It’s always helpful to be able to travel light, especially on a business trip. One of the easiest ways to make this happen is to travel with a portable USB drive rather than a laptop. Today’s USB drives are tiny, and yet hold tons of data and lots of applications so that you can sit down at any computer and it’s just like working from your own computer.

With today’s sophisticated applications, you can do the work you need to do at someone else’s computer, and access and save all of your own information needed to do that work, without leaving behind any trace that you were there.

Following is a list of portable applications that are great for the USB drive. These 15 applications are sure to make it much easier for any engineer to leave home without lugging a laptop case.

  1. Open Office: The portable free alternative to Windows. It offers a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, database and drawing package. It’s also fully compatible with Microsoft Office documents.
  2. Foxit: Foxit PDF Reader Perfect application for reading PDF files.
  3. Convert: A quick and easy metric conversion tool. Convert distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass, etc.
  4. Country Codes: A small and simple database for your USB that contains country codes and other information for 250 countries.
  5. Tree Pad Lite: This is a great little personal database and personal search engine. Store all your notes, documents, emails, etc, into a file. You’ll feel a lot like you’re using Windows Explorer, so it’s easy to learn to navigate.
  6. Drive Manager: This is a small tool that lets you retrieve drive information for all your drives quickly and easily. You can view all drives at a glance, rather than having to search each individual one separately.
  7. YamiPod: Great iPod manager for your USB drive. Because you need to take along a little music, even if you are traveling on business.
  8. RoboForm2Go: This is a great password manager tool and form filler. It keeps all your passwords secure and in one place and it remembers your information for filling out forms online. This is a great little application if you have a lot of different passwords on different websites.
  9. G Disk: Turn your Gmail account into a portable hard drive. This allows you to always have your important files all across the Internet with you on your USB drive. This is an ingenious little application.
  10. Speedcrunch Portable: A portable algebraic calculator for your USB drive. Make calculations quickly and easily. You’ll use his application all the time for balancing your checkbook and for engineering calculations.
  11. Dictionary: This is a great portable dictionary and portable translator. It’s great for when you travel to a foreign country or just when you need to write a report or paper.
  12. Locknote: This is a great tool for storing sensitive information with a 256 bit password encryption. It helps you keep important personal or client information secure even if your USB drive gets lost or stolen.
  13. Smart Sniff: This application lets you inspect network traffic that passes through your network adapter. It’s a great way to help you stay secure when you’re working away from home.
  14. System Information for Windows: This system analysis tool will tell you everything you need to know about a computer. This is a great way to get to know any computer you’re about to use. It can also help you diagnose potential problems.
  15. Index Your Files: This application provides a simple way to index and search through all of your files or folders on local or networked drives. It’s an amazing timesaver.

With these 15 applications loaded onto your USB drive, you’re ready to hit the road without having a lot of baggage to lug with you. Your information is secure, yet easy to access. You’ll have all the advantages of traveling with your own computer without the hassles of taking it with you. With the right USB applications, any computer you’re around can be just like your very own.

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