Hopefully before you read this, you will read my Tail of the Bad Car Karma post to get the background on why I am writing this post. Although I probably would have written it anyway. 🙂
As a busy mother, we have to deal with keeping schedules, running a household, working, and entertaining kids. We are now in an age where technology can help us with all of that. Do you remember what we used to do back when we had no computers? No cable? No smartphones?? We all made it just fine. But how? LOL! Since we have all of this wonderful technology, we might as well take advantage of it, right? Here are a few items that every busy mom should have to make her day to day activities easier. And of course, they can help to free her mind a bit from the mom rut that we all deal with from time to time.
1. Laptop or Netbook – Sure, you have a family computer. But any serious business owner, consultant, blogger or more needs her own computer. Why? Well personally I do not want to navigate through drawings saved all over the desktop, and web shortcuts to PBS kids to do my work. 🙂 Sure, there are ways to share the family computer, but if you are running a business, have your own to protect your work from little hands. I have a few that I would recommend and I have done some reviews of great ones here on this site. The Microsoft Store allowed me to try out a great netbook and laptop. While each may be a little pricey for the average user, these high-end machines are fully loaded, and awesome for someone who needs a lot of power. And my favorite feature on both?? BACKLIT KEYBOARDS!!! This is awesome!!! Mac users get this luxury, and I have been wanting it in a Windows laptop for a long time. Now I am drooling over this laptop available at the Microsoft Store:
The Samsung Series 9 13.3 inch Laptop.
The Samsung Series 9 is one of the thinnest and lightest 13-inch, full-featured notebooks available. At less than three pounds, it’s a breeze to carry. And with a battery life of seven hours*, you won’t run out of juice, even during those long days of back-to-back classes.
• Ultra-portable at just 0.64 inches tall and 2.88 pounds
• Chassis made of incredibly strong duralumin
• Lightning-fast solid state drive protects your data from bumps and drops
• Speedy multitasking with the Intel Core i5-2537M processor
2. Smartphone – It was a toss up between laptop or smartphone for #1. They are pretty close. But, if you are running a business a good smartphone is a must. There are many options out there, and what you pick totally depends on you! If you want ease of use, great function, and games a smartphone is a must! Plus, if you are on the go a lot you must keep up with your business and emails. I reviewed the great kid features of the Samsung Focus a while ago. It is still a great option for users looking for great features in a phone. Read the full review here.
- Ultra-thin 3G-enabled Windows Phone 7 smartphone with 4-inch Super-Amoled touchscreen
- Windows Phone 7 OS provides easy access to social networking, personal/corporate e-mail, office apps, Xbox LIVE games, streaming media, and more
- 5-megapixel camera with HD 720p video capture; 8 GB internal memory; microSD memory expansion; Wireless-N Wi-Fi; Bluetooth stereo music;GPS for navigation
- Up to 6.5 hours of talk time, up to 300 hours (12.5 days) of standby time; released in November, 2010
- What’s in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, charger, USB cable, stereo headset, quick start guide
3. Tablet Computer – While this is not a necessity, it is certainly awesome to have one. Lighter and thinner than a netbook, it is great to carry around for doing quick tasks while waiting in a docs office, having to view documents, or entertaining the kids with a movie or game. As with the other mentioned technology, there are many choices. We all know the very popular one that is taking over. And then there is Google taking over the world. But, what about those of us that want our tablet to do everything that we can do on our computers? We want the familiar interface, software, and usage. If that is the case, then a Windows 7 tablet is the way to go.
I checked out the Asus EEE Slate Windows 7 tablet which is a pretty awesome machine. It is a bit heavy for my taste though. It does comes with a stylus, and a bluetooth keyboard to make it a solid laptop replacement.
- 12.1″ WSVGA (1280×800) Capacitive LED Touchscreen; Pen or Finger Touch; Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System
- Intel Core i5-470UM CPU; 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM, 1x4GB; 1 slot, 4GB Max; Intel HD Graphics
- 64GB Solid State Drive; Wireless 802.11bgn; Bluetooth 3.0; 2.0MP Webcam; Internal Speaker; Internal Microphone
- Mini HDMI Port; 2 USB 2.0 ports; 2-in-1 Card Reader (SD & MMC); 4 Cell 34W/h Battery (Up to 3 Hours Battery Life)
- Includes Digitizer Pen; Folio Case; Bluetooth Keyboard
4. Camera – A good pocket camera, or DSLR camera is a MUST for any mom. You do not want to miss all of those cute, special moments that come along with having kids. I personally have a DSLR, pocket camera, AND pocket video camera. Why so many?? Each one serves its purpose. As we all know, Flips are now a thing of the past. They are still out there, but will soon disappear. So what is the next best thing? It seems to be the Sony Bloggie! I own a couple and they are great. They come in many flavors. There is the Bloggie, Bloggie Duo, Bloggie Touch, and Bloggie 3D. The Bloggie Duo has a screen on both the front and back so that it’s easy to record yourself.
- 1920×1080 HD MP4 recording
- 12.8MP still images
- Up to 2 or 4 hours HD video (depending on model)
- Flip-out USB arm for upload/charge
- Auto Macro & 4x Digital Zoom
- Tag videos to upload and Share It Later
- Sony Exmor CMOS sensor
- HDMI output
- Buit-in rechargeable battery
- Capacitive touch-screen LCD
- Slim design with easy operation
- SteadyShot image stabilization
- Face Detection technology
5. Bluetooth Earpiece – Wearing an earpiece while driving is the law here in Illinois and many other states. But still, so many people break the law from day to day by talking on the phone without an earpiece putting themselves and most importantly, their children in danger. Do yourself and the cars around you a favor, get a good earpiece. The Jawbone Era and the Jawbone Icon are great choices.
- World’S First Intelligent Motion Equipped Headset
- Talk Time: Up To 5.5 Hours
- Standby Time: Up To 10 Days
- Charge Time: 30 Minutes (80%)
- 60 Minutes (Full)
- 25 percent larger wideband speaker that brings Hi-Definition audio as you talk on the phone, listen to music, and more
- Advanced Bluetooth headset in Shadowbox design with NoiseAssasin 3.0 noise and wind canceling technology for clear communication
- Customizable features with MyTALK platform–download apps, set different languages, and more
- Jawbone battery meter automatically displays on iPhone (BlackBerry and others available at MyTALK)
- Up to 5.5 hours of talk time, up to 240 hours (10 days) of standby time; released in January, 2011
These are my choices for the must have gadgets for any mom. What are your favorite gadgets to have on hand?
Disclosure: Some of the gadgets above were loaned to me by the Microsoft Store for the purposes or the review. They were returned. All opinions are my own.