Check out these indispensable tools for the road warrior
by Terry Brock
Terry Brock is a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days by using the right rules and tools. You can reach Terry at 407-363-0505, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at terrybrock.com. Also, look for Terry on Twitter@TerryBrock.
I love technology — when it makes us more productive. I particularly love it when it helps us to learn and to have fun. Combine that with protection, and you have a winner.
I want to share three tools that I bought and use regularly on the road that can help you as a road warrior. They also help when you’re working at the office, at home and wherever your “third place” might be.
ZAGG PROfolio Keyboard
More of us are finding that our smartphones, tablets and other smaller devices are replacing more traditional laptop computers. I like to take notes when I go to seminars around the world, and the keyboard on the iPhone just doesn’t cut it. However, the market has offered a lot of alternatives that do a great job. One of these is the ZAGG PROfolio Keyboard.
This is a portable keyboard that works through Bluetooth with a number of different devices. My iPad 3 fits comfortably into the slot and works very well. Before I bought it, I was concerned that I might not be able to use it with my iPhone 6. After a little bit of fiddling and talking with the great tech support at ZAGG, I figured out how to use the keyboard for either my iPad, iPhone or other Bluetooth-supported devices that I might get in the future.
The keyboard is very comfortable, and I’m able to use it to quietly take notes even in small conferences. It also serves as a protector for my iPad. The retail price is $99.
Kingston MobileLite Wireless 5-in-1
When I read the announcements about this wireless device, I was intrigued. It claimed to be able to transfer pictures from my iPhone through this device, using its own Wi-Fi connection, directly onto a USB flash drive. Because we take a lot of pictures today, it’s important to be able to keep them in a safe place but not necessarily on your phone.
In addition to transferring to either a USB flash drive or an SD card, the 5-in-1 Mobile Companion from Kingston also serves as a Wi-Fi access point. This can be helpful if you’re in a hotel room and can connect with an Ethernet cable. It allows connection with other devices in the room such as your smartphone, tablet and/or laptop computers.
However, here’s a word of caution. When I received the unit, in my eager anticipation to use it, I plugged in my USB drive to transfer photos from my iPhone 6+ to the drive. Perhaps I did something wrong, but in my haste to transfer, I obliterated all the files on my USB drive, about 60 GB of data. Ouch! I don’t know exactly what I did wrong, but I’ll be on the phone to AppleCare very shortly to find out a way to retrieve those lost files.
Despite this glitch, I was able to successfully access files and copy back and forth between my iPhone 6 and USB drives. My conclusion is that this unit will be very helpful, and you can’t beat it for the price!
My plan is to begin a systematic organization of videos and photos, along with other documents that I have on my iPhone, to keep them in a safe USB drive location. That will keep my phone manageable. Another option would be to access cloud-based storage, which I am also using. The retail price is $78.
Cree UltraFire Flashlight
The simple things are often the most useful — and most practical. This Cree UltraFire flashlight can be a lifesaver. It is a simple flashlight that operates on one AA battery but produces light up to 1,000 lumens.
Many times when you’re traveling, you’re suddenly in a dark room or situation and light is really important. I find having a small travel light that is always within arm’s reach of the bed at night helps when I’m in different locations and could have some serious problems stumbling around in the dark.
I recommend getting a small flashlight like this one and carrying it with you at all times. You never know exactly when or where you’ll be when you suddenly need light. For the price, it is hard to beat to build in that much insurance for your safety. The price on Amazon is $9.95.