If you´ve read some of the stuff I have written in the past, you probably have a pretty good sense that I am not the hugest fan of technology. That´s not entirely true — I am practically attached at the hip to my laptop and my entire life and livelihood seems to be based online, so I am not a Luddite that is opposed on principle to all technology. What I am opposed to is technology that is supposed to be for productivity, but which actually doesn´t make us more productive. In fact, I am of the opinion that the majority of productivity technology actually makes us less productive. Sure new phones and other items can do pretty much anything, but so much of what they can do is not what we need them to do, and they just infringe on our lives and blur the lines between work and the rest of life.
Some technology, though, is exciting in its simplicity, and powerful in its potential. I spend a good deal of time every day looking at the newest and fanciest of emerging technology, and only a few items seem like a truly good idea that will make people more productive. Over the last few months, in fact, there have been nine items that have stuck out as actually having the potential to boost productivity. Over the next three days we´ll take a look at those nine items and why they excite me. Today we will be looking at simple and interesting solutions:
Metal pen — There is nothing worse than not being able to find a pen when you need one, or, even worse, finding a pen only to discover that it has no ink in it. This stainless steel pen never runs out of ink because it doesn´t use ink. It is a solid steel pen which leaves a permanent mark on paper when you write with it. It won´t smudge and it won´t wear out. Now if only someone could find a way to help me avoid losing every pen I touch within two seconds of touching it.
New Xerox paper — Sometimes you just have to print something out to see how it looks on paper. Xerox has developed a new type of paper coated with a special chemical. It prints like normal paper, but the printing fades away entirely within 16 to 24 hours. That means that you can print something out, look at it and use it however you need to, and then reuse it again the next day. Not only would that be useful, but Mother Nature will appreciate it, too.
Notebook strap — Sometimes you need to carry your notebook around with you, but you don´t want to carry a big, bulky case everywhere you go. I always get nervous when I´m carrying my notebook around, though, because I´m afraid I´ll drop it. That would be catastrophic. That´s why this simple strap makes such sense. It gives you a secure handle so you won´t drop the machine, it´s simple and compact, and the notebook isn´t going to slip out of it.
Tomorrow we will look at solutions for simply keeping your devices powered.