In an ideal world, working from the road would involve a certain amount of business-jet atmosphere, but until your bank account is measured by how many commas it has, you've gotta find a way to make the best of what you've got.
These 12 hacks will transform your car into a formidable mobile office that'll make you more efficient, more comfy, and that much more impressive compared to your co-workers.
1. Get a police-spec laptop desk
You can actually get the same kind of desk that cops use when they do...whatever it is they do when they sit in parking lots all day.
2. Use a power inverter to run all your gadgets off of your car's battery
Maybe some day, everything will charge via USB. But until then, you can't beat having a few 3-prong outlets—especially with some of the other stuff your mobile office is gonna need. Pro tip: Your car's electrical system can only take so much abuse, so you might want to consider upgrading to a stronger battery.
3. Never lose cell service of WiFi
Some manufacturers will let you use your car's antenna to boost your phone's signal, and some cars are actually rolling WiFi hotspots. If yours does neither, aftermarket signal boosters like this will keep you on the grid even when you start to hear dueling banjos.
Note: Technically speaking, it's illegal to roll up to a fast food place and use its network from the parking lot. It's called piggybacking, and while you'll almost never get in trouble for it, it's a good idea to be aware of any law enforcement in your area. Or just go inside and use it as a customer.
4. Keep a mobile printer in your trunk
Printers like this HP OfficeJet 100 connect via Bluetooth and run on battery power. Just be careful of summer temperatures if you're leaving your car in direct sunlight.
5. Stay caffeinated
Trying to stave off that 2:30 feeling by drinking stale coffee you brewed back at home hours ago isn't any good. Coffee's strongest when it's fresh, not to mention infinitely better, so why not brew it in your car?
6. Snag a mountable tray
And there are a number of trays available that hook up to your steering wheel. A brilliant move considering that it would stop you from eating and driving, a decidedly stupid decision.
7. Cut back on food costs with a mini fridge
Working from your car all the time isn't free license to source all of your sustenance from drive through windows. When you can get a decent mini fridge for your car for under $100, you have no excuse not to be eating healthy on the road.
8. Use a proper coat hanger to prevent wrinkles
A lot of manufacturers actually make headrest-mounted coat hangers so you can at least look like a civilized human being when you get to your meeting. If yours doesn't, there are a million similar designs on the market.
Need to bring a week's worth of suits with you? Get an expandable shower rod and mount it between the pillars behind your front doors.
9. Install a safe
You now have a lot of equipment in your car, and that's attractive to thieves. Aside from basic security measures (tinted windows, alarm, etc), you can get a safe that mounts anywhere from your center console to under your seat. Some even have a USB pass through so you can charge your laptop while you're gone.
10. Let an app track all your mileage
If you've ever had to fill out mileage expenses, you know full well that it feels like filing taxes. Every. Damn. Month. If you're basically living out of your car during the work week, that needs to stop. Apps like MileIQ will upload directly to the most common expense platforms.
11. Create the ultimate workstation
Once upon a time, people used notepads for everything. If you're one of those who still uses pen and paper periodically, get something like the JourniDock, which is basically a classroom desk for your car. Plus it provides handy mounts for all of your devices.
12. Turn your windshield into a monitor
Rather than pulling out your laptop, just put your iPad on your dashboard, facing up. Use an app that mirrors the screen, and you've got a nice viewing angle. Pair your device to a wireless keyboard and you're good to go.