‘Tis the season for holiday office parties, family gatherings, and end-of-year business deadlines that can often leave us feeling maxed out. Not to mention planning for the New Year ahead. For many small business owners and nonprofit professionals, the gift of efficiency is the one thing we all could use more of as we juggle and balance the numerous commitments this time of year demands of us while effectively maintaining operations.
Sinu can’t get you out of that upcoming wear-your-ugliest-holiday-sweater-Yankee-Swap-potluck at your in-laws, but we can offer some consumer tech tools and other services designed to streamline and leave you feeling a bit more relaxed and merry! Plus, these tech gifts will keep giving all year long!
- Travel Smart. Often the hustle and bustle of the holidays has us on the go more than usual increasing our chances of losing laptops, bags and other easy-to-forget-but-critical accessories. There are several nifty products on the market that will keep your travels secure:
o The eNokia Treasure Tag ($30), which lasts up to about six months on one standard watch battery, connects to any smartphone that uses Bluetooth 4.0. If you leave an item behind, the tag itself beeps. You can also search for misplaced items.
o The Tile Mate ($25) is another great option – this small device can easily attach to keys, luggage and other small items and then connects to a mobile app so you are never far from what you are looking for.
- Keep it portable. You can make big impressions and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The ability to present, print and scan on the go can streamline and impress. Here are three dynamic portable tools, often originally intended for personal use, which can increase productivity for those professionals who need something small they can take on the road to meetings:
o The Epson WorkForce DS-40 Color Portable Scanner ($180 ) can connect over Wi-Fi and send scanned documents directly to services like Evernote or Dropbox, so no laptop is required. And as a bonus, according to John Brandon, contributing editor, Inc.com, the scanner runs on battery power or USB, so you can use it anywhere.
o The NeatConnect ($469.95) is a wireless, standalone scanner that works without the need for a controlling PC by connecting directly to your Wi-Fi network. It can scan in color and can get both sides of your documents with a single pass. According to tech blogger Paul Mah, "The NeatConnect can be easily preconfigured to digitize paper documents directly into number of cloud services (EverNote, OneNote, Dropbox, Box and Google Drive) as well as FTP and email attachments. Users select scanning parameters, output destination and other operations using NeatConnect's intuitive color touchscreen.”
o The FAVI DLP Pico Smart Projector with Android OS ($349.99) lets you stream your favorite apps and videos virtually anywhere, whether it be making presentations on the road or sharing vacation videos with family and friends. The Pico+™ Smart Projector is compatible with most smart devices and also allows you to directly download media and run apps like Netflix, DropBox, Skype, and many more in Google Play.
- Eliminate clutter: This tech gift is a must have if office space is tight. The BlueLounge CableBin ($89.95) offers a creative, smart approach to cable management. The cylindrical bin offers a simple way to gather and organize electronic devices. Its ample internal space allows for small appliances and cables to be kept neatly out of sight, no more frustrating, unsightly and unsafe loose cables or fasteners. The CableBin comes with a number of adhesive hooks that can be affixed internally to aid in the placements of power extension switches and excess cables.
- Outsource: We understand that in small offices we wear a lot of different hats but your CEO should not be handling administrative duties. To tackle all those little things that can add up and hinder operational efficiency, consider an administrative service like Vesper. This dedicated office management company eliminates the headaches of turnover and inefficient office management by providing outsourced office management services and expert admin staff to SMBs. Vesper Office Managers assist with everything from procurement, calendar management, and event planning to ad-hoc projects, like office moves, and more. Such a service could save a ton of time and alleviate quite a bit of stress.
This holiday season, keep calm and tech on! From our Sinu family to yours, we wish you a safe and stress-free season!