| OUTSIDE THE BOX
Make Your Home Business Smarter
by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig
One of the coolest things about starting your own business is getting to learn about the best tech gadgets. I’ve compiled a list of some of the home office accessories that have helped me get the job done.
I enjoy wearing Apple’s AirPods for all meetings and phone calls. However, people fear that these and similar wireless Bluetooth devices may get lost due to their size. An alternative is JLab’s JBuds Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds (jlab.com/products/jbuds-air-sport-true-wireless-earbuds), which hook behind one’s ear and are affordable. Additionally, if you don’t mind a cord, rated well among experts are the wired ErgoFit Earbud Headphones from Panasonic (shop.panasonic.com/audio-and-video/headphones/earbud-headphones/rp-tcm125-w). The in-ear headphones include a microphone, as well as a price to which you can’t say no.
Many of us who work from home go between using a desk and sitting on our bed or a cushy chair with a lap desk. The one I use (which was discontinued by the seller) is similar to the adjustable laptop table by NEARPOW (amazon.com/dp/B07439DYBR). It is affordable, has room for a mouse, is portable, and offers different heights and angles to keep you ergonomically conscientious. There are others that provide more space on the surface with places to hold your cup, pens, and/or other devices, if that’s your thing.
Bluetooth keyboards are great. They travel well, and some allow you to switch usage between a tablet and a phone with ease. I use Logitech’s K480 Multi-Device Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard (logitech.com/en-us/products/keyboards/k480-multi-device-wireless.920-006342.html). It is affordable and has a long battery life. Plus, it can switch among three devices while in use, which is a great plus for multitaskers. I occasionally use my OMOTON Ultra Slim Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard (omoton.com/collections/keyboard-mouse/products/ultra-slim-wireless-bluetooth-keyboard-for-ipad-pro-12-9-11-ipad-air-10-9-10-5-inches), which is a little smaller, so it’s easier to carry during long trips.
You may be able to recharge your phone at home easily, but if you have meetings or need to take care of other business away from your home office, the ability to renew battery life is a must. There are many brands, shapes, and capacity levels of batteries, and how much you use your phone or tablet should help determine the best charger. I have had my Anker PowerCore 20100 (anker.com/products/a1271?ref=search_PowerCore%2020100) for a few years, and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s comfortable in either hand (with or without my phone), it recharges quickly, and the battery life lasts up to a couple of days, even if connected continuously. Because Anker sells several types of portable chargers and wall chargers, this is the brand I recommend to others.
Probably the most important thing to do when shopping for a home printer is to determine how often you will use it and how often you will need color copying. If you have limited space, occasional trips to an office supply store or standalone printing center may work best. My copying needs have slowed down; however, the last printer I used—part of the Brother MFC series (brother-usa.com/home/printers-fax/all-in-one)—was one of my favorites. I’ve also had experience using an HP OfficeJet all-in-one wireless printer (www.hp.com/us-en/shop/sitesearch?keyword=officejet ), and it is a great choice too.