Gadgets for Staying Productive and Entertained On-the-Go
Now that school is back in session for most of the kiddos, we also are getting back into our more productive season of the year. Whether you work from home, away from home or are a busy stay-at-home mom, we are always looking for ways to be more productive.
I typically work toward spending time every day listening to educational and inspirational audiobooks and podcasts – honestly, I can hardly stand doing housework without something keeping my mind off the mundane chores. I find keeping my brain occupied during daily monotonous duties has great value – I can better my business by devouring relevant audiobooks and podcasts and a better mom and wife by doing the same. Below are a few of my favorite gadgets that help me do this no matter where I am (indoors, outdoors, in the car, etc).
I’m seriously giddy about this incredible gadget. For years I’ve bemoaned the fact that there was a good, solar-charge option for smartphones (most have been very bulky and too expensive). Finally, there’s a viable option that’s incredibly portable and actually works! Goal Zero: Nomad 7 Solar Panel is nothing short of amazing. It’s about the size of a notebook and can charge a variety of devices – most get a full charge from between 1 – 3 hours.
I roughed this portable solar panel up a bit – it’s definitely rugged. Not only is it perfect for hikes and camping, but also the perfect thing to have on hand during power outages. Though it may be considered a luxury item, this little powerhouse is very affordable comparatively and is tried and true.
- Compact 7 Watt Solar Panel for Charging Handheld Devices
- Charges handheld devices directly from a USB or 12 Volt charging port
- 30% smaller than comparable panels and 14 times more powerful than closest competitor
- Charges most cell phones in 1-3 hours and most smartphones, GPS and USB cameras in just 2-4 hours
- Foldable, rugged design weighs just 0.8 lbs and is weather resistant making it ideal for hiking and backpacking
Available at: Costco, REI, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, Sport Chalet, Frys and Bestbuy.com
Price: $ 99.99
Most of us have wasted money on portable speakers that promised a much better performance than they actually delivered. I’m glad to say that the Goal Zero: Rock Out option is one of the better options on the market. The design is not cliche, so I was a little skeptical about just how much boom I’d get out of it. I was more than pleased.
The Rock Out speaker is designed for the outdoors, but easily fits in one hand and is great for use around the house and in the backyard. The charge holds for a long time, too (around 20 hours). I was definitely impressed with what it has to offer and, even after being rough housed by our little ones, it’s survived without a hitch.
- Weather Resistant Portable MP3 Player or Laptop Speaker
- Provides up to 20 hours of playback
- Can be recharged via USB or with Nomad 7 Solar Panel in in just 2 hours
- Easy to hang from backpack, bike stem or belt with cinchable shock cord
- Daisy chain Rock Outs together for bigger sound
- Store MP3 player inside pocket for protection
Available at: Best Buy, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and REI (Only Goal Zero sells Combo Kit)
Price: Rock Out – $39.99 Nomad 7/Rock Out Combo Kit – $139.99
Headphones can be such a pain. If you’re like me and have tiny ear holes, ear buds just don’t stay in. Over-the-ear options can make you sweaty and frustrated with the chord getting tangle around everything. I’ve been hoping for lightweight, breathable wireless heaphones to hit the market. Thank God Jaybird has come through for us!
If you’re a jogger, like me, you will love the fact that you can ditch the chord and stream your music via Bluetooth to these headphones. I’ve also been streaming audiobooks from my computer and iPhone during late-night chore times and am in love with them. As with any Bluetooth devices, the range is limited, but if you are wandering only a room away from the streaming device of your choice, it’s nice not to lug extra tech along!
- Bluetooth Headphones with Sleek Colorful Design and CD Quality Sound
- No wires – experience music wirelessly
- Sleek design and attractive colors like Toffee Apple Red, Runners Red and Black
- Control music and calls with integrated controls and a concealed microphone
- Equipped with apt-X which cleans up, adds depth, bass and treble to your Bluetooth music with CD quality
- Lifetime warranty against sweat
- Jaybird is an official partner of the USA Triathlon
Available at: jaybirdgear.com
Price: Starting at $99
This wireless speaker is nothing short of impressive. When I turned it on for the first time to assess it’s performance, I didn’t have high expectations. By the time I cranked it up to its highest volume, I was very impressed. I have since used this wonder more times than I can count. My kids are crazy about it, too because it makes rainy day dance parties more fun and is great for night time lullabies – the temptation to “play with the chord” doesn’t exist in this situation! The charge goes on and on and it easily survives drops and other rough handling (our 20 month old has taken that on as a personal mission).
The Braven 625s also comes with an incredibly bright USB flashlight for emergencies and can charge other devices from its own battery. It’s a win-win-win for everything and, though the price point is higher than your average wireless speaker, it definitely delivers.
- Rugged rubberized Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone/device charger brings music to any outdoor adventure
- Shock absorbing speaker is an ideal durable solution for sport, travel and outdoor experiences – small enough to fit in any bag
- All-in-one solution for the savvy audiophile delivers stereo streaming, charges your device, and takes hands-free calls through speakerphone
- Blare your favorite high fidelity tunes for 16 continuous hours from as far as 33 ft. away
- Users can daisy chain multiple speakers together
- Equipped with waterproof dry bad and USB flashlight so you’re ready for anything
Available at: Braven.com
What’s your favorite gadget for keeping you connected and productive no matter where you are?
Hannah Camacho is an educator, mom to three wonderful children ages 3 and younger and proud wife of an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She has been a BlogHer featured tech blogger and is very involved in the world of mobile app marketing and PR when she’s not chasing her three busy little ones.