By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer
Once you've got your smartphone and tablet computer set up, you may feel like you've got all the gadgets you need. But there are lots of other handy items that successful people tap to make their lives more productive.
Here are five gadgets successful people say they can't live without.
"Delightful" is how Robert Smith, technology services director at the office of the registrar at Stanford University in Palo Alto, describes his Lifescribe digital pen. He can take notes with it on special paper like a regular pen, but then can sync the notes as a text file. It also has a voice recorder that syncs with the text as well. He uses it to take good electronic notes in meetings without hiding behind a laptop. "Who knows what people are doing back there? It's a lot
more human with a pen. I haven't given up anything. It's got all the flexibility of native digital media, coming from this intrinsically human thing."
Phone Charging Case
No matter how diligent you are about charging your smartphone, there will come a time when you can't get to an outlet. Then what? You can be prepared by using a phone-charging case. There are a wide variety of options, including rugged, impact-resistant protective cases, solar-powered cases and cases with removable rechargable batteries. Prices and features vary.
Wireless Input Devices
"Phones and tablets are great on their own, but I think we'll continue to see wireless keyboards that leverage Bluetooth connectivity be useful and popular," says Kristofer Layon, product design manager at Capella Education Company in Minneapolis. While voice control is increasingly effective, there will still be a place for typing things in on your device. "I think there may be a limit to how much people want to talk to their computers. Plus in some cases, voice control is just impractical," Layon says.
Personal Fitness Gadgets
Heart rate monitors, mileage trackers and other fitness gadgets are hugely popular. "People love being competitive and measuring progress," Layon says. "And basically, people just love data when it comes to things that are otherwise personally challenging." These gadgets make it possible to measure, track and share physical accomplishments such as running, lifting or exercising for a certain length of time. Many of them sync to social media as well. "My Polar heart rate monitor watch... could tell me both my speed and heart rate when running," Layon says. "I give that device a ton of credit for me gaining confidence when training for my first marathon."
More people have been using their smartphones as personal wifi hotspots, but that can drain the battery quickly. Because of that, separate devices for personal wifi are still popular. Using a personal wifi device makes it possible for you to get online with your laptop or tablet computer when wifi isn't otherwise available. You can check with your wireless provider to find out what kind of plans are available for making your smartphone a hotspot, or look into a separate device.
Using gadgets for the sake of technology can just end up cluttering your life. Finding out which gadgets successful people use can give you a leg up on achieving your goals.