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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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    Published on October 9, 2018

    Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

    Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

    Note-taking is useful in helping improve your memory and increase your productivity at work. By writing down notes, you have something tangible you can refer back to, remember what needs to be done, and regain control of your work throughout the day.

    There are thousands of different note-taking apps you can use on your desktop or mobile device. The two most popular are Evernote and Microsoft OneNote because they are incredibly efficient and effective that each has a following of extremely loyal users and advocates.

    So if it comes to Evernote vs OneNote, how do they improve productivity?

    An overview of Evernote and OneNote

    First, an introduction to the two platforms. Evernote is an app that lets you store content, take down notes, write lists, and organize all of them. While these are stored in Notebooks, the whole concept behind this productivity app is more like a Universal Inbox where you can save everything you’ve collected so you can quickly find it when you need them through the use of tags.

    Microsoft’s OneNote, on the other hand, works very much like a digital version of the notebooks you used to carry around in school. Aside from storing all your notes and different types of content you’ve collected, you can also organize them into sections, pages, and containers.

    Each of these apps offers their users a host of features to help them improve their productivity and memory. Also, because no app is perfect, each also has their strengths and limitations.

    To get a better idea of which app will be your best choice, we’ll be comparing the two based on three key features most used by their users: collecting information, note-taking, and mobility.

    Collecting information

    Both the OneNote and Evernote come with their own web clipper extension that allows you to quickly collect and store information from different websites as you find them.

    Both give you the option to choose whether you’d like to save the entire web page as is, a simplified version without the ads, or just a section of the page. You can also add some notes before saving them to make it easier for you to remember why you “clipped” that particular resource.

    Since OneNote gives you more structure to organize your content, its web clipper allows you to choose not just which notebook to save the details, but also what section within the notebook.

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      Source: OneNote.com

      Evernote gives you the option to add tags to your web clippings before you save it, so it’s easier for you to search for it later.

      Premium users get access to Evernote’s Related Results feature located in its Options section. When you search on Google, Evernote will launch a secondary search that will show all the notes related to the keyword you used in searching for information.

        Source: Zapier.com

        This feature, according to Jeremy Skillings, President of Youcanbefound.com, is beneficial because it lets you know what information you already have stored in your notes.

        “In some cases whenever I do my research, I find out through this feature that I already have the exact information I need stored in my Evernote account. That alone cuts back a significant amount of the time I spend on projects.”

        Note-taking

        Both of these productivity apps allow you to create and format your notes to create rich documents. Among these features include changing the font size and color, adding tables, and inserting media files.

        Evernote’s note-taking features are very similar to a Word document in that it’s very structured concerning how you input your notes.

          Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbert of RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

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          While he enjoyed the features, his personal experience with using it in the field revealed that the formatting features,“mean that if you need to change parts of your notes around, it can get tedious”. He continued, “the formatting features are quite finicky, so you may need a bit of patience to get the end results you are looking for.”

          Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbertof RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

          Structuring your notes properly from the get-go can have an effect on your productivity. A blank slate can sometimes be puzzling. Evernote allows the ability to use battle-tested templates and workflows that save you time. They can provide inspiration and structure on what’s possible.

          On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way notes are created. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

          On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way you create your notes. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

            Source: Lifehacker

            Also, it gives you the option to create Templates that you can use to layout your page properly, so all you’ll need to do is to fill in the information.

              Source: MakeUseOf

              This is a particularly handy feature that stood out to many of the people who shared their love of OneNote with me. Steve Lionais, longtime user and Co-Founder & CEO of Dr-Bill.ca, claims that this feature helped him build his business by affecting his memory in a powerful and helpful way.

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              “This [feature] is what makes OneNote great memory retention app,” he said of the templates. “I find that I remember things more when they are arranged in a certain way. OneNote allowed me to do that for my meeting and presentation notes, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to find the next point!”

              However, what really makes OneNote the winner of this round is its ability to allow you to embed media files from other sources like Youtube. In addition to including the link, OneNote launches a media player, allowing you to watch the video or listen to the audio file directly from the page where you saved it.

                Source: Windows Central

                Mobility

                Evernote and OneNote can be used both on desktops and mobile devices. At the same time, they provide their users with the ability to sync the content from one device to the other.

                Judging which of the two productivity apps is best here is quite tricky because it greatly depends on several factors. One of these is the operating software you use.

                Many of the power users we asked were using iOS, and that put some points toward Evernote. Greg Reese of AmeriEstate.com found himself frequently using the built-in camera option (and other iOS integrations) to manage his daily duties as President.

                  Evernote’s camera also integrates with Post-It, Moleskin notebook pages, and business cards. When you take a photo of any of these, the camera will capture the information and format this for Evernote so that it’s quick to find it when you search.

                  OneNote, on the other hand, dominates the Android environment. In addition to the app, Android users will also find a OneNote floating badge on the side of the home screen. So you can take notes on the go very quickly.

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                    Source: MS Power User

                    Another factor to consider is the cloud storage you use. For you to sync OneNote across different devices, you’ll need to first set up an account with OneDrive, which is Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

                    “This is something that Evernote users like me don’t have to worry about,” according to Matt Willens, Head Attorney for Willens Law Offices. “Whether you use a free account or one of their paid plans, you can immediately sync your devices without having to get a separate cloud storage account.”

                    The drawback here is the amount of storage and number of devices that you can sync. Free users are only given 60MB of storage space and can sync up to two devices. If you need more storage space, you’ll have to get the paid plans.

                    Which app is better for improving memory and productivity?

                    The honest—and most straightforward—answer is:

                    It depends on you.

                    While Evernote and OneNote have their strengths and weaknesses, how well it will help improve productivity and memory greatly depends on what works best for you.

                    If you find that you’re able to work best and remember things more using visual cues, OneNote will be the best productivity app to use. However, if you consider the speed and ease of finding the information you need as your top priority, Evernote will be your best option.

                    Since both productivity apps have free versions, you can give both a try and see where you’re most comfortable. In the end, the right productivity app to use is one that complements the way you work and do things rather than dictating to you how you should get them done.

                    Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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