Sometimes just the “New Toy” feeling a new gadget brings is enough to get us motivated and productive.
When we get something new, we tend to be excited about using it, and showing it off. In a lot of cases if we buy a Gadget for our work, this “New Toy” enthusiasm can flow through into our projects, increasing our productivity.
When choosing a productive gadget, its a good idea to try and balance the fun factor with efficiency. The gadgets main goal should be to increase our attention for work, not decrease it. The fun factor should only be “work fun”, leaving “toy fun” for off hours. Of course it is possible to incorporate both if you are so disciplined.
1. USB Gadgets
USB Gadgets by definition are gadgets that are made to be used in conjunction with your computer’s usb port.
Depending on how you use your computer will determine the type of gadget best suited to your needs. For example anyone who finds themselves typing the same small sentences repeatedly (a computer programmer for instance) you might find a USB macro device saving you thousands of hours. (I do some programming and use a Logitech G15 Keyboard, which also has video game functionality)
A USB Storage Device is a no-brainer. Try to find one that is a hybrid of some kind. The USB Flash Drive/Voice Recorder is one example of a product with double efficiency.
Be careful though, a USB Coffee Warmer could save you a few minutes here and there, but a usb microscope could cost you a few hours or more as you may find yourself comparing everything from body hair to that mysterious lunch that’s been in the office fridge for the last month.
2. Digital Recorders
A digital recorder lets you capture ideas, thoughts, interviews, record and document your important meetings and more. A great idea can strike at anytime. A voice recorder allows you to keep a record of all those brilliant ideas without losing focus on the task you have at hand.
3. Tablets/Mini Notebooks
Let’s Face it. The battle for supremacy of Productive gadgets is how many tasks they can perform “Well”. A gadget that performs a multiple tasks with poor esoteric software applications is less valuable than a gadget that performs fewer tasks easily.
The i-pad is temporarily in a class of its own as it attempts to mash the most efficient uses of both an e-reader tablet and a mini notebook. It gives you the ability to create presentations, documents, spreadsheets, watch Podcasts, Read Books, take notes, manage your schedule, Personal Contacts, and more. It also offers you the chance to buy apps that can increase your productivity.
There are more than 150,000 apps on the App Store, and i-Pad can run almost all of them.
Some apps designed with productivity in mind are:
“iThoughts” , a mind mapping tool. “OmniFocus”, A Task Manager. “Evernote” lets you capture and synchronize text/voice notes, while “Done” is a simple “To Do” list. (I just use a notepad document a write things that I need to get done and erase them when I complete them. To each his or her own I guess)
The I Pad is small enough to carry around, and is a great way to increase productivity when you are away from your computer.
Its capable of Multimedia: mp3/mp4 player, so you could watch a presentation or listen to a prerecorded meeting you missed out on.
If you don’t have a BlackBerry with a built-in GPS receiver you can still use navigation just go to google.com/mobile/maps/ and download the app.
You can use the blackberry as a mini E-reader for books and newspapers, Just download e reader software. Barnes and Noble have one, MobiPocket is another.
Obviously Instant messaging and email are part of the blackberrys productivity boost, but you can also edit MS office documents with and E-Office app.
We all have our favorite gadgets, the ones we can’t live without. Just remember that the 2 way communication devices let people reach you as well, so don’t let the interruptions of others reduce your efficiency.
If you aren’t sure who to answer and who to put on hold, give them the elevator test. If you see them get noticeably upset after waiting less than 60 seconds for an elevator. Send them to voice mail when they call.
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