Great Gadgets for Getting More Done
INSPIRATION FOR YOUR ULTIMATE WORKSPACE
CANON PIXMA G4200 WIRELESS AIRPRINTER ($299.99)
Every business or home office needs a good printer with scanning and faxing capabilities too. And now that you can scan, sign, and create PDFs easily on your iPhone, it only makes sense to buy an AirPrint-compatible printer like the Canon all-in-one PIXMA G4200. It not only lets you print from your desktop but also allows you to send documents directly from your iPhone. In our office, setting up the G4200 was easy—AirPrint worked on our first attempt even without using Canon's app, and the print quality was very good. A feature that sets Canon apart is its MegaTank, a bulk ink feature that's excellent at reducing costs and management of ink cartridges.
FITBIT ALTA HR ($149.95)
For productivity, balance is key. When your physical, mental, and emotional health are on track, your productivity levels soar. That's why the Fitbit Alta HR is such a great productivity tool. Between the fitness tracker itself and the full-featured app that goes with it, you can make sure you're on track with hydration, movement, and more. Our feature web writer Conner Carey loves her Alta. An underrated feature, she says, is the stand reminders, which serve as a cue to get up, stretch, and check in with yourself. Taking those small breaks in the midst of busy activity can help you to work better for longer.
1MORE QUAD DRIVER IN-EAR HEADPHONES ($199.99)
If you participate in video or conference calls for work, investing in a high-quality pair of headphones with a mic is crucial to maintaining your professionalism. We first listened to these beauties from 1More in a busy hall at the Consumer Electronics Show and were immediately wowed by such crisp, full sound coming from an in-ear headphone. 1More's products reduce echoing and room noise, and come with a volume and track control panel so it's easy to adjust on the fly. They also are great for listening to music and tuning out distractions.
MOLESKINE CLASSIC NOTEBOOK ($24.95)
While we use plenty of iPhone apps for journaling (see pg. 42 for a tutorial on Day One), some of us also like to keep a physical journal like this one from Moleskine. Our CTO Raphael Burnes explained it well when he said, “It feels more concrete to create something on physical paper, which increases clarity and peace of mind.” However, he also enjoys journaling on his phone so he can search, edit, and organize his words. The great news is you don't have to commit to one medium! You can use both. Try using a Moleskine next time you feel like journaling and see how it feels.
AUTONOMOUS SMART DESK 3 ($549)
We've all heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking.” Unfortunately, if you've got a desk job, then you likely sit for hours on end and there's no real chance of changing that anytime soon. What's the next best thing? A standing desk that will take you from sitting to standing with the click of a button. At iPhone Life, we've all been jealous of Conner's standing desk from Autonomous, and now they've come out with an even cooler version with the Smart Desk 3. Aside from lifting and lowering like the previous model, this smart desk pairs with your phone and uses AI to learn your habits and help you do things like stay hydrated, catch an Uber, order lunch, or listen to your favorite Spotify playlist. Get ready to feel less sluggish while you work and more empowered by the ability to adapt your work environment to your needs. While it doesn't have storage and it takes some work to put together, we think it's well worth it.
LOGITECH SLIM COMBO KEYBOARD FOR IPAD PRO ($129.99–$149.99)
If you're using an iPad Pro at work, you already know that a good stand and attachable keyboard are crucial for productivity. With a backlit keyboard and Smart Connectors for easily attaching your iPad Pro, this case is our absolute favorite. Logitech did a great job of thinking of just about everything you'd need, including five different ways to use the case from landscape to portrait orientation. There's even a dedicated row of shortcuts at the top to make your iPad Pro feel even more like a laptop replacement. The Slim Combo comes in two pieces, including a case with a kickstand for propping your tablet for video calls and media viewing, and a Smart Connector folio keyboard cover that you never need to pair or charge. We recommend Logitech over Apple's keyboard cover, as it's sturdier and holds up better over time.
STM BANKS LAPTOP BACKPACK ($129.95)
The Murphy's Law of backpacks and purses dictates that whatever you need most falls to the bottom of your bag and hides. At last there's an exception to this rule with STM's commuter backpack. Our feature web writer Leanne Hayes had been looking for a bag that could not only accommodate her glasses, laptop, notebook, pens, snacks, water bottle, and wallet, but also keep it all contained, organized, and safe. That's a tall order, and STM delivered. It includes a designated section for every item and, most importantly, protects your laptop with a suspended pouch to cushion it from jolts and jostles. Leanne has found walking and biking with this pack to be satisfying as well, as it's not so large as to unbalance you, and there's a good amount of airflow due to the breathable panel on the back of the bag.
AUDIOQUEST’S NIGHHAWK OVER-EAR HEADPHONES ($620–$699.95)
If you're doing extensive audio work like our managing editor Rheanne Taylor does, you may want to invest in a high-quality pair of over-ear headphones. Since many models can begin to hurt your ears after an hour or so of use, finding a nice set of headphones that you can wear all day is vital. Enter AudioQuest's Nighhawk headphones, which not only sound incredible, but include an adjustable strap and suspension design that makes them super comfortable. Rheanne wears the NightHawks while editing video tips and is so happy with them.
Most of us use our phones for work as well as play, which presents certain challenges. All that typing and carrying can be hard on your hands, and holding your device at different angles or while carrying other items can be a real pain. Don't be fooled by the PopSocket's fun designs—this is no lightweight novelty item. The PopSocket enables you to hold your device comfortably without cramping and acts as a convenient desktop stand so you can rest your phone on its side and keep the display clearly visible. The adhesive is strong and reusable, and doesn't damage your phone.
BLUE MICROPHONES RASPBERRY ($199.99)
This retro-looking microphone is anything but old school. With USB and Lightning cable compatibility, you can use the Raspberry to conduct interviews on the go with your iPhone or iPad or in the studio connected to your laptop or desktop computer. We use mics from Blue to record the iPhone Life Podcast, and contributors use Raspberry mics at tradeshows and events to conduct interviews. We've found Blue to offer great value for the price and to make professional-level recording accessible to the average person.
FRTMA MAGNETIC SLEEVE FOR APPLE PENCIL ($12.99)
Whether you're keeping track of your client's ad spending, brainstorming new projects, or taking notes in class, the Apple Pencil makes an amazing productivity tool for iPad Pro users. With this silicone sleeve by FRTMA, your coveted accessory finally has the magnetic grip Apple should have built into it! Once you've installed the silicone sleeve on your Pencil, itl will be more comfortable to hold and will stick to the front side of your iPad Pro without rolling away. We recommend sticking it to the right side, that way it won't interfere with the Smart Cover.