Microsoft One Drive

Everyday I wake up to emails from people – 14 year olds to 60 year olds asking me how to set up a travel blog and whether they can work with me.  They probably mean, can they travel with me. Travel blogging is often perceived to be very glamourous. Most people do not even understand that it is a profession like any thing else. We may not work 9-5, but we work on all days, weekends and holidays. We work when we travel and we work when we dont travel . So, I thought I should write a post on a day in the life of a travel blogger – to give you a slice of life of a regular day in my life – the work I do while I travel, because for me, travel is work as well.

Good morning !

My day begins around 7 am – 7 30 am. I am not a morning person unless I am dragged out of bed to catch an early flight or we have sunrise on the agenda. My balcony is my favourite place, irrespective of whether I am travelling or not. I do pranayama for ten minutes, have a cup of tea and I start my day with Microsoft One Note .

Microsoft One Note

The agenda for the day

My day’s agenda is on this note . A simple to do list, places to see, content pegs for social media, for new blog posts. But this is where I plan my trip. My flight details, addresses of hotels, any contact numbers that I need to remember, places that I want to see or people I want to meet – all of this is stored in my One Note.

Social media plan

When I am travelling on my own, I am a slow traveller. Wifi is usually limited to the hotels – so the first thing I do is to complete my social media plan for the day. While live tweeting and facebook updates are great, the reality is that data is not always available on the go, irrespective of whether I am travelling in India or abroad.

Microsoft One Note

A social media calendar is a must

At the beginning of every month I have a rough social media plan created. I tweak it every week and when am travelling every day. All of this is stored in an excel on my One drive and I access it on the go. I fine tune the tweets and updates, schedule them for the day. If I get network on the go, then am all for live tweeting though.

Working on the road

Travel is all about sights and sounds – moments and memories that you do not want to forget. When we are travelling from one place to another, all these merge into one another. Sometimes I dont have the time to take elaborate notes – a quick phrase, a photograph, an audio clip is all I need. This is where One Note comes handy again.

Microsoft One Note

Travel plans on the One Note

I take pictures on the go – sometimes its just a sign board. I speak to myself all the time – record my thoughts and emotions, my impressions, my doubts – its all like talking to myself. Sometimes I record the guide’s narration on the app as well. All these help me jog my memory when I am writing a story or a post.

Microsoft One Note

Making notes while travelling – the One Note way

Meetings on the go

Afternoons in my opinion are not great for travel. The light is usually harsh and since I spend a lot of time in nature or heritage destinations, I prefer to take it easy during lunch.  I do a lot of meetings while I am travelling, virtually of course. So the first thing is to find a quiet place where I can get wifi . I sit in a corner and do a skype call. I return calls, whatsapp messages, check my mails, respond to twitter and facebook, do an instagram post and finish off whatever little work I have. Sometimes I just revisit my plan for the day and see if I need to change an agenda.

As a travel blogger, I am not very good at writing articles or blog posts while I travel. But I have tried the latter. I usually do a draft on Microsoft Word – lists are easy to work on. I dont need the internet unless I am doing some research. These posts are quick and do not take too much time. These are however possible only when I am travelling on my own – its impossible during group trips or FAMs because my time is not in my hands.

Planning on the go

Planning on the go

Evenings

This is the time I enjoy travelling. I meet people, lose myself in sights, have chai in local tea shops, take a lot of photographs. I am an evening person and this is my favourite part of the day. If am in a town, I walk around it. If am at a heritage destination, I spend a lot of time here. I love sunsets – so from beaches to forests, this is the best time as well. A lot of travellers love mornings – I enjoy evenings. There is a certain romance as the sun comes down. If I have network, I am on social media during this period.

A walk in the night

I love walking in the night – even if its around my homestay or a small town. I ensure its not too late as it can be unsafe sometimes but if I have company, I am all for it. I am an owl and I love owls – I look for birds if am in the forests or stare at stars. This is the time I unwind. I let everything absorb into my system.

Microsoft One Drive

Memories are made of these

An hour of work before I call it a day

I  love my sleep and I usually push myself to do this if am not too tired. Downloading photos and storing it on One Drive is the first on the agenda. If there is a photograph that I want to share on the network or a blog that I want to publish, I quickly try to process it. This is however very time consuming – so I must confess that I dont really do too much processing on the go. Its easier to process pictures for instagram posts though and I try to do one before I sleep. I also quickly go through my notes on One Note to see if I have missed out anything. Sometimes I try to complete an urgent proposal or finish an invoice that is pending. All these are best done when you are fighting jetlag because they immediately make you want to curl up and sleep.

So, that is an ideal day of my life. If am not travelling, I do all of the above, sitting at home. When am writing, I switch off everything – including social media. I try to concentrate on my writing, but distractions often creep in – TV, books and then of course friends and family take up a lot of my time. So, tell me how different is my day from yours ?

The post is written in partnership with Microsoft Office

35 comments

  1. Prasad Np 17 May, 2016 at 13:39 Reply

    Ouch, you take all the fun out of it…. But on a serious note, this is an eye opener of a post for anybody who thinks Travel Blogging is easy.

    As any serious travel writer will know it is a lot of hard work, research, photography, post processing, follow up and meetings. This post should help all aspiring travel writers to know what it takes to be a successful travel blogger.

  2. Manjulika Pramod 17 May, 2016 at 14:10 Reply

    Travel blogging is actually lots of work and you have organized it so well. But the best part is you love to do what you do and that is fun.
    I will definitely pick a few tips for myself..like using One Note on my travels.

    • Lakshmi Sharath 17 May, 2016 at 14:14 Reply

      You know Anu, I was telling my intern who was helping me with the pictures today that some of these remain plans..but then I sincerely try to be organised.. I get a high when I try to be professional..I tell myself that am one and it helps..

  3. nidhi rohit joshi 17 May, 2016 at 14:19 Reply

    There is certainly a lot of meticulous planning and a lot of pre and post travel work for a travel blogger. I would like to add that glamour is only on the surface deep down there is hard work, passion and an honest attitude towards travel writing. Another important aspect is consistency and perseverance and no comparisons. Anyone who understands this is welcome to join the club.

  4. Sharmistha | That Girl's Life Stories 17 May, 2016 at 14:36 Reply

    So true! Blogging is indeed tough. I started professional blogging 2 months back and although it has been a roller coaster ride – I absolutely love every second of it – I even wrote a blog post on it 🙂 I’m a planner myself but I will keep in mind the way you do it – it’s so organised 🙂 keep it up !

  5. G V Krishnan 17 May, 2016 at 16:53 Reply

    I wish we had the Net, let alone a ‘travel blog’, in the mid-Sixties….When I had travelled overland – all the way from London to New Delhi with six others – including a family of four – a couple with two children – related to the Parley’s family – makers of the Parle sweets… in a 12-seater ‘Comet ‘ van — that our tour operator – Brian Thomas – had bought with our contributions – 100 pounds each.
    I had found Brian, through a personal classified advert. he had given in The New Statesman – offering a seat to Bombay – to anyone with adventure in mind and 100 pounds to spare .

  6. Amrita & Agni 17 May, 2016 at 18:53 Reply

    This is so true and so brilliant… Travelling and blogging requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Loved your post, it made me realize that I should be a little more organized with my work.
    In this profession perseverance is the key and I am realize this after a year of blogging. Thanks for such a wonderful post.

  7. Ankita Sinha 17 May, 2016 at 18:55 Reply

    I completely Agree with Anuradha. I haven’t had known the most organized travel blogger 🙂 before Lakshmi wrote this post and I was like wow.. Somebody is actually not just doing it but planning it so perfectly. So that’s how you manage your stuff so wonderfully, with social media and blogs and meetings and everything else on the way! I am impressed.

    Good to know about One Note.I do make notes for the week on my small whiteboard but I don’t use laptop for notes. Any alternative for MAC? I have so many mail logs and I am still struggling with answering a few and leaving the rest – sometimes I even miss the important ones. How do handle overflow of mails…?

  8. Pooja Bhatt 17 May, 2016 at 20:14 Reply

    Lovely Read and worth reading again and again (for me) as I need to have that Social Media Calender plus I need to be that organised and consistent with the Work like You !! One Man Army needs to be well equipped like you there is so much to learn from Your Work Lakshmi 🙂

  9. Raj Belvalkar 17 May, 2016 at 23:09 Reply

    Its nice to know the other side of the blog. But its all fair when you do what you love the most. Looking forward to great articles in future.

  10. Shubham Mansingka 18 May, 2016 at 19:39 Reply

    Very well elucidated, Lakshmi. The rest of the world thinks travel blogging is a vacation. Well, as I am finding out – It is definitely not and I work harder than I did when I was managing a huge business. But I would have it no other way, this is the life! No pain, no gain. And I must learn the organising bit as you mention.

    Cheers 🙂

  11. Nishanth 19 May, 2016 at 01:05 Reply

    Wow! Thanks for sharing and the commitment shows on what it takes to be a serious travel blogger. As for data, have you tried gigsky.com? A single SIM that can be used in about 90 countries and its Data only. Slightly pricier from an Indian Perspective but still cheaper than global roaming of Matrix, airtels, vodafones etc

  12. Rutavi 19 May, 2016 at 10:31 Reply

    Lakshmi, First let me tell you. You have always been my fav travel blogger from the time I understood blogging.One is because of your consistency and other is because of professionalism. You come across a real warm person from the virtual world. This blog post talks about your meticulous planning and lot pre & post work during travel. I enjoy travel and for me, blogging was always secondary. However I have been blogging for while now, but your expertise in this field is great. Lovely to know you 🙂

  13. Harry Potter 21 May, 2016 at 09:28 Reply

    Wow! You are busier than a 9 to 5 job person!!
    Just curious, what kind of meetings you get busy with?
    And you managed to get MS to sponsor this! You are amazing!!

  14. Amol 23 May, 2016 at 20:13 Reply

    Loved the post. I learnt a lot from this. Not just about the travel blogging, but also about how to schedule and compete the tasks using the technology. You just showed how you maintain your schedule using the one note software which I had no idea about (I mean the software) I am learning the software to see if I can get it to work in my life.

    I have subscribed to your blog using the RSS feeds on my Outlook 2013. But it seems when I open it offline when travelling, it does not show any images as those download after I open the RSS. Any suggestion for a good RSS feeds reader that downloads all and makes it available offline.

    Thanks again for the wonderful travel stories and good luck.

  15. Chaitali Patel 2 June, 2016 at 19:37 Reply

    Wow this an eye opener to me and good that it is! 🙂

    You are an accomplished blogger and its evident why. Lots of learnings for me in there. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Mona 23 June, 2016 at 14:12 Reply

      Lakshmi

      I have been travelling from almost 11 years and i feel you are the most organised traveller…

      Great at least it reminds me to be more organised when you are travelling

      thanks for your advises

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