An Eisenhower Fellow’s Guide to Apps and Tools During the Fellowship
As an Eisenhower Fellow, we are to make sure that we maximize our time and resources at all times. We are to be meeting not less than 40-50 people or organizations in a span of 7 weeks. It is thus imperative that we make the best out of what technology has to offer. Here’s a quick guide of the apps and tools that proved to be most useful during fellowship.
Office Lense is an app that helps you scan documents, brochures and other printed materials. Don’t lug all those papers and documents with you. Every spare kilo of baggage is important as you will be accumulating so much stuff in the duration of the fellowship. Quickly scan your documents and then upload them to your google or icloud drive.
You will be receiving A LOT of calling cards during fellowship. CamCard is an easy to use tool to organize and manage your business cards. Take a picture of the card (as soon as you can), it will then read the name, organization name, email phone and other details. Review the details, especially the contact information (it’s still not that perfect in reading cards but it’s already quite good) and save to your phone. This way, if you ever lose the card, you will always have a copy of your contacts. The great thing about CamCard is that you can set it to also save the information directly to your phone’s contact list!
We will be given a per diem card to use for our transportation in the duration of our fellowship. Download these apps and use the per diem card on this. One of the advantages of using taxi apps and ride sharing apps is that you don’t’ have to use cash to pay for transportation. Secondly, when you are in a hurry for your next meeting, you can just jump out of the car knowing that Uber, Lyft, Way2ride or Arro will charge your card automatically. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to wait in the cold or under the heat of the sun while waiting for your ride. You can just hail the car service through your app and you will be given the plate number and car description of the car you will be taking.
Both Uber and Lyft provides car pool services or ride sharing features. If you have enough time, try this option as this will help you save money. If you are pressed for time, go ahead and get your own ride so the driver will take you directly to your destination.
Quick note: Before riding the car, make sure that you ask the driver if he/she is your driver. You don’t want to jump into a private car. 😀
Here’s a cool tip for Uber and Lyft. Since these two apps are dependent on referrals, ask someone who has already used Uber and Lyft to refer you or give you their referral code. By doing this, you will be getting a free ride for both services (and you help your friend by giving him or her a free ride too for referring you). Once you have your apps installed and your per diem card setup, refer other fellows as well so you can also get another free ride. There is no such thing as too many free rides, you will definitely use it all up even before your second or third week of the fellowship ends.
For Way2Ride and Arro, as soon as you get in the cab/taxi, input the ride code found in the screen in front of you into the app and it will then connect your app to your current ride. You will know on the cab’s screen what service app they are using. If it’s neither of the two and the cab is using another service, download that service too. You will never know when you are going to need their service again.
Here are the download links for the above apps:
WhatsApp Is a great chat and call tool amongst the fellows. Create a group for your batch and communicate with the other fellows. Let them know where you are, if you arrived in a new city as they may be in the same city too and you may get together for a meal or two. There is so much comfort in sharing meal time with a co-fellow as you get to share your experiences and exchange tips. Being with the other fellows and making them your new friends is actually one of the best things you can gain from this fellowship. After the fellowship, make sure to install Whatsapp in your own device and create another group, this time, with your home phone numbers. This way, you will be able to continue to communicate and update each other.
Store your pictures, calling cards and documents online. This way, you know that even (heaven forbid) you lose your phone, you still have all of these handy in your online drive.
Google Maps is your best navigation friend. Each night, save your meeting addresses for the next day and label it with the time of the meeting and name of the person you are meeting. This way you can just tap on it and know how to get to your location. Google maps will give you directions on different methods and routes. Whether you will be walking, taking a train, a ride sharing service or driving, Google Maps will guide you.
Quick Tip on Google Maps when driving especially when you are about to return the rental car back to the garage or at the airport. Input the name or address of the location where you are returning the car to. Afterwards, click on the three dots or menu bar and add another stop such as the nearest gasoline station to the airport. With this, google will first give you directions to the gasoline station and after that, guide you to the airport or garage. Here’s a quick instructional video on how to do this. Click Here
GoPro Camera + Selfie Stick
Most often you will be travelling alone. It would be unfortunate if you cannot take a memorable selfie or a great shot of yourself while on your trip. Get a go pro camera and the selfie stick that can serve as a tri pod too. With a GoPro, you won’t miss a shot as it’s a wide-angle lens camera and you can also control it remotely with your smartphone. Here are some examples of photos taken during the fellowship with a GoPro Camera:
Some of the people you meet with are okay with the idea of using a selfie stick to take a picture of you and them. Ask permission first though. Not everyone is comfortable with a selfie stick 😛 Furthermore, not all occasions are suitable for a selfie stick. Leave behind the stick when you are going to a formal dinner or meeting (and when Jane tell you do so too. Haha!)
I’m still looking for the best budget tool to manage finances when on fellowship. I will update this blog post soon when I have found the best app for it. If you have any ideas though, please let me know and send me a message here!