This is the technology edition of “My Favorite Things,” a series about the products and services that make my life markedly better. Enjoy!
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One of my most essential personality traits is my desire for continual improvement. While this can sometimes breed discontent with the status quo, in general it leads to a life that’s just a bit better every year.
I’m not averse to purchasing things that I feel will make a big difference in my quality of life, my business, or my health and wellness. I particularly love things that save me time or make me more efficient. Time is your most valuable asset, after all!
I’m going to duplicate all of this on a permanent page on my blog that you can access via the toolbar above, but you get the sneak peek today!
These specific items are physical technology products that I love. Let me know in the comments below if you have products that make your life better!
I used to lose my keys, my wallet, or my wireless earbuds every day. Literally every day. Often times, I’d be halfway down the I-5 highway on my way to work before I realized I left my wallet at home. Or I’d be ready to Netflix and chill but my earbuds were nowhere to be found.
Since I fitted these items with Apple Airtags, I still lose my items, but I can find them much faster. I spend much less time looking for my items and more time just living my life. If I leave the house without my wallet now, I get a notification on my phone. Categorize this item as a luxury that will save you time and reduce your anxiety level.
I held off for years from buying wireless earbuds (you know, because of my financial scarcity mindset). I finally got Apple wireless earbuds a few years ago and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. It’s hard to communicate how much they’ve improved my day to day. From listening to music while working, exercising, or watching Netflix in bed, it’s all so much better! I’m firmly caught in the Apple ecosystem, so I bought Apple Airpods. The noise cancelling model is worth the extra money if you can afford it. It makes a great product even better.
If you’re like me, slow or inconsistent internet speed is one of the most frustrating things in the world. (Someone should really invent a word that describes this feeling.) Aside from signing up for the fastest speed available from your internet provider, I’ve found that wifi extenders are the second most important thing to guaranteeing the fastest connection possible. I’ve scoured reviews and tried a couple of options, and have used the Amazon Eero system for the past few years. It’s provides the strongest and most continuous coverage in my home (and short term rentals) that I’ve found so far. The setup is also much easier than the competitor system from Google.
Up until this year, I would have to plug my laptop into my printer to print anything from home. I also had no ability to scan multiple documents at once. I’d have to stand next to my scanner, feeding it sheets one by one.
As our rental property business has grown, I routinely have to print documents and contracts. I usually have to sign them and send them back to the bank or lender if they don’t use Docusign. So when we moved into our home in Memphis, I finally decided to get a more professional printer. This all-in-one option was recommended by the NY Times.
I’ve found it to be a big improvement. Now I can scan stacks of double sided documents all at once. I can also initiate a print job from anywhere in the house. Now I just hit print from the comfort of my desk and keep on working while it does its thing. Welcome to the 21st century!
There’s nothing more satisfying than controlling your thermostat from the comfort of your own bed. Even if the thermostat is literally 10 feet away, it’s still fun making it warmer or colder without leaving the comfort of your bedsheets. If this resonates with you, congrats, you should buy a smart thermostat.
While the remote operation is great, the real power of the smart thermostat is the ability to set schedules. You can set it to essentially go to sleep for the day while the house is empty, saving you hundreds of dollars on your heating or cooling bills. I use this also at my short term rentals in between guests to save money and wear and tear on the HVAC systems.
The Google Nest is a popular system, but I didn’t like the way it would randomly adjust my settings. The ecobee system is much less insubordinate. I also like that it’s not owned by Amazon, Apple, or Google, unlike most of the other items on this list.
In my home, we rely on the doorbell camera to keep track of package deliveries, the coming and goings of visitors, and for extra security. Let’s be honest, we also use it to decide if we feel like answering or ignoring the doorbell. In my short term rentals, I’ve used the camera to communicate with guests and repairmen in a pinch.
I’ve tried a couple of models and I like the Ring option for a few reasons. The setup and installation is faster, the app is faster, and the resolution of the video is better than the Google option. This particular model has a battery and wired connection, which is the best of both worlds.
If you’re like me, the last thing you see before you go to bed is your phone. As I scroll through my last dopamine hit of social media for the day, I reach over to plug in my phone. After a few attempts at finding the cord in the dark, I give up and fall asleep, waking up to a dead phone in the morning.
At least that’s how it used to be until I bought a wireless phone charger. Now, I just reach out in the dark and seat my phone on the charger before I fall asleep. I wake up to a full charge every day.
There are a million options on Amazon, but I like this one. It keeps your phone upright. At work, you can see when messages come in. At home, it makes your phone much more usable as an alarm clock.
What do you think about my choices? Any recommendations of your own? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to subscribe to my newsletter for more of my favorite things!
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