Our Favorite Gear
The business tools you can't work without
(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Bearable Lightness
Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010; $2,000-$3,200; www.shopfujitsu.com
MICHAEL CHIU Managing partner, InnoBridge Capital Management
Between my desktops at home and at the office, I have all the heavy-duty computing power I need. But when it comes to working on the go, this Fujitsu LifeBook is minimalist computing at its best. About the width of a magazine and weighing just 2.2 pounds, this laptop doesn't have a DVD player, Ethernet port, or video-out connector. But it really makes my life easier when I'm bouncing from meeting to meeting or stuck in an airport. I use a spare battery when necessary, but even that added weight can't detract from how sleek this machine is. There are always lots of "oohs" and "ahs" when I whip it out.
Logitech IO2 Digital Pen; $150; www.logitech.com
DOUGLAS HOPKINS Founder, Douglas Hopkins & Co.
For all of you who still scribble notes on legal pads or napkins, trust me: There's a better way. With Logitech's digital pen and paper, I can jot down ideas that are easily transferred to my computer. A tiny camera embedded in the pen captures my writing strokes. When I put the pen in its cradle, the words are uploaded into my PC and digitized, allowing me to search them by keyword or e-mail them around the office. This tool has been a lifesaver at the construction site for my company's new factory. I just hand the contractor the pen and paper, and he draws diagrams or details changes. Then I distribute PDFs of his notes to my project managers, which is how one of them caught a major - and potentially costly - design mistake.
A Reality Check
The Artist's Way at Work; $16; www.barnesandnoble.com
JORY DES JARDINS Co-founder, BlogHer
Not many people have heard of this management tome, but I first read it in late 2001, after the dotcom bubble had burst. People seemed to fall into two groups: those who took the first job that came along just to get a paycheck, and those who held out for gigs they felt passionate about. This book taught me that if my job didn't reflect who I was in some way, then I needed to move on. Today I see the Web 2.0 craze and think a lot of business professionals should read this book. Not everyone will like its emphasis on creating lists and keeping a daily journal, but the notes I took years ago really help remind me now why I'm doing what I am and how to deal with aspects of my job that I don't like. The business climate has changed a lot in five years, but this book's underlying message hasn't.
No Wrinkles in No Time
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Dress Shirt; $75-$118; www.brooksbrothers.com
GLENN KELMAN CEO, Redfin
I can't tell you how many times I've rushed around a hotel room trying to press a shirt, catch up on news, and prep for a business meeting while fighting jet lag. I've tried a lot of wrinkle-free shirts, but their fabric grates and crinkles at the collar or cuffs. Brooks Brothers, which isn't my usual style, gets it right. Its non-iron cotton shirts feel good, don't wrinkle, and save me a lot of hassle. I love that I can toss them in the wash the night before a meeting, dry them over breakfast, and then throw one on as I'm running out the door. When traveling, I've crammed a few into my carry-on and arrived certain that they'd need pressing. But a few minutes of shower steam is all it takes to make them look as good as new.
Tell us about your indispensable toolsTo send a letter to the editor about this story, click here.