Running to the future

English: A chicken running Français : Un poule...I was running. Running to work, running at work, running home, running out to pick something up, running to the car, running to the phone and feeling the whole time like I was running out of time. Now I will be the first to admit I was running to a tune of my own creation. Work was busy, but then I like busy, I choose jobs that pose a challenge. I hate pointless busy, but if there is a clear objective, then I feel engaged. The busyness of my “free” time was equally of my making. I like to blog, I like to garden, I like to read, I like to paint and I like visiting with friends and family. There is never enough time for it all, but trying to do it is fun too. Although I was the architect of my time crunch, I was still feeling overwhelmed. It was admittedly a first world problem.

In keeping with that, I thought there must be some first world solutions that would help me to get my work done faster and more effectively. Was there a gadget or gadgets that might ease my way, make things clearer, easier to access, to see, to engage to respond? If I was willing to invest, I was sure there was a technological solution to help me meet my time woes. Here’s what I found.

Simband: To manage the impact stress has on my physical health, I could start with a Simband. It can check my blood pressure, let me know if my heart rate and respiration are normal and if I’ve been drinking too much coffee and not enough water it can let me know where my hydration levels are. It could even keep me safe by noting the amount of carbon dioxide in my blood.

Laptop Beverage Holder: This handy gadget would allow me to keep my coffee close by when I’m tucked away in a corner playing catch up with my blogging activities. It attaches to the side of my laptop so no table necessary. The same applies to any worries that I’ll accidentally kick over my coffee because I’ve placed it on the floor. Of course I shudder to think what would happen if I tilted my laptop the wrong way while it had a cup of coffee attached to it…

Google Glass: As anyone who mentions them in my hearing learns, I love the idea of Google Glasses, the idea, because I still don’t own a pair, but they should be coming to Canada soon. They might afford me any number of time saving features. I could look things up while walking and not risk walking into someone because I’m looking down at my phone. Though to tell the truth, I’ve always been good at navigating with my head down. I’m a veteran reader and when I get into a book, something as mundane as a walk won’t stop me from reading. Still, I can appear less anti-social if I can keep my head up, that is unless people are uncomfortable with my headgear in which case my fear is that I might become known as a glasshole.

Livescribe: This little beauty gives those of us who would rather write than type a time saving break. With Livescribe, your hand written notes automatically become text without you having to take the time to type. The device also records so that the notes you take synch up with what was being said at the time you took them. Think about how easy that would make your life. The only thing better would be voice activation technology; notes could then move seamlessly from sound to your desktop before you leave the boardroom.

Kensington Proximo TagThis brilliant little device was developed for me. I’m the queen of the lost keys, cellphones and a host of other things. The Proximo allows you to track anything. The fob activates the alarm on your cell phone so you’ll always know where to look. The Proximo tag attaches to your key ring but allows your phone to track it’s location so you’ll never lose your keys again. You can in fact, use the tag for anything you don’t want to lose. Imagine how much time will be saved if I’m not wasting it trying to find lost items.

Do you know any cool little time savers? What time saving devices would you like to have? What about devices gone wrong?

Photo credit: Wikipedia





0 responses to “Running to the future

  • ballnchainz says:
    June 28, 2014 @ 01:08 pm

    I have all of those except livescribe and they all are good. livescribe wouldnt work for me because my handwriting is too bad. but the rest of those are really useful. Thanks for the tips

  • crystalzakrison says:
    June 28, 2014 @ 12:49 am

    I love time-saving gadgets! My laptop got ruined a couple weeks ago from spilling water on it. The coffee holder is a good idea. Does life-scribe work for writers? Can you scan you handwritten paper and then it comes out in text? Then you could copy and paste to word? I would love to know because that would be a lifesaver. I want a super blow dryer that literally blow drys your hair in five minutes! That would be awesome! Good tips! =)

  • What a lovely choice of gadgets. Ashamed to say that I haven’t any of the ones mentioned by you. I am tempted to try out the livescribe!! I wonder if it would make writing recipes easier.

  • Debra, I like the idea of Livescribe, but I don’t have a smartphone. (Yes, I live under a rock.)

    I’d like to find something that would turn my handwritten notes on lined paper into typed text. If anyone knows of something that would do this, let me know!!!

  • I like how you snuck a technology review post into a headline that talks about time management. and instead of failing to deliver on the promised subject you over delivered. I need to be more creative like this in coming up with post titles. good post, max

  • Hey Debra,

    You are right, there are so many different gadgets, tools, services, you name it to make our lives easier. Although none on your list are anything I would be interested in that doesn’t mean there aren’t some out there. I don’t really use anything at the moment I can think of to make my life easier although when it comes to blogging I’ve got a whole slew of them!

    Thanks for the share and glad these have helped you in some small way.

    Have a great weekend.


  • All so cool! I love the cup holder idea! Google Glass, not so much. I would not do well with that – it would be annoying to me. Great compilation of time saving devices, for sure.

  • Hi Debra, Life has become really fast these days and coolest and smartest gadgets are the need of the hour. Livescribe is an amazing stuff to go for.

  • Livescribe would be my choice but I don’t think at this time I need any more technology. I already feel overwhelmed.

  • sundancesocialmedia says:
    June 25, 2014 @ 07:00 pm

    One thing I’ve noticed with technology; people cancel appointments closer to the scheduled time because they assume you are accessible and will receive the message. I refuse to be tethered to devices 24/7 and will assume the risks inherent in being stood up every once in a while!

  • I’m way behind the times I’m afraid, Debra. I have a tablet I haven’t used in so long I’ve forgotten how to get it online. I have a cell phone that will go online but I don’t know how to do it. I sit here at my desk typing away on my keyboard with one hand of fingers. I’m a relic. 😛

  • For me, it’s enough to use my smartphone to take note of my appointments. For the rest, I still continue to prefere taking notes manually using some post-it for the most urgent things and a copybook for my weekly to do list. Very simple!

  • Thank you very much Debra. Love the Simband and Livescribe. I have so many hand written notes that form the basis of many many stories. I would love to be able to read them into a digital format. I did try voice activation but it doesn’t like my accent to much and by the time I had fixed the errors I may as well have typed it out. Thanks again and looking forward to be more efficient.

  • Great gadgets love the laptop beverage holder and the livescribe.

  • I agree with others that the laptop beverage holder would not work for me. I’m always bumping my desk and spilling water, and so I keep my glass far away from my laptop. And if I spill it on the floor, then a couple of paper towels solves the problem – far easier than cheaper than replacing the laptop!

    For me, the key to saving time is by being organized. My latest trick is to use Google calendar and set up blocks of time for doing various tasks. Right now, it’s 11:16 a.m. where I am, and it’s my time block to do social media and comments (like this one!). In about four minutes, my calendar will give me a reminder that at 11:30, I need to move into blog writing time. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now, and it seems to be working.

    • That’s what I do, too, Jennifer, for a few years now – and it’s working excellent, at least most of the time.

      I don’t think I would use any of the listed tools, Debra – this gotta be the first time our views/preferences don’t overlap 😀

  • Arleen says:
    June 25, 2014 @ 11:16 am

    I think there are two many gadgets out there. Some are worthwhile while others I think make it more time consuming. However with that said I am always hunting for my keys so Kensington Proximo Tag sounds interesting.

  • The idea of more technological devices makes me want to run. I have an old cell phone that allows me to make phone calls and text – no camera or other fancy gadgets. I still haven’t learned most of what my laptop can do. So while I’m working hard to fit into the technological age, I have to admit i’m lightyears behind my 6 six old grandson who teaches me tech things. I did get a kick out of your google glass ending. Always enjoy your writing.

  • Hi Debra,
    As a writer, I have stacks of notepads. I’ve also been using Penultimate with Evernote and the Notes app that comes with iPhone and iPad. I just looked at Livescribe. Looks very useful and potentially a future purchase.

  • Debra — all these time savers sound interesting but I was particularly intrigued by the Kensington Proximo Tag. I’m constantly misplacing my keys and cellphone. That’s one I’m definitely going to look into.

  • I have heard the new amazon phone is essentially a tricorder. I wanna see one of these in action to check out how they work. I rarely ever pick up something as a time saver. Most of the time I look for itms that will serve multiple uses.

  • I love anything that really helps my life a little easier. The Simband sounds interesting but I will agree with you that the lap top cup holder could be a little scary. 🙂

  • I’ve not tried any gadget time savers, but I do try to make a point to time myself when I’m at a task. If not, I won’t get up and take a few minutes away and then I just get less done because I haven’t taken a break. A motivational device gone wrong would by the FitBit I tried. I exercise anyway, and it broke three times. We’re so inclined to quantify all aspects of our lives these days, and FitBit fed into that too much for my tastes.

  • Being retired for a few years now, I have slowed down some. There is one item on your list that intrigues me, the Kensington proximo tag. I could use it on my wine glass which is constantly getting lost!

  • Also like being busy but in a pleasant way. Decided I had had enough of 24/7 in 2008 and got rid of my Blackberry. Personally isn’t at the peak of creativity 24/7 either. Often it’s better not to come up with an idea immediately but sleep on it. We are at the hight of creativity when we fall asleep or wake up in the morning. So why force a quick solution when we are more likely to have a better idea the next day? Like my grandmother used to say: “It doesn’t show how long something has taken – but how it’s done” (bad translation from Swedish by someone who’s tired”:-)

    By the way, there is no way I would have a laptop beverage holder because I would definitely manage ro get coffee into it:-) most likely on a train…

  • I don’t know how I lived before my iPhone – GPS, cell phone, email, “newspaper”, digital camera, flashlight, etc, etc. It seems to do it all (or at least it does A LOT). Although it can lead to a good deal of time wasting on occasion, it saves me a ton of time when I’m searching, connecting and communicating. I’m also interested in Nest. I haven’t gone down this route yet, but am fascinated by the idea of remotely controlling my home thermostat and alarms from my phone.

  • Thanks for the technology round-up/summary, my friend. I have the same first-world problem you do of too many wonderful ways to spend my time. I confess I have a different approach to the problem, though. I don’t assume I can or should outsource the solution to a gizmo. I feel that would just keep me going down the trail of entitlement, i.e. believing that I deserve to do every fun thing that occurs to me, when much of the world doesn’t have clean water to drink or jobs with living wages.

    My work brings me to a lot of small towns. When I spend my free time in the evenings in these places, I find lots of happiness and sociability, also beautiful natural areas like parks and quiet beaches. I’m not overwhelmed by too many choices in these places. People have time to pay attention to each other. All this is just one example of a non-technological solution.

    P.S. I will never, ever call you a glasshole. But I’m very tickled by the phrase.

  • This is a bit of a touchy area for me Debra! I can’t imagine my life without a computer, and then in the next second I’m hoping the internet crashes completely so we can go back to “thinking” more! LOL While I am truly grateful for the technologies that have enables me to produce more, I am stressed by the expectation that I should produce more, given the tools at my disposal!!!! Funny…I am writing a blog about this now!! LOL But then, you and I often think along the same lines.

  • I don’t know how I lived before I had my iPhone – GPS, cell phone, digital camera, email, “newspaper”, podcasts, tv remote, flashlight, etc, etc. I’m amazed at how much I’ve come to rely on this little device and, while it can facilitate much time wasting, it does save me tons of time when searching, connecting and communicating. I haven’t tried it yet but am fascinated by Nest as well – being able to control my home thermostat and alarms remotely through my iPhone would be handy, especially when travelling.

  • Hi Debra, If I had to choose just one from your list it would be livescribe and if I were to eliminate one.. lets just say I have empirical proof that coffee and hard-drives don’t play well together. There really isn’t a time-saving device that I await with baited breath but no doubt there will be one that causes us to wonder how we ever got by without it.

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