Author Archives: abell

5 Must Have Apps for The Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant Appstop apps executive assistant

Executive Assistants are a breed apart.  Between aligning their tone and vision with that of their boss, to juggling 3 or more different tasks at the same time, their day is busier than yours-trust me. Below are five of some of the most popular and useful apps designed for the Executive Assistant who is constantly on the go. From accounting to productivity, these apps are indispensable for the professional managing multiple deadlines at the same time.  Some are free, some are paid but all of them are aimed at making your day a little easier.


QuickBooks Online

describe the image

A recent reinvention of the original Quickbooks, this iPhone app connects existing users to Intuit’s ubiquitous accounting software. Now you can check real time bank and credit card info and integrate the same accounts payable and receivable features that many users have come to know and love. It even allows users to search and update multiple customer databases and update profit and loss reports.

(The actual app is free; QuickBooks Online incurs a $9.95 monthly fee.)

Pocket PunchclockPocket Punchclock

This app makes it super easy to log the amount of time spent on multiple tasks.  The app is the ideal solution for various assistants who bill by the hour or freelance professionals that need to officially keep track of their time. The software has  a user friendly stopwatch style clock and allows you to work with more than one timesheet.  It documents exact times and charges and integrates your smartphones GPS to include location based info. All this and the info can be e-mailed as well

(Cost: $9.99)

Ambianceambiance iphone app

Some Assistants require some peace of mind to stay productive. While straight white noise has its proponents, this app produces over a dozen soothing sounds to relax to. Sounds include: a roaring camp fire, rain and wind, and crashing waves.

 (Cost: $0.99)

SpeechCloud Voice Dialerspeechcloud

Everyone knows that the missing link of the iPhone is voice-activated dialing.  Other operating systems can intuitively dial contacts by simply saying “Call office” or “Call Cell”.  Finally an app that fills this void. Hold down the clearly visible button and enunciate the name of a person in your contact list when prompted.


Jott for iPhonejott for iphone

This simple but ingenious app can record your award winning ideas or brainstormed thoughts when you speak them into your iPhone’s built in mic.  Additionally, it can also transcribe your dictated voice notes into text (perfect for email or dictation). The app is free, but maintaining a Jott account is a pre requisite.


5 Things You Don’t Know About International Travel

International Travel

As the CEO and founder of a worldwide transportation network, I spend roughly half of my waking day speaking with airport car service clients and corporate travel planners.  As a byproduct of this hectic schedule, I’ve learned a few savvy tips and tricks  for making your travel experiences easier. From watching the entire last season of “Breaking Bad” to learning how to call outside of a foreign country for free!  Here’s five guarded travel tips gathered from discerning and seasoned business travellers, that I’ve put together just for you

You Can access your Netflix Account While Traveling Abroad.

Additionally you should be able to view Hulu and HBO Go, browse Pandora Radio or checkout your Facebook status in China. You’ll need one thing- a VPN. This is also known as a “Virtual Private Network,” and what it accomplishes is simple and amazing!  It allows you to route your Internet traffic through a network with a distinct IP address, mirroring your network back home in The USA, while you’re browsing away in a train in Berlin.

Hide My Ass! (Yes that’s really the name) and Strong VPN are two reputable and cost effective VPN options, they start at $6.55 per monthly use.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll have a fair access to numerous global servers. Getting set up is a cinch and both VPN services have top notch 24-hour customer service hotlines. Any of the aforementioned VPNs are compatible with a tablet, smartphone or laptop.

You Can Call the States for Free

T-Mobile has one of the best coverage options for international travellers; it’s a closely guarded secret they’d rather you not know about.  You can bet that they won’t publicize that all international calls made over a Wi-Fi connection are free. Like, totally free. You can forget about data or roaming charges altogether.

Calls are made using Wi-Fi connect with a UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) network.-this kind of works in the same way as the VPN.  What a UMA does is give the caller using the Wi-Fi a separate and standalone IP access to T-Mobile’s core network.  This essentially mirrors the same type of wireless connection made in the United States.

As a matter of plain stated fact-Mobile, hands down, has one of the best overseas data plan. Unlimited email access can be had for a monthly fee of $19.99-not bad!   Unfortunately the use of Twitter and Facebook is not included in this plan.  But honestly once you get the hang of the Wi-Fi and UMA network you can freely surf the web browser and log into any and all social media apps.

Electronic Pick-Pocketing is On the Rise

Tech savvy thieves are now using what’s known as RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) “skimming”.  RFIDs are really just the condensed radio frequency chips that hold all the data contained in your passports, credit cards and other personal identification cards that have a magnetic stripe.  Snatching that data is easy as pie for some of these thieves. The majority of them stroll around with a portable card reader and briskly walk by or ‘bump’ you in a crowded place.

I have heard a personal story of one  executive whose data was snatched while travelling,  only to find his bank accounts drained, within hours. Pickpocket hotspots include shopping malls, train stations and busy hubs like airports.

The best defense is a personal offense: Think about shopping around for a RFID-Anti Theft wallet or personal carrying case. Some travel specialists recommend PacSafe’s anti-theft RFIDtec 150 RFID blocking passport case.

Forget About the Power Converter.

I can’t tell you how many times I get asked about adaptor plugs for different countries, and if one needs to invest in a converter. Here’s the bottom line. Today, almost all up to date electronic gadgets come with a built in power charger as part of the adapter.  Yes that includes iPhones, tablets and cameras as well as almost all smartphone models.

What you will need however is what’s called a travel plug adapter. Different countries use different kinds of plugs. In Eastern Europe, there’s these distinct looking round two headed prongs. In England there’s those square shaped three-pronged plugs. Just remember to do some homework before you travel overseas, and find out what kind of travel plug adapter you’ll need. I personally recommend Kensington International travel plug adapter.

The only instance when you will you need a power converter is when using appliances that use an inordinate amount of wattage; hair curling irons, blow dryers or Norelco type shavers.  Honestly, you’ll thank me later for purchasing these items abroad; You can save yourself a whole lot of headaches and possible socket meltdowns!

Download the App for That

Need some useful sentences in Japanese? Personal travel recommendations from a local guide   Underground subway schedules?  There’s probably an app for that. Seriously

It’s a wise choice to by contextually specific travel apps for your destination city  before you travel abroad. Some of my favorites include: mapswithme (for offline downloadable navigation), currency (for up to date exchange rates) and worldmate (for everything from flight updates to travel itineraries)

Smart Apps  don’t hog up too much memory and many are free. The paid apps are often the best investment you can make when you find yourself in a jam in a foreign land.

5 Unique Gift Ideas for The Boss

Executive Gifting

Executive gifts should be chosen carefully, but that doesn’t mean your search for the perfect gift  for your boss has to be boring.  If you are planning on gifting your boss this season, keep his/her needs in mind. We have put together a variety of 5 original gifts for various budgets and various bosses.  Choose wisely!

Apple iTunes Gift Card

Presenting your boss with a thoughtful reminder of suggested apps along with an iTunes-app store gift card, can often be the most understated way to earn some serious brownie points without putting a second mortgage on your home Two apps that have been receiving a lot of buzz as of late: FlightTrack Pro-which has an simple and smart user interface that lets the executive traveler stay on top of flights updates and delays. Outpost is the ideal app for busy executives in charge of multiple projects.  It has one of the most elegant management tools available on the app market

Cost: Starting at $25

Apple Magic Mouseapple magic mouse

The fabled Apple tablet is due for release in 2013. In the meanwhile, tantalize the Mac nerd (c’mon we all know one!) with the newly released Apple multi-touch Magic Mouse. In typical Apple fashion, the user experience is both sexy and intuitive.  The mac fanboy/girl on your list will be able to scroll around their home screen with a single-finger slide on the surface area of the mouse.  Swiping with two digits will move the user through photos or web pages. The wireless wonder uses two AA batteries and employs an auto shutoff feature when not in use-smart!

Cost: $69

CorePack Fly Messenger Bag by Speckspeck products corepack fly messenger bag

Perfect for the young executive, this laptop bag is ergonomic and plays nice with those pesky TSA check points. The CorePack Fly Messenger Bag by Speck unsnaps, lays flat and reveals a secondary compartment that is specially made to cradle and protect your laptop.  This allows you to slide it right through those TSA conveyer belts and zip right through airport security checkpoints-sans fumbling. It features a removable shoulder strap and a special pocket designed to hold an iPod-complete with a pass-through for ear buds. Available in two striking and elegant colors, this item is sure to get plenty of mileage.

Cost: $89.95

Powermat Portable Charging Matpowermat portable charging

What was the last count on the number of mobile and portable devices your boss was carrying around?  I bet it’s at least two devices.  This nearly wireless mat connects through a traditional wall socket and can juice up to three devices simultaneously. The caveat is that multiple devices need to be fitted with receiver cases or USB connectors in order to be able to charge up. The featherweight mat folds up and comes complete with it’s own carrying bag, making it an ideal travel companion.

Cost: $99 and $39.99 for an iPhone Receiver Case ,  $29.99 for a “universal receiver” which has a complete USB adapter kit for various devices.

5Barz “Road Warrior” Cell Phone Booster5barz road warrior cell phone booster

We left the best (and priciest) for last! This “Road Warrior” unit is essentially a signal booster that dramatically increases cell phone reception and almost eliminates dropped calls. The simple and intuitive design has a built in cradle that will accept a veritable anthology of cell phone models.  It plugs into both cigar lighter sockets and standard wall outlets. Weighing in at a svelte 1lb, this little life-saver is well worth the hefty price tag.

Cost: $299


5 Pieces of Travel Tech Gear You’re Not Using Yet

Travel Tech Gear That’s a WIN!

While flying the “friendly skies” and jet setting for business may sound exciting, there are common complications inherent when moving you and all your stuff from A to B.  Here are some hot new products that hit the shelves recently.  We have chosen 5 of the most preferred pieces of travel tech gear recommended by some of our airport car service clients. All are priced below 100.00 and easily pay for themselves in both convenience and utility.


Iogear Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter iogear-bluetooth-adapter

What: The Iogear Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter is a tiny piece of tech wonder that can convert any PC with a USB port into a Bluetooth-enabled device.

WIN!: This teeny adapter engages with Bluetooth 4.0, the most recent generation of Bluetooth technology- and the fastest. Also, this micro adapter uses very little power itself,  so it won’t drain the battery life of your laptop or device.

Cost: $12


Kensington International Travel Plug AdapterKensington International-Travel-Plug-Adapter

What: The Travel Plug Adapter is a packable adapter fitted with plugs that function in over 150 countries.

WIN!: You don’t have to buy a separate  adapter each time you travel to a different country, and this portable gadget takes up very little space in your carry-on

Cost: $20

MyGica A680B USB HDTV Tuner MyGica-A680B-USB-HDTV-Tuner

What: The MyGica A680B USB HDTV Tuner is a USB adapter that allows your PC  to receive HDTV signals.

WIN!: You can watch HDTV for free-on your PC! This tiny USB stick gives you the capability to watch, pause  and rewind live HDTV.  You can even play with a recording cue and set scheduled recordings to watch later-right onto your hard drive. The tuner is compatible with Windows 7 Media Center, the caveat is that it doesn’t play nice work with earlier versions of Windows. Buyer beware.

Cost: $24

The Speck CandyShell Card Case

What: The Speck CandyShell Card Case protects your iPhone while providing a

speck candy shell with cash

utilitarian slot to stash cash and cards credit cards.

WIN!: The case has a grippy, rubberized slot that securely stashes currency and credit cards , eliminating the need to schlep around a heavy purse or wallet.  The rubberized  trim also remains flush with the iPhone’s bezel, which supposedly defends the notoriously fragile iPhone screen should it land face first.

Cost: $25

DreamTraveler iAD301 DreamTraveler-iAD301

What: No mess of cords and devices scattered across your hotel room desk. This elegant and simple charger consolidates the mess into an intuitive and user friendly design. iLuv  walked away with a  2012 CES Innovation award for this slim travel-size combo power strip featuring built in surge protection and a USB charger for iOS devices completed by a slide-out charging port.


WIN!: The Device can charge six devices simultaneously with one USB charging dock, two separately amped USB ports, and three grounded outlets.  Charge all your Apple products in a snap. The hottest facet of DreamTraveler’s design has to be the three built in grounded outlets which let you charge everything from a camera to a laptop.

Cost:  $70 (currently on Backorder)




5 Hot New Apps for International Travel


Award Winning International Travel Apps

International Travel can be complicated. There have been some recent releases of high end robust software.  Some are free, all are feature rich and offer the international traveller the capabilites of a personal travel agent in the palm of their hand


MapsWithMe: is the ideal buddy to bring on any executive travel journey as it provides travel manuals and offline maps for any global location. Once set up, just check the boxes for the places you’ll be staying and the app will give you the ability to download “offline”maps and any pertinent info regarding the location you will be staying at. (Including local guide-like tidbits). Maps are sourced from OpenStreetMap and virtual travel manuals come from Wikitravel.

mapswithme app

Currency: gives real time info on exchange rate covering in excess of 100 currencies and countries. This app is perfect for overseas travel when you need up to the minute exchange rate conversion info. This app gives a data rich” thumbnail flags” readout for the appropriate currencies. All you have to do is enter your currencies that you plan on using during your journey and you can instantly keep a close eye on the exchange rates at a glance. You have the option of manually refreshing exchange rates or allowing the app to auto refresh in hourly or daily intervals.

currency app

WorldMate: app basically has all you’ll need under one thumbnail. It tracks your itinerary and provides accurate weather forecasts.  It also gives you a currency converter and allows you to book hotels through the free version.  There’s also the indispensable travel notifications, which keep you in the know with weather affected delays and syncs to do lists for the day. Some of the hottest capabilities of the Gold version ($3.99-iTunes) of this app include: weather forecast, currency conversion, live flight updating, and a snazzy tip calculator.  It also features a rich database of flight and Hotel Searches and World Clocks.  The high end Itinerary manager as well as automated flight alerts are some of the most raved about features

worldmate app

Safe To Go™ is a robust dual user integration app that provides a dialed in user experience.  It is on one hand, a mobile app that allows travellers in the field real time access to flight and itinerary updates.  On the other end it has an integrated corporate travel desktop app that keeps an eye on corporate clients in the field and provides travel alerts.  It’s great for times with high security alert, as well as zones with security hotspots.  While it’s no replacement for executive protection-it comes close. Complete with an itinerary and software management for everything from car, hotel and flight info.  The hottest facet of the app is the ability for the client manager to provide “duty of care by alerting travelers if they’re in a danger zone; kidnapping, criminal, political, extreme weather, health hazards, etc.”


Word Lens: app has native translation software built into it.  It uses your phones camera to capture printed words from the foreign language and translates them into the language of your choice.  Many of our airport car service clients use Word Lens for family vacations, executive travel or just for the heck of it.  It’s integrated for use on the iPad or iPhone and while the app is free language bundles are a paid upgrade.






5 Things You Need to Know Before Booking Chauffeured Car Service


Chauffeured Limo Service 101

Chauffeured car service can be both convenient and elegant.  Whether you’re pulling up to An exclusive Hollywood premiere or using airport car service, it’s often the preferred way to get around town. If you are going to rent a limo for the first time or even if you’re a seasoned car service veteran there are always details your limo service should make clear to you. The following covers 5 key questions you should always make sure to ask your Chauffeured car service provider.

When Will I be paying for my Chauffeured Car Service?

If you’re renting a Los Angeles Limo on a budget, getting a straight answer is crucial. The question is actually a two sided coin; let’s get the skinny on both. Find out if your car service does point-to-point or hourly/garage-to-garage billing. Depending on the type of service you’ll need, the answer will determine how you will be billed and help you to avoid having to pay a penny more than you need to.

Additionally, does the limo service demand payment in full or a deposit at the time of booking? Do you pay the full balance upfront at the beginning of the trip? Find out exactly when they’ll be putting charges on your card.

Is There an Hourly Minimum?

For client directed hourly trips, many LA Limo services charge a minimum number of hours-it’s usually around 2 to 4. If you’re just need to book airport car service, let your reservationist know that you require point-to-point service, which traditionally won’t have a minimum amount of hours attached.

Can I Get in Touch with My Chauffeur?

If you’re scheduling a pre-arranged pick-up, you’ll want to know how you can get in touch with your Chauffeur. Request their cell phone number ahead of time, as this is often helpful to have before during and after the trip.  Take advantage of any on-board communication too. If you’re going to rent a hummer limo, for Example see how you can communicate with your chauffeur during the trip. Are there intercom systems mounted in the vehicle in case you have any burning questions en route to your destination?

Is Alcohol Allowed In The Limo?

If you and your party are 21 years or older, most likely you’ll be fine consuming alcohol in the back of the limo. Ask ahead to make sure the limo comes with a full wet mini-bar. Some Los Angeles limo services have mini bars that rival that of many luxury hotel rooms.

Parents who plan to rent a limo for prom or any other event with minors should ask about the company’s policy regarding underage drinking. Great limousine companies often have a bag search protocol prior to boarding-this gives a measure of assurance and safety.

What Amenities Are Included With My Chauffeured Limo Service?

Ask what additional amenities are included with your limo rental. Will they have an AV package? Does it come with stereo surround sound, a CD Player, iPod connections? Why shouldn’t you enjoy your custom playlist during the ride? Additionally, see if they provide complimentary champagne or red carpet service for wedding limo packages. Ask about glass stem-ware, seating capacity and arrangement and anything additional provided with the service.

How Long Can We Party?

If you and your guests are having the time of your lives and you just don’t want the party to stop, you should be able to extend your reservation. The Likelihood of extending your limo service will be higher if your trip is the last scheduled reservation of the day. Be sure to inquire about policies and protocol ahead of time. There is often a higher cost for last-minute requests. If you’re unsure about the time window time your party will need, try and  book a longer window of time to avert any last-minute changes in billing or the off chance that the limousine won’t be able to accommodate your request. 

Is Chauffeur tip Included?

Chauffeurs often live off of their tips and many Los Angeles limo services have a policy of adding 20% to the invoice at the time of the initial booking, a practice known as “all-in pricing”. Make sure the price you get includes all additional add ons and ask for an explanation of each.


Special Thanks: John Kragh

How to Deal With Rude Airline Employees

Air Travel Survival

There’s been a lot of recent news coverage surrounding bad attitudes at the airport: flight attendants getting confrontational, gate agents having mental meltdowns, ticket agents who won’t move a finger for you. It seems that airline employees are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. Is anyone really that shocked?

Changes in Airline Personnel

Airline employees have been dragged around quite a bit in recently. Management has leveraged their unions, reduced the zeros in their paychecks, cut their pensions, rearranged  work protocol, slashed personnel and even hidden behind bankruptcy protection.  Yet airlines have found a way to bathe CEOs and top brass in bonuses. Just pay close attention at LAX or JFK airport during the peak flight hours. You’ll find employees performing the functions of their jobs, but their spirit is broken.

It’s not that there aren’t any compassionate or competent airline employees around anymore, but they are few and far between. Chances are, the next time you fly, you’ll find one out of every three employees in a crabby mood or with a less than shining attitude. I wouldn’t accept it, but I can empathize with it and I understand the traveler’s pain as well.

Here are a few tips for dealing with airline employees with bad attitudes:


  1. Approach Cautiously: If the first thing to come out of your mouth is something to the effect of, “Could this airline mess up my trip anymore?” you are probably not going to get the most stellar service.
  2. Situational Awareness: Take a second to empathize with what the employee is experiencing at the time you approach her. Are they getting berated by another passenger? Is there a delay that is beyond their control? Is the airline clearly understaffed for this Particular flight? Give them a modicum of understanding.  More understanding is really what the world needs now.
  3. Hands Off: You might mean it as a simple gesture to get the agent’s attention, but nobody likes getting groped or poked by a stranger, and most will take it the wrong way.
  4. Keep Your Voice Down: The easiest way to get a poor response is to shout at an airline employee. They will instantly put their guard up, and many of them will refuse you any further help or service
  5. Tone Down Your Language: The minute you start with any obscenities your cause is lost. What is guaranteed to happened is that the agent will shut down in a very calm manner and then refuse any further help.  The other scenario will have them dishing it right back at you-and then refusing any further service.
  6. Kill Them With Kindness: If you are exceedingly nice to a rude person, sometimes you can disarm them-even improve their attitude. Besides, lowering yourself to their level of crassness is beneath you right?
  7. Be Selective: If you see that one employee seems grumpier than the others, go to the more agreeable one. Why set yourself up for an uncomfortable situation?
  8. Get a witness: If you are subject to extremely abusive behavior, ask someone who witnessed it to back up your story. Get a brief statement in writing if you can, along with a signature.
  9. Remain Calm: In a calm, metered tone ask nicely to speak with a supervisor, manager or a higher up. Nine times out of ten that will bring swift results and end the abuse. Whatever you do, don’t make a scene at the airport.
  10. Taking Formal Action: If you plan to file a formal complaint, get the agents name and employee number, along with the contact info of any witnesses. Draft a letter of complaint and reread it before you print it-time provides great perspective.  Be detailed in your letter.  If the airline gets a high number of complaint letters, sanctions will be taken against the employee.

Airline employees have had a rough time as of late and are less resilient to abuse than before.  Honestly, the majority of complaints most business travelers share with me have very little to do with the actual airline employees; Delays, foul weather and smelly seat mates are often beyond their control.  During the course of your travels, practicing a bit of smart empathy may eventually get you where you need to go that much smoother.

Special thanks: James  Wysong

What’s In my bag: 5 Chauffeur Accessories We Can’t Live Without


Chauffeurs Are Not Built In a Day

Finding a driver is easy.  Turning that driver into a professional chauffeur is hard.  Growing a successful car service depends on the chauffeur communicating the vision and tone of the company out in the field.  After twenty years in the Los Angeles Limo industry and after spending some time behind the wheel myself, I’ve noticed a pattern of unique challenges a chauffeur can face. Some of these include: Personal Hygiene and Presentation, Attire, smoking, eating and drinking, Driving standards and Resting/sleeping in the car

While we can’t expect a chauffeur to be on point 100% of the time, there are some tools and tricks that can help him stay at 99% and overcome some of the unique challenges he may face in the field

Shout® Wipeschauffeured-service-accessories

Single serving packaged, portable and designed for one time use, these handy stain wipes can be a lifesaver for a chauffeur in the field.  These wipes are amazingly stain-absorbent and pretty much lift any sediment, dirt or stains off of ties, shirts and suit cuffs.  They even seem to do the trick on carpet and auto interiors too!


Kiwi Express Shine™ Spongeexecutive-car-service-essentials

It is common knowledge that one of the first things a client notices about chauffeurs are their shoes. These travel shoe shine sponges are the ideal accessory for a quick fix to minor scuffs on shoe leather.  They feature a unique self-wicking Clear shine liquid that gives a clean fresh shine every time. There’s even a hint of Color embedded in the sponge to cover up any unsightly nicks and scrapes No buffing necessary!


Zero Odor lax-limo-service-items

Zero Odor claims to be the first product “that eliminates odor at the molecular level”.  Whatever is in this stuff it works!  While air freshener and car scents tend to mask odors, Zero Odor seems to zap them at a core level.  Right after I sprayed it for the first time it left behind this odd, bleachy “tracer scent” However, after a few moments that scent was gone, leaving behind a neutral smelling clean space of air. I suggest keeping a 4 oz. bottle of this stuff in the limo at all times.


 Mac Wipessedan-service-wipes

The verdict is out-skin cleansing wipes are no longer just for women.  There’s nothing worse than having a greasy,unkempt driver show up.  In the chauffeured service industry cleanliness is next to godliness.  That’s why some of our chauffeurs swear by these MAC wipes.  A chauffeur often has limited resources when it comes to freshening up.  The MAC wipe makes use of a “sugar based emulsifier” that breaks down facial oil and built up grime.  They are extremely refreshing and seem to keep many of our chauffeurs awake and alert during those long shifts on the road


Colgate® Wisp® Car-service-must-haves

These single serving mini-toothbrushes are actually comprised of a soft plastic spindle with suave cleaning bristles on one end and a soft pick on the other.  As you brush, there’s a “freshening bead” designed to dissolve in your mouth and is safe to swallow.  This is a great tool for Chauffeurs that smoke or for those that can’t stay away from onions during their lunch break!

An EA’s Guide to Surviving the Office Cubicle

Executive Assistant Office Spaceadministrative assistan booking car service

Executive assistants often take charge of many tasks at once.  More often than not, the majority of their time is spent in one place-The cubicle.  Repetitive stress coupled with a er, how should I put this, non-ergonomical work space can take it’s toll.  Here’s a no-nonsense guide guaranteed to help these unsung corporate heroes make the most of their time in The Cubicle


  1. Location Location Location:Choose a cube as far away from main corridors, restrooms, supply rooms, and other high-traffic locations, if the choice is yours . Stay away from cubes that are in the boss’s direct line of sight.
  2. Use Comfort Tech Gadgets: Find the comfiest  chair availabe, or liberate one from a vacant cubicle or office (some types of chairs may be given only to employees of a certain rank, so borrow cautiously). As an alternate method get a certified  doctor’s note officialy certifying that you need a comfortable chair for medical reasons—your employer WILL provide you with one. A back pillow and footrest pay in dividends. Stay away from hammocks, love seats or recliners!
  3. Make Use of Convenience Accessories: A Bluetooth headset will afford you an increased range of motion. Noise-cancelling headphones (with an extended cord) can get rid of external distractions. A mini- fan has been known to filter out annoying noises such as loud phone conversations and typing racket. (The fan will also challenge nosy co-workers from eavesdropping in on confidential conversations)
  4. Personalize Your Territory: Let your internal interior decorator come out here.  Adorn your cubicle with photos of family and friends, even your kids  drawings.  Some Executive Assistants swear that having personally meaningful pictures or other homey items have gotten them throught the toughest of days. Don’t over-do it or your cubicle could turn into a dorm room or billboard.
  5. Build Vertically: There are usually fewer to limits to using vertical space than horizontal. Stack invoice trays on top of elevated surfaces to clear up more horizontal room. Rolodexes, Tape Rollers, and Staplers that usually take up precious desk space can be hung vertically to open up and maximize horizontal desk real estate and create a clean and spacious feel.
  6. Mirror Mirror: Mount  a large mirror on the cube wall – this will give the illusion of more space.                                                                        


  • Health and safety ordinance codes prohibit cubicles from having roofs. Do not attempt to recreate privacy by fully enclosing your cubicle
  • Placing a discreet, stick-on wide-angle mirror to the frame of your  computer let’s you see anyone trying to peer into your cubicle from behind.
  • Notify your boss that you would like a “double-wide” cubicle when one opens up. Standard cubes measure 8 by 8 feet and 4 to 6 feet high—double-wides give you twice the real estate of standard cublices, plus an L- or U-shaped desk. The double-wide cubicle does pose some risk: If office space needs to be ‘consolidated’ you may find yourself with a cube-mate, a situation you would like to avoid
special thanks: Courtney Daniels
image: still from movie "Office Space"

8 Executive Travel Tips for Car Service Clients

military field guide

Business Travel Survival

It’s the height of holiday and business travel season.  Chances are that you’ll be taking planes trains and using car service during your Journey.  While many business travelers are urged to take a moment to relax; most will just soldier on. Travel related stress can take a cumulative toll.  All the small snags and snafus can add up.

Here’s a survival guide to attack the most common travel related stress scenarios that occur during executive travel. 

Restroom Recon: If you’re in a hurry to find a restroom, head to the nearest large hotel. Most hotels have bathrooms on or near the lobby floor that are traditionally kept clean.

Recuperative Efforts: Department stores are ideal locations to quickly freshen up or reapply makeup. Just head over to the cosmetic sample counters and you’ll find a veritable anthology of lipstick, makeup, and perfume at your disposal.

Airport Car Service: When exiting your Limo, be mindful to leave your door ajar while your luggage is being retrieved out of the trunk; that way the Town Car service can’t take off before you get your luggage out.

Baggage Distinction: Give each piece of your baggage an unmistakable look—tie a scarf to a handle or invest in a bright hued luggage tag. Luggage can be hard to tell apart, and even though you can probably figure it out, not all business travelers are as savvy as you are.

Attacking Wrinkles: Take advantage of those thin plastic dry-cleaning bags by putting them between delicate articles of clothing- this will prevent most wrinkling. Pack precious and smaller items in zip-lock bags avoid further crinkling

Ditch Equipment-Specific Bags:  A diaper bag has fewer chances of being snagged, than an expensive looking pelican case If you’re bringing any valuable electronics with you this travel season (such as macbooks, ipads, camcorders, or photo gear), think about  organizing them in a diaper or baby bag instead of those techy and conspicuous  cases designed for them. Diaper bags have plenty of handy compartments for storage

Free up More Space: If you’re suitcase feels maxed out, squeeze out the last bit of space. Zip up your baggage and drop it a couple of times on the ground.  What you’re doing is compressing the contents as much as you can, and freeing up more room.

False Wallet: Make a “mugger’s wallet” This will be comprised of a small amount of cash along with some type of photo ID (not your Passport or driver’s license) and supplemental, but replaceable, cards-to give it some weight. Take this wallet for your day to day journeys, but be ready to give it up  it in an emergency. Keep this throw-away wallet in your front pocket, and surround it with a rubber band. You will instantly sense any effort to remove it.


special thanks: courtney Daniels