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THE BUSINESS TOOLS YOU CAN'T WORK WITHOUT[*]
By

(Business 2.0) – CEO on the Go

Sony Vaio T250; from $3,000; www.sonystyle.com

FARZAD NAIMI CEO and co-founder, LiteScape

This is the best laptop I've ever used. I'm a heavy traveler who needs a full-power machine, but in the past I've developed neck problems from lugging around an overweight computer. I wanted a light laptop that can handle any software I throw at it but that also looks slick during high-profile presentations. My choice came down to a Sony Vaio or Panasonic's R3. I picked the 3.1-pound Sony because its X-Brite LCD screen is beautiful to work on. I easily get five hours of battery life, and with the 1.2-GHz processor and 1GB of memory, the T250 has everything I need to run multiple applications or watch DVDs on long cross-country flights. Professionally, it has made me much more productive, and it looks great in any boardroom. Personally, I'm much happier now that my shoulder pains have disappeared.

Dialing Without Digits

Parlance NameConnector; from $600 per month; www.nameconnector.com

PAUL SAGAN President and CEO, Akamai Technologies

Even though I have 2,992 contacts in my PDA, I never seem to have the phone number I really need. But that's no longer a problem, thanks to the NameConnector voice-recognition directory system we installed in 1999. NameConnector acts as an automated receptionist. Anyone at our company can dial either an internal extension or an external toll-free number, speak the name of anyone entered in the system, and be automatically connected. I like the fact that I can reach any one of our employees, on any of their phones, from anywhere. When I want to know the status of sales efforts, for example, I call NameConnector and say, "Carlos R, cell phone." NameConnector does the rest. It's that simple.

Cold Exterminator

Source Naturals Wellness Formula; 90 tablets, $21; www.sourcenaturals.com

NANCY EINHART Senior editor, Business 2.0

Let's make one thing perfectly clear: I'm skeptical about herbal remedies. When I have a headache, I take Excedrin. When I'm sleepy, I chug coffee. When I want to decompress, I've been known to smoke a cigarette. There's no good cure for the common cold, however, so I try to zap the bug before it zaps me. And for that I swear by Source Naturals Wellness Formula. Despite the crunchy name, this stuff really works. When I feel a cold coming on, I pop a few of the big pills, each of which packs a hearty dose of immunity boosters like vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea, plus a roster of mysterious ingredients like horehound stems and astragalus root. Usually my symptoms simply fade away, but in the rare event that I do get sick, I kick the cold in just two days--a feat that's convincing enough to help me ignore the silly name on the bottle.

The Anti-PDA

Coach Retro Glove Tanned Zip Portfolio; $298; www.coach.com

KAYMA CROKER-LIBURD Business analyst, Masthead Consulting

While others squint at their BlackBerrys and Treos, I prefer to pull out my trusty Coach portfolio. It uses a remarkable crashproof technology called pen and paper and never requires recharging. The leather looks and smells great, and it has a place for everything I need: slots for business or credit cards, ample room for a writing pad, two pen loops, an address book, and an appointment calendar. It also zips closed, so it doesn't look bulky and nothing ever falls out. It's low-tech, low-stress, and highly efficient. I've noticed that the leather actually looks even better after it's been broken in for a year or two--which is more than I can say for most PDAs.