The business tools you can't work without
(Business 2.0) – Touch and Go
DigitalPersona Pro Workstation; business version $135, www.californiapc.com; consumer version $40, www.microsoft.com
NICHOLAS GLOVER Associate, Nasdaq
I recently began a fast-paced career in the fastest-paced city in the world: New York. But all of the URLs, user names, and passwords that I had to remember to access the financial-data websites I need to do my job were slowing me to a crawl. Then, thankfully, our resident tech guru handed me this fingerprint reader (a Microsoft-branded consumer version is also available). I was skeptical at first, but now I'm forever changed. The mouselike device, connected via USB, lets me log in to any site with the touch of a finger. Whenever I'm at a site that requires a login, I scan my finger over the DigitalPersona and a pop-up window asks me if I want to save my user ID and password. I click "Yes" and type in my login information, and the device stores the data. Then the next time I go back to the site, all I need is my finger--not my shoddy memory.
The Toiletries Toolbox
Zip Around Travel Kit; $55; www.swissarmy.com
ERIC SIRY Creative director, Business 2.0
Reaching into a dopp kit and nicking my finger on a razor used to be a travel hazard. Not anymore, now that Swiss Army knife maker Victorinox has applied its all-in-one ingenuity to the toiletry case. Like a toolbox for grooming aids, the Zip Around Travel Kit opens into three sections packed with pockets and compartments, and it has a hook for hanging from the towel rack. The main compartment is leakproof, so I'll never find my suitcase awash in caked shaving cream again. Some pockets are mesh for quick drying, some zip shut, and most hold a single indispensable item snugly. The zippers are easy to grip when wet, and the manly design will fend off charges of metrosexuality. This thing is so convenient, it might just replace my medicine cabinet at home.
Stash Card; $10; www.stashcard.com
PHIL BAKER Technology columnist, San Diego Transcript
Anyone whose laptop has a PC card slot will love the Stash Card, a metal drawer that converts the unused space into a hidden compartment for stowing small items like a $100 bill, a credit card, a work ID badge, or a cleaning cloth. When I'm traveling on business in the Far East, I use mine to store two SIM cards so I can use my cell phone overseas and an extra SD memory card for my camera. It's much more efficient to stow these items in my laptop than to have them floating around loose in my carry-on. Some house keys and smaller business cards also fit in the drawer. Whenever I need an item, I just push the "Eject" button on my laptop, which normally would kick out a PC card, and swap out the contents. It's a great, cheap tool to have.
Zipfizz; $35 for a 20-pack; www.zipfizz.com
SCOTT ARMSTRONG CEO, Brenthaven
Sure, a triple espresso, a canned energy drink, or a discreet catnap can help you get through a long workday. Over time, though, these pick-me-ups are likely to damage your health (or your career, if you're caught snoozing on the clock). For me, Zipfizz is the perfect energy booster. It has a moderate amount of caffeine, but no sugar and more vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium than other energy supplements. Plus, it's really convenient when I'm traveling or running between meetings. I stick a few tubes in my bag, and whenever I feel fatigued, I dump the powder into a bottle of water and shake. The effects are energizing, but not like a caffeine jolt. We keep a box of 20 tubes on hand at the office, and in the afternoon, everyone runs for them.
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