Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tools of the Trade: Why I don’t travel light

027When I travel, I bring a lot of gear with me.

I view myself kind of like a carpenter. I need to have the right tool for the job.

Sure, many tools can perform multiple functions, but one of my competitive advantages is based on speed of information processing, so I am willing to carry a little extra gear to make that happen.

Loyal Blogreader, Neil, suggested that I introduce the readership to my tools and explain why.

So, here we go.

Starting at back left.

  1. Kindle (wi-fi only).
    It’s light and great for holding while waiting in lines at airports (or whatever). The keyboard makes it REALLY easy to take notes (which I do). Plus, I like how it makes me focus. If I really want to concentrate on reading, the single purpose devices helps.
  2. Windows 7 Netbook (ASUS 1000HA)
    The workhorse of the fleet. Power-emailing or blogging, spreadsheet work, and presentation creation and display. If I am serious about the creative process, I need this.
  3. iPad 16GB wi-fi only (soon to be iPad2)
    Perhaps the best overall data consumption device I have. Fast and easy, I don’t need to sell you on it, but if I really need to catch up on RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Instapaper articles, this is the device to do it.

2nd row Left

  1. Livescribe Pen and notebook
    Sometimes you want to take notes or sketch out ideas. Why not capture them digitally so that you can view them later on your computer or, even better, share them later with others?
  2. FlipCam
    Video has become a powerful asset for me. I’ve closed deals because people have watched the videos that I shoot. Yes, I could capture them on my phone, but the Flip records in HD and it is ridiculously simple to get it off the Flip and onto the Netbook for editing and uploading. I like the simple functionality of it.
  3. HTC EVO 4G Smartphone
    Now that I have the extended battery, this thing is a beast and can do pretty much anything I need in a SmartPhone and then some. Bonus (and I mean major bonus is that now that I have “rooted” it, e.g. ‘jailbroken’ in iPhone terms) it doubles as a mobile wi-fi hotspot. So, I use the Internet data connection from the phone and I connect the Netbook, iPad, and Kindle to it so everything stays in synch.
  4. Windows 7 LG E600 Smartphone
    This is the newest addition to the arsenal and I got it for two reasons. One, because a guy I know at Microsoft offered it to me for free and two, because it is GSM. The EVO is great, but since it is on Sprint, the international coverage leaves A LOT to be desired. I bought a simple pre-paid SIM card so I could receive calls anywhere (given recent travel schedule, that has become a necessity).  As a wi-fi only device, it’s pretty slick (and faster than the EVO). As expected, the Outlook/Exchange integration is 1st rate.
  5. Microsoft Arc IntelliMouse
    This thing connects wirelessly via USB and is just a fantastically designed piece of hardware. Really enjoy it. Plus, the wireless component means I don’t have to untangle wires on airplane trays.
  6. Retractable corded headset
    Don’t want to interrupt my fellow passengers while I listen to music or podcasts, do I?
    I actually have a 2nd pair as a backup in my official carry-on bag.

3rd row Left

  1. Extra battery for Netbook…
    just in case, you know.
  2. Extra battery for EVO phone
    This is just the original one that came with the phone before I got the extended one. I have never used it, but have it.
  3. Bluetooth headset
  4. 3 outlet surge protector
    The REAL value of this is in airports with limited outlets. You bring this up to someone who is already plugged in and you offer them one of the outlets. You get the other two and you are ready to roll. I can’t thank Ari Goldberg enough for this gift.

Of course, this picture doesn’t show all of the chargers I have to bring, but since the Kindle stays charged forever and the EVO, LG have the same plug, it’s not too much (though I do have 2 plugs/cords for the NetBook, should I lose one).

To see the software I use, see here.

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