good stead, even when I was just out‑and‑about in Salt Lake. Occasionally, I took a break by leaving the house and driving up one of the canyons or to a park. Why not? I had all my “stuff” with me? I could get “away from it all,” yet still take it with me!

Here’s an added bonus: where do you “office” at home? If you have a small closet that could be cleared out, or a basement room with a little unused alcove, add a shelf or two: a nice one for your “desk” and a couple at one (or both?) sides for a few more books and magazines. Invest in a comfortable chair which will do for reading or computing Voila! Now, you have your own office at home . . . and you thought you didn’t have enough room!