Thirteen Tech Tools We Can’t Live Without in 2013

A recent webinar presented by TravelAge West and ASTA’s Young Professionals Society explores technology tools that make the work day easier By: Kelly Rosenfeld
ASTA’s Young Professionals Society and TravelAge West host a technology-based webinar with leading tech experts. // © 2013 iStockphoto
ASTA’s Young Professionals Society and TravelAge West host a technology-based webinar with leading tech experts. // © 2013 iStockphoto

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Scroll down to watch the archived version of 13 Technology Tools We Can’t Live Without in 2013 now.

In a recent co-branded webinar from TravelAge West and ASTA’s Young Professionals Society (YPS) entitled “13 Technology Tools We Can’t Live Without in 2013,” four leading travel and technology experts shared the secrets of their favorite tech tools.

Moderated by TravelAge West’s senior editor Skye Mayring, the panel included Brian Cloud, chief technology officer of SwiftTrip LLC, an Altour company; Kale Hungerson, the U.S. Internet marketing manager for the Ensemble Travel Group; Monica Poling, the online and technology editor for TravelAge West; and James Shearer, director of progress at Travel Masters in Vancouver and the international chair for YPS.

The conversation covered far more than 13 valuable technology tools and their applications.  For a summary of the webinar, see the outline below — or scroll all the way down to watch the archived webinar now.

Email, Planning and Organization Programs

Microsoft Outlook
Set rules for automatic email organization or use Quick Step as a shortcut for organizing emails without automatically sorting
Synchronizes with phone and other devices 
Can integrate with other tools, keeping everything in one spot
Multiple email addresses can be accessed through Outlook

Note-taking tool, add-on to Outlook 2010 and web browsers, as well as tablets and phones
Features for sharing notes with others and tagging notes to find them more easily later

Integrated with Microsoft Office and Outlook
Similar to Evernote — make lists, tag things from the Internet, use multi-dimensional tools for subcategorizing items, access notes later on-the-go

Other Recommended Email Tools
Lotus Notes
Thunderbird Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail

Meetings and Collaboration

Comprehensive online web application — manage tasks, set due dates, create lists, etc. that can all be accessed from the web
Assign tasks quickly with different people in different places
Free communication tool, like Skype or conference call applications, to share files, send instant messages and make calls
Create a one-page profile which embodies you or your business so people can come to that page to learn more and set up meetings with you
Screen-sharing program, which is free for a trial period
Can be used internationally 

Free online scheduling tool that allows groups to share their individual availability through a poll

Google Hangouts
Place for groups to meet online and converse face-to-face from different places

Cloud Storage

What is cloud storage?
Storing files on the Internet, as opposed to a computer, so that they can be accessed from any Internet connection

Google Drive
Cloud storage system with access to Google’s publishing tools
Free tool for storing files online — get five gigabytes for free

Windows version of Google Drive — get seven gigabytes for free
Attaches to Outlook; offers ability to edit Microsoft documents online

Put documents in a file that you can easily email to others
Photos from a mobile phone can be sent to DropBox, to look at on a computer, edit, upload or email


Mobile Organization
Neat Receipts — mobile scanner device for business cards, receipts and documents into files for managing
Shoeboxed — take a photo of a business card or receipt to upload without scanner device; offers accounts of varying prices
Square — mobile credit-card scanner for payments

Android/iPhone/Blackberry/Windows operating systems
Syncs with email, tech tools, etc.
Wi-Fi hotspots can give travelers consistent access to the Web 

Western Digital Storage Drives
Like Dropbox, but physical hardware for backing up files


Airline Apps
Scan boarding pass instead of printing 

Automatically parses travel information such as flight number, hotel information and itinerary details; sends reminders for flights; creates a master itinerary
TripIt Pro is $50 a year and will track airline refunds and offers other tools

Flight Track Pro
Gate information; terminal maps; weather delays

Make calls to computers or mobile phones for free or a minimal cost 
Video camera or phone calling

Each morning sends an email that gives you a full-day itinerary by syncing with your calendars and applications (both work and personal)

Bookmarked web pages are centralized across different browsers and hardware through an app
Add tags and categories to bookmarks; can create public categories for sharing with groups

Extra Tools

Social Media Scheduling Applications: HootSuite, TweetDeck, Buffer
Multi-dimensional way to track everything in one place
Post Facebook postings or Tweets in advance to go live later 

Office 365
Is similar to Office 2013, but allows offers to pay a yearly rate for up to 5 devices instead of purchasing for individual computers
Gives more accessibility to the Skydrive cloud tool

Online backup software offering tiers of data storage; automatically updates 

How-to videos for using technology tools

Regular communications email tool with statistical feedback

Urban Spoon
Review-based app for finding quality restaurants in your location based on price and type

Works on all different phones with Wi-Fi for free messaging without incurring text messaging fees

The webinar, “13 Technology Tools We Can’t Live Without in 2013,” was the first in a series of webinars presented by TravelAge West and ASTA’s YPS. The series will continue on April 23 at 11 a.m. with the next co-branded webinar, “The New Young Consumer — Marketing to Generation Y and Millennials.” 



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