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The Trend of Productivity Accessories is Here

The Trend of Productivity Accessories is Here
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    This year, the technology trend is going from web into mobile. If you have followed this year’s Mobile World Congress, you will see there are so many new phones from different vendors. It’s all about big screen with a focus of productivity.

    We are entering into a new technology era. Mobile used to be a single function device. In recent years, mobile has acquired some extra features. The most common are music player, productivity suite and utilities, and online capabilities. Some road warriors can now carry a mobile phone in their pocket and continue their work on the road.

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    How will the mobile technologies be developed from here, to assist you on your work and life everyday? We’re not just talking about cell phones. We’re seeing a constant rise in gadgets that talk to each other and deal with your information for you. Let’s have a look into the not-so-distant future.

    Prada Link

    Recently I have been invited to witness the launch of LG Prada II phone. Along with their phone, they have released another product, called Prada Link.

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      Prada Link is a watch with a twist. It could do normal functions like time, date, and alarms on its tiny screen. It also previews SMS and shows the incoming call number. It means that you can read SMS while pretending you are looking at the time. You can reject calls with your watch so you won’t feel awkward taking your phone out when you are in a meeting. You might feel safer to look at your watch when you are waiting for the traffic light when you are driving, then going through the phone.

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        This is quite neat. What we are about to see are different multi-function accessories that could help you in different parts of your life. Here are some I dream about — some of which are already on the rise:

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        • A very small bluetooth earring for music and voice call.
        • A shoe with pedometer that connects to your mobile phone to count walking steps (case in point, Nike + iPod).
        • A pair of glasses with screen to show information on the directions and traffic information.
        • A ring with smart ID chip that you could use to pay for anything or access security points.

        We’ll get there – and are getting there even today, as you can see with the launch of the Prada Link.

        The Network of Things

        The Prada Link is part of the network of things, a colloquial phrased used to refer to the increase in technology that communicates on a mundane level with other technology to make our lives easier. This “network of things” starts with the radio chips on inventory being moved cross-country or even internationally so that suppliers can track movement, and goes as far as the Prada Link, a watch that talks to your phone, and RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chips or barcodes in business cards that lets you access more information than a small piece of cardboard can.

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        Speaking of RFID, the network of things is growing to include the network of people, where RFID implants allow you to pass through security points or pay for goods, though at this time the technology is only useful in a small set of limited circumstances. Security guards in hi-tech installations are some of the first to use this technology. It has long been predicted that a time will come when RFID or something like it is what gets you through at the airport in lieu of identification, and what pays for your groceries instead of a debit or credit card.

        While we’re not walking around with chips in our arms now, it opens up interesting possibilities and ideas when productivity machines and the human machine collide.

        Interconnecting Gadgets

        Electronic gadgets have been mass-market products for some time now, but for the most part these gadgets have been created with an interface for only one other input: the human operating it. The trend we’re seeing is gadgets interfacing with each other, instead of a human, in order to save us time. The Prada Link interfaces with your phone to bring you information in a much more accessible and swift manner, and it allows you to prioritize: does that message require immediate attention? If not, no need to pull your phone out right now. The Prada Link might lead to a few more second dates if you tend to scare them off with obsessive phone checking!

        Perhaps in the future we’ll see gadgets that know whether or not to interrupt you with certain information based on rules you give it, much the way we set rules and filters in our email today. You could tell a future Prada Link not to let you know about calls from family while in a work meeting, but allows you to make exceptions for (for instance) a pregnant wife who is close to term. This is the ultimate interface between gadgets: when the gadgets know whether or not to interface with you at all.

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        Leon Ho

        Founder of Lifehack

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        Published on November 19, 2020

        15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

        15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

        When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

        But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

        While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

        Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

        What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

        Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

        • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
        • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
        • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

        A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

          While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

          The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

          Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

          Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

            Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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            In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

            Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

            Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

              One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

              In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

              Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

              A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

              The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

              Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

              Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

              Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

              The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

              Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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              Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                  For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                  It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                  Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                  USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                  If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                  Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                  A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                  A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                  Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                  Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                    If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                    Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                    A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                    We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                    Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                    Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                      Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                      Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                      Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                      Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                        Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                        In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                        Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                        A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                        The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                        The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                        Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                        Bottom Line

                        There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                        Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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