Buy all the things! Thanks to the low cost of manufacturing, today’s consumer world offers us a huge range of products available for instant purchase and delivery. Once you’ve sifted through the usb-charged cup warmers and cheesy desk ornaments, there are some seriously useful gadgets out there, including some amazing products for use in the office.
Simple but pretty darn cool, the AirBar turns a regular laptop into a fully-operational touchscreen device. It looks like a ruler, but a little thicker, and attaches to the bottom of your laptop’s screen. Use it to navigate your OS, play games, or for creative tasks like photo editing and more. Just plug it into a usb port and you’re ready to go – instant finger marks all over your screen!
Wipebook claim that once you buy their product, it might be the last notebook you ever own. They might be correct. Instead of lugging around chunky notebooks that are mostly filled with useless doodles, Wipebook has only a few pages that are completely cleanable and reusable. You also get the added benefit of that smooth marker-on-whiteboard feel, but in your very own notebook. Don’t worry, you can still use it to doodle.
Sometimes having just a single screen can become quite frustrating, especially when you’re working with multiple applications. You might have an extra screen on your desk, but as soon as you leave it, you’re back to only one. A Kickstarter-funded company called Slidenjoy launched an ingenious product that offers an additional 2 screens to any standard laptop. That’s a serious increase in screen real estate, but Le Slide has a number of extra features that make it particularly cool. The screens can be turned and swivelled, allowing you to configure them to suit specific situations like group meetings.
While a lot of work is done via keyboards, manual writing is still very linked to how we get our ideas down and organize them. The problem is that once they’re on paper, moving them to a computer becomes an annoying additional step, and that’s if we ever remember where we wrote down that “genius” idea in the first place.
Enter the smart pen. Smart pens digitize your writing, cutting out that middle step, and allowing you to store your notes in an organized fashion.
The smart pen market has really developed recently and there are a number of great options out there. The most recommended and feature-rich option is the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, but there are other great options like the Neo N2, Wacom Bamboo, and Moleskin Pen+.
Price range: $80 – $200
Not a physical product, but one that had to be added to this list because of its usefulness, is the Cassette app. This app will change the way you experience your meetings. Not only is Cassette an extremely useful app for note-taking and recording audio, it makes the whole process much more enjoyable. Cassette lets you transcribe your meetings, tag different topics, and make comments, all in real-time.
Price: The basic app is free. If you need transcriptions, there are 3 monthly payment plans available.
If you’re a frequent headphone user and are still using the generic Apple earbuds, then it’s time to step it up. There are a lot of amazing options in the world of headphones and it can be a bit daunting, but it’s worth shopping around and finding what suits you.
Noise-cancelling headphones won’t cut out every external noise in your vicinity, but they will do away with annoying hums, drones, and other distracting sounds. These are great for the office when you really want to zone in, not to mention for your daily commute and for taking on flights. Here’s a solid list of some of the most popular noise-cancelling headphones available today.
Price range: $100 – $500
Portable Laptop Chargers
A laptop charger is a necessity for anyone who tends to work a lot on-the-go. Having some extra juice for your laptop means not having to worry about getting stuck with a low battery, and it can really save the day sometimes.
When choosing a portable laptop charger, make sure to look out for features that suit your needs: capacity; compatibility with your devices; connector types; size; and whether it can be brought on a plane. Here’s a good list of laptop chargers to start with.
Price range: $80 – $160
This last item isn’t an advanced piece of tech or anything like that. In fact, the Life Calendar is just a large piece of paper with a little square for every week of your life printed on it. It’s a nice idea for when you need to get inspired, instead of one of those cheesy motivational posters. To some it might seem a little dark, but if it gets you fired up to make every day count, then it’s totally worth it. And anyway, if you really feel the need, you can always pair it with a photo of some dolphins frolicking in the ocean.