KWF_with_tag_This post is sponsored by Knight Wallace Fellows at Michigan.

Now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 academic year, the Knight-Wallace Fellows is a sabbatical study program for full-time journalists with at least five years of professional experience. U.S. Fellows receive a $70,000 stipend plus all tuition and fees. Stipends for international fellows vary. Deadline to apply is February. 1, 2016. Learn more about the program and apply online.

So you’ve heard by now: ONA15 will keep you hopping for three straight days. Conference sessions, networking events, parties, product launches and karaoke … it’s a lot to juggle!

Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to prepare. You can check out all of the staff blogs, including my colleague Irving’s “strategy for introverts,” and also board member Kim Bui’s “local guide to LA.”

But here we’ll discuss how to get your digital life prepped and organized so you can maximize the fun on site. And don’t worry if you’re not an over-planner like me . . . most of these tips are designed to be quick wins.

Build Your Own Schedule

We’re using the Grenadine Event Guide this year so you can create a conference schedule tailored to your own preferences. Simply download from the iOS or Android stores, use the code ONA15 and you’re on your way! Detailed instructions here. Favorite sessions you like, and the best part is you can refresh to always have the most updated times (we try not to switch things around, but life happens). It’s a great way to stay up to date. The mobile app is kindly supported by The McClatchy Company.

Snaps and Apps

We love that you’re such a social crowd! You can prep your phone  for the photos in advance with the following tips:

  • free up space on your phone but deleting unnecessary photos, apps, etc.
  • link your camera roll to a service like Dropbox or Flickr, so that when you take photos they will sync automatically to the cloud; that way you can delete photos from your phone without worrying they’ll be gone forever
  • find us on Instagram: online_news

Other apps may come in handy, including:

  • the official app of the airline you’re flying in with, so that you can get up-to-date information on your flight
  • a car-sharing service, if you’re comfortable taking one
  • create shortcuts to awesome mobile-friendly sites like — we’ll have great material on our front page throughout the event
  • find my iphone, if you’re OK with a location-aware phone, could help you track down your phone when you inevitably leave it in a session or lounge


Prepare to Reboot and Recharge

  • I know, you never get around to this normally, but really do back up your computer. Should something happen, it’s great to know you can pick up more or less where you left off.
  • Batteries for charging your phone are getting tinier and more friendly for carrying around in a pocket or bag. ONA days can be long, so it might be worth investing in some extra juice to keep your device powered and ready for notes, reminders or that insta-classic photo
  • Forgot to bring your charger? No problem, we’ve got you covered. Here are all the places you can stop by for a recharge:
    • NDN Recharge Lounge in the California Lounge space
    • Recharge kiosk in the Exhibit Hall, sponsored by Walt Disney World Media Relations (California Showroom)
    • Bing News charging station on the Midway (through the Exhibit Hall)
    • Recharge kiosk on the Plaza Level, sponsored by Walt Disney World Media Relations

We hope you stay connected at ONA15 and look forward to seeing you there!