THE BUSINESS TOOLS YOU CAN'T WORK WITHOUT*
(Business 2.0) – A Watch Worth Watching Tissot High-T; $725; www.tissot.ch MSN Direct; $39.95 per year; direct.msn.com
CHRISTIAN CANTRELL Product manager, Macromedia
As a collector and reviewer of watches (see www.watchreport.com), I have accumulated a pretty extensive assortment, but the one that has emerged as my favorite is the Tissot High-T. Why? Sheer technical wizardry. The watch comes with one month of free MSN Direct service, which transmits customized data "channels" over FM radio waves. My favorites are stocks, weather, and news. For an additional $20 a year, you can sync your Outlook calendar with your watch and get event alerts. Several other watches offer the same data features, but two things set the Tissot apart. The first is the vibrating alarm, which keeps you from drawing unwanted attention in movies and meetings. The second is the touch-sensitive sapphire-crystal face, which allows you to navigate by tapping the screen rather than pushing buttons. If you've got a big enough wrist (and budget), the High-T is a must-have.
Not Just the Fax HP 9200c Digital Sender; $3,199; www.hp.com
CRAIG GARNER Attorney, Van Etten Suzumoto & Becket
I always find ways to use technology to inject some fun into my hectic life. I text-message my wife from the baseball game the Angels just tied up and discreetly play BrickBreaker on my BlackBerry during meetings. But when I need to get serious, my favorite new toy is the HP Digital Sender. It looks like a fax machine, but it will scan your important paper documents and convert them into PDF files that you can archive or e-mail with the touch of a button. The world of law is still far from paperless--as are big industries like real estate, health care, and insurance--so the ability to go from paper to digital is critical. Most of my colleagues find PDFs more secure than Word documents and faxes for revising contracts, and my Digital Sender always gets them sent quickly and cleanly.
DIY Keyboard Ergodex DX1; $150; www.ergodex.com
HANS TEN CATE Development director, Electronic Arts
I was fortunate to have been part of Ergodex's early beta-test program and have become a devoted convert to this programmable keyboard. By customizing the key functions and placing them wherever I want, I can personalize the DX1 to be anything I need, turning repetitive work tasks into simple clicks. Because the keys can be moved and reused anywhere on the DX1 pad, I can create custom configurations that are comfortable and convenient. At work I use the DX1 for productivity software, but it's also popular with gamers wanting to simplify complex moves and commands. I also believe that it will immensely benefit software engineers and computer graphics artists who use complicated software like Visual Studio or 3D Studio Max.
A Sock Drawer to Go Eagle Creek Pack-It accessories; $7-$40; www.eaglecreek.com
REX HAMMOCK President, Hammock Publishing
To deal with the chore of constantly packing and unpacking my clothes on business trips, I've turned to Eagle Creek, which is known more for serving rugged outdoor types than business road warriors. I'm hooked on the company's Pack-It line of travel organizers, which allows me to place items of clothing into zippered bags and cubes made of mesh fabric and plastic. For short trips I pack individual sets of clothing in separate bags--one for each activity. For longer trips I assemble categories of clothes (socks, for example) in separate bags and transfer them to drawers once I check into my hotel room. I used to claw through my suitcase every time I needed socks. Now I find what I'm looking for instantly.
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