From our ‘ask the coach‘ mailbox comes a question from someone who likes to procrastinate (don’t we all at some point?) and is just now starting holiday shopping. “What does the anywhere worker want for Christmas?” My answer: Nothing and everything. Of course each individual has their own wishlist (I recommend anywhere workers create an Amazon wishlist and share it with friends and family to make it easier). The reason I say nothing and everything is that, as an anywhere worker I like to travel light, so ‘nothing’ is my first response. But of course, as a ‘geek in training’ and a creature who loves her comforts, ‘everything’ also comes to mind. So here is a short list that helps to satisfy both ‘nothing’ and ‘everything’ for the anywhere worker:
1. Gift Card to their local hangout. Some of my favorite are: Starbucks, Panera Bread, Corner Bakery Cafe (usually only when I travel – they don’t have one in my town – sigh), and of course Barnes and Noble. A gift card is light, but it’s value can be priceless to an anywhere worker. My creativity and productivity are often fueled by the atmosphere and the…. coffee coffee coffee!
peace on earth
2. Etymotic Research headset. These are a life saver if you travel or if you work in noisy, distracting locations. The quality is unmatched and the customer service is equally so. I had a problem with one of the earbuds and they replaced the entire set quickly and without a hassle. The noise cancellation is amazing and the sound quality makes both conversations and my mp3 collection music to my ears. I carry these everywhere I go – even when I’m just going downstairs to get a cup of coffee in my own kitchen. Working in your home or in a cafe can have many distractions. Having a headset that are also earphones makes conversation and productivity possible – anywhere! Yep, I’m a fan.
through the air like santa’s reindeer
3. Mifi mobile hotspot. Specifically the Virgin Mobile Mifi®. The beauty of the Virgin version is that you can pay as you go – no contract. That’s perfect for the anywhere worker who is savvy about the locations of all the local wifi hotspots. The mifi comes in handy in several situations: first is during travel when you don’t want to pay the hotel wifi fees (anywhere form $10 to $25 / day); second is during travel where there are no open wifi hotspots (cafes, airports, conference centers); third is the most surprising and most valuable – your home. How many times has your internet service been interrupted just before an important call or webinar? Having a mifi available is a great backup for all of these situations. Having one that is pay as you go is priceless.
in other words
4. Amazon Kindle wifi. At the reasonable price of $139, the 6 inch wifi version is a great deal. I use it for reading fiction, of course, but the real value is as a portable library for all of my business and tech books. It’s great to have your library of references with you everywhere you go. It’s also great to have when you are waiting for a client or a plane. The battery life is fantastic and you only need wireless when you want to buy books. I don’t use it to surf, I have an iphone or a laptop for that. I use it to read books and pdf reports. I have been able to adapt to paperless by using the highlight, note, and bookmark tools to take the place of my visual recall when I want to find a topic or section in the book. This is the one gift that really is everything (all the books I’ll ever want or need) and nothing (light and extremely mobile).
UPDATED: Here’s a link to the new Kindle Paperwhite
(note: The Amazon link includes my affiliate code which means if you buy a kindle from the link I’ll get a little something back – jingle jingle!)
I hope this helps, even if you are shopping for yourself! I’m on my way to do some last minute shopping myself – what’s one more body, right?