Product Reviews

7 Gifts for the Productive Road Warrior

Dann Albright 09-12-2014

Everyone’s obsessed with productivity—we all want to get more done in less time. It’s not an easy task, and it’s especially difficult when you’re on the go, away from your home or office, and you have to use whatever you can to stay powered, informed, and organized. Is there a productive road warrior in your life? If so, one of these gifts will make them happy this Christmas, no matter your budget.


Anker Astro Slim Portable Battery ($30)


Even if you take steps to improve the battery life of your iPhone How to Make Your Phone's Battery Last Longer and Hold More Juice Battery life is one of the biggest struggles of modern-day electronics. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops all deal with it -- so what can you do to maximize the amount of time you get per charge? Read More or laptop 20 Ways To Increase Laptop's Battery Life Read More , there are always going to be situations when you don’t have access to an outlet. And nothing kills productivity like running out of juice. Why leave your friend or loved one to suffer this miserable fate? Help them out with a portable battery to extend the life of their phone The 6 Best Backup Battery Packs for Extending Your Phone's Uptime A battery pack is one of the best ways to charge your phone in an emergency. Here are a few portable power banks that might be just what you need. Read More !

There are plenty of portable batteries out there, but Anker is a well-established brand, and offers a wide range of different batteries, from the pocket-sized Astro Slim ($30) and Astro Mini ($20) to a fold-out solar charger ($36–$60) and beyond. Anker has a number of great offerings, from more power accessories, like the 5-port desktop USB charging hub ($26), to mobile peripherals, like their ultra-slim 4mm Bluetooth keyboard ($26).

USBCell AA USB Rechargeable Batteries ($15)




Not everything that a road warrior needs can be powered by a USB cable—many portable peripherals and accessories still need AA batteries. Rechargeable batteries are great, but who wants to carry a recharger with them on the road? The USBCell USB rechargeable batteries ($15) can be plugged directly into a USB port to charge, and only take 5 hours to get up to 90% capacity.

They can be recharged hundreds of times, helping you save money, time, and waste when charging up on the go. And if you’re looking for a more traditional rechargeable battery system, the eneloop system is popular and trusted, and a charger with 4 AA batteries ($17) is an affordable way to start.

USBCELL MXAA02 AA Rechargable Battery - 2 Cell Pack USBCELL MXAA02 AA Rechargable Battery - 2 Cell Pack Buy Now On Amazon


Doxie Go Portable Scanner ($160)


One of the hassles of working on the go is keeping papers organized–conferences, meetings, and other events often result in packed folders full of schedules, itineraries, receipts, and other papers. With a small, portable scanner Doxie Go And Xerox Mobile Wi-Fi Portable Scanners Review And Giveaway Read More , all of these items can be scanned quickly and easily, meaning that paper can be recycled and your mobile productivity fiend won’t have to worry about losing something important.

The Doxie Go ($160) is a perennial favorite in this category; it’s rechargeable via USB, weighs less than a pound, and is easy to stash in a backpack or briefcase. It also works with the Eye-Fi wireless SD card ($105) to transfer documents directly to your computer.

Doxie Go - Rechargeable Mobile Document Scanner Doxie Go - Rechargeable Mobile Document Scanner Buy Now On Amazon


Another great option in this category is the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 ($200). With the ability to scan more than one document at a time and built-in wireless connectivity, it’s a great tool to have on the go.

WD My Passport Ultra 1TB External Hard Drive ($70)


If you’re going to be scanning a lot of documents, you’re going to need a lot of space to store them! And whether your productive road warrior likes to bring music, movies, photos, or work files on the road, a slim external hard drive The 8 Best Portable Hard Drives You Can Buy Right Now Read More is a great way to carry them. No need to worry about being connected to log into cloud storage Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. OneDrive: Which Cloud Storage Is Best for You? Have you changed the way you think about cloud storage? The popular options of Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive have been joined by others. We help you answer which cloud storage service should you use. Read More , no sacrificing space in packed luggage, and no external power supply needed.

The WD My Passport series is a great set of external hard drives—they’re very slim at .4″ and come in a range of sizes. Probably the best compromise between price, size, and storage capacity is the 1TB model ($70), but you can select from 2TB ($100) and 500GB ($60) models, as well. There’s even an Air edition made specifically for the Macbook Air. And the Ultra Metal Edition ($75–$110) adds durability in the form of an all-metal case. In addition to WD, there are great selections from Toshiba ($55–$70) and Seagate ($63–$87), as well.


Moto 360 Smartwatch ($300)


If your friend or loved one is big into the latest technology, and you have a large budget, a smartwatch is a great way to go. The ability to get notifications, messages, and directions from a watch instead of pulling out a phone is great when traveling—especially when using a phone isn’t convenient. The Motorola Moto 360 ($300) is one of the best-looking smartwatches out there, and is sure to be a hot gift this year.

By combining all of the features of the typical smartwatch, a built-in pedometer and heartrate monitor, and voice control, the Moto 360 does it all. And it comes in a number of colors and and band types. Of course, the Moto 360 isn’t the only cool wrist-mounted thing people are coveting this year: the Pebble smartwatch ($100) and the Jawbone UP24 fitness tracker ($105) are both high on people’s lists, too. Our review of the Moto 360 Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear Smartwatch Review and Giveaway The $250 Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch fuses beautiful and sleek design with functionality. Read More will help you decide which is best for you.

Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece Smart Watch - Black Leather 00418NARTL Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece Smart Watch - Black Leather 00418NARTL Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

Evernote Moleskine Small Journal ($13)


Nothing can replace the feeling of writing with a pen on paper 3 Paper Notebooks Worth Shelling Out For We do a lot of writing about high-tech ways to keep track of things and manage your life. But sometimes a plain old notebook is the best thing you can use. Read More , and Moleskine is known for making some of the best notebooks out there. Combining a heritage of high quality with one of the ultimate productivity tools—Evernote—makes a very stylish and very useful gift. There are a range of sizes, from a small journal ($13) to a large weekly planner ($25) and a business notebook ($26). The Moleskine Evernote notebook was created to work well with Evernote page capture, and includes stickers that become searchable tags once they’ve been imported into the app.

Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook, Pocket, Squared, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook, Pocket, Squared, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) Buy Now On Amazon $44.56

The Moleskine Evernote notebooks all come with a free 3-month subscription to Evernote premium Why You Should Be Using Evernote As Your Go-To Place For Remembering Everything Remember Everything. That’s the Evernote motto and that’s what it allows you to do best. If you aren't familiar yet with Evernote, you’re in for a real treat! If you have heard of it, but... Read More , giving your friend or loved one access to great features like offline mobile notebooks, unlimited uploads, and easier collaboration.

Grid-It Tablet / Macbook Air Case ($32)

If you’ve ever taken all of your productivity supplies on the road 17 Techy Travel Tips for Globetrotting Freelancers Dead laptops, weak batteries and the hazards of the road can make your life miserable. Worse, the perils of travel can crush your professional life. So how did I manage to not get fired? Read More , you know that it can be really difficult to find what you’re looking for in the bottom of your backpack or roller bag. Grid-It solves that problem by providing an easily reconfigurable storage solution for all of the things you need: tablets, MP3 players, phones, pens, notebooks, chargers, cables, and anything else you carry with you.

Grid-Its come in a variety of sizes, from a small 7″ model ($7) to a large 15″ one ($18), with a number of shapes and sizes in between. There’s also a cool Grid-It tablet case ($32) that will store a tablet or a 13″ Macbook Air along with all the accessories you need to carry with you (there are also smaller sizes for smaller tablets).

Cocoon CPG38BK GRID-IT! Wrap 13 Laptop Accessory Organizer (Black) Cocoon CPG38BK GRID-IT! Wrap 13 Laptop Accessory Organizer (Black) Buy Now On Amazon $38.47

What Do You Want for Christmas?

These gifts should help you get a few ideas for the mobile productivity enthusiast on your list, and help them stay powered, informed, and organized no matter where they are.

Are you a productive road warrior? What mobile productivity tools do you find most useful?

Image credit: Businesswoman talking on cell phone via Shutterstocked.

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