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Good to Go: The Best Tech Travel Gear

Good to Go: The Best Tech Travel Gear

    When I want to hit the road – whether it is for vacation or for business – I like to be able to grab and go. That’s why I arm myself with some of the most travel-friendly technology around.

    Hacking your travel doesn’t just come down to getting the right price on flights or picking the right accommodations. It has a lot to do with what you do in advance of traveling; things like preparing for travel at moment’s notice (such as keeping travel essentials packed at all times) or having the right gear just for the purpose of use while traveling.

    Power Gear

    If there’s one thing I hate when travelling, it’s having to grab my main power adapters to take with me. They are conveniently set up for home use – and are inconvenient to get at once I’ve done that. That’s why having a dedicated power supply solution when you travel is key.

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    If you’re a Mac user who happens to also have an iPad or iPhone with you on the road, then the TwelveSouth PlugBug is the way to go. It allows you to simultaneously charge your Mac laptop and the iDevice of your choice – and use only one outlet while doing so. This handy little device will let you leave your main power supplies at home, and reduces cable clutter in your travel bag as well.

    If you’re not a Mac user, a great option is the Belkin Travel Adapter FSL010. Suitable for PC laptops under 17″, it also has the ability to charge a wide variety of mobile devices, and won’t take up a ton of room in the process.

    Audio Gear

    Much like with power adapters, you don’t want to be taking your home audio solution with you when you hit the road. And while you may not always need to have a portable sound system when you travel, it’s nice to have that option if you’re going to be conducting business on the road and want some music (or podcasts) to listen to “sans headphones”. This is where picking up a lightweight – and yet versatile – audio solution comes into play.

    Sphear speakers are pretty innovative, and they won’t put a huge dent in your wallet either. They form a ball (or “sphere”) when not in use, making them easy to pack. They are USB or battery-powered, meaning there’s no excess power cables you’ll have to find an outlet for – and it has a USB port built-in so that you don’t use one of those valued ports when the Sphear speakers are being used. So if you want something lightweight, versatile and inexpensive – the Sphear speaker set may be for you.

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    The JAMBOX by Jawbone is pretty awesome – but it’s also a bit pricey. This wireless speaker is small, wireless and sounds absolutely great. But at a price tag of $199.99 USD, you’re going to want to use them for more than when you’re on the road. I use mine in my home office and take it with me when I travel, and being able to simply pop it into my bag and know it’ll be good to go with my devices means that I’ve got one less thing to think about. There’s value in that.

    Baggage Gear

    If you’re travelling for work, then having a good bag or tow is a must. I have a couple of great messenger bags by Booq that I alternate depending on what devices I plan to use during my travels. Booq carries a wide variety of bags, sleeves and backpacks – and they are top-notch. Booq also uses something on many of its products called “Terralinq”. Terralinq may help reunite you with your lost bag once it has been located and reported to Terralinq, meaning you’ve got a shot at regaining any valuable cargo that may have been in the bag. Each Booq bag with Terralinq carries a unique item number on a metal label. When you register your product, it links that unique number with an identity – yours. That way, if a registered bag be reported as lost…and then found, Terralinq will attempt to contact you with a bag’s location and the finder’s contact information. And a bit of peace of mind on that front never hurts.

    As for more conventional luggage, the Roots line of luggage has never steered me wrong – literally. I have a bright orange hard shell suitcase that has wheels that steer with ease. It’s also a remarkably roomy suitcase, and because it is so compact I can use it for short or long excursions. I never have to worry about it being over-sized when flying, either. IT always goes on the plane with me, meaning I can “deplane” and go. It’s both efficient and effective.

    Storage Gear

    With cloud computing hitting its stride, travelers are now able to keep very little in terms of physical hardware with them when they hit the road. Provided you can connect to Dropbox, iCloud or other cloud-based storage solutions, the need to bring any physical storage when you travel is not necessary. Or is it?

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    While I use the cloud a great deal for my storage – especially for syncing across devices – I have learned never to put my faith on these solutions entirely. So I keep a few USB thumbdrives both at my desk and in my travel bags so that I’ve got some for those “just in case” moments.

    I also like to have a bit of fun with them, so I tend to use Mimico USB Drives. But…to each their own.

    Grooming Gear

    Today’s grooming products are as advanced as the iPad I’m writing this article on, so I’d say they are definitely a “tech” of sorts.

    Having dedicated grooming products for when you travel is essential, and I like to use the same products abroad as I do when I’m at home. So whether you buy travel cases and pour your home grooming products into them as you go or buy travel-sized portions of your products, it’s best to stick with the same stuff no matter what.

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    I am a big fan of the OM product line, which offers a variety of hair, skin and shaving products for both men and women. Much of them come in travel-sized options…and there’s even a travel shaving brush available for those guys who want to go with a brush shave while traveling.

    What are your “go-to gear” when traveling? Leave your suggestions and thoughts in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Keyboard to Book Travel via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

    25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

    Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

    Or even better:

    What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

    You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

    Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

    How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

    The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

    In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

    • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
    • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
    • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

    As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

    Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

    Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

    But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

    his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

    5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

    Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

    But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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    1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
    2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
    3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
    4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
    5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

    Who can use Excel shortcuts?

    There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

    • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
    • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
    • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
    • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

    Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

    With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

    25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

    Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

    1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

    If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

    2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

    If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

    If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

    3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

    Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

    =sum(

    …and then press F3.

    When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

    4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

    Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

    =match(

    …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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    When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

    But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

    5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

    If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

    • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
    • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
    • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
    • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
    • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

    6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

    By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

    The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

    For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

    A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

    7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

    When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

    8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

    When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

    9. Use filtering

    Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

    It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

    To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

    10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

    Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

    Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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    To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

    11. See formula results with F9

    If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

    Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

    12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

    If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

    13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

    Here’s how to use EDATE:

    =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

    =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

    14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

    Here’s how to use EMONTH:

    =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

    =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

    15. Remove spaces with TRIM

    TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

    16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

    In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

    17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

    When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

    And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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    18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

    If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

    19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

    Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

    You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

    20. Use data validation

    This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

    • Create dependent drop-down lists;
    • Create drop-down lists;
    • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

    21. Use conditional formatting

    It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

    22. Use formula auditing

    This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

    The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

    23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

    Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

    It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

    24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

    INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

    25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

    OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

    The bottom line

    As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

    That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

    If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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