iPodI’ve just realised that I am a recovered addict! Over the last year I have managed to cure myself of my addiction to new gadgets. When I started my quest for productivity, I saw gadgets and tools as the answer, so it feels ironic that I have been lead away from them, I am a technologist after all!

Gadgets can and do help, but not if they are over done. People who know me from my former years will remember that I definitely over did them! The problem with taking on new gadgets every month is that you never get productive with them; it also means that they never become a comfortable part of your routine.

A new found focus on ‘a few good things’ has changed all of that. Using fewer tools means that you get to know the tools you have well and get good at using them. The interesting thing is that I have also settled on far simpler tools. Picking a few good things means that you focus on gadgets that endure, rather than gadgets that impress.

My favourite productivity gadget these days is both an unusual and a common one. It is highly popular, but not for the reasons I use it. It is my trusty Apple iPod nano 4GB, recently acquired via ebay. Mine is very unfashionably green as you can see!

How does it help my productivity? Well, it is:

  • My readable, long-term diary (via iCal syncing)
  • My address book and contacts list (via Apple Address Book)
  • My digital reference (via Notes)
  • My teacher (via PodCasts)
  • And my to do list (via trusty iCal again)

These are all lesser known, less used, functions of the iPod, but ones it is very functional for. I keep it on me at all times, as it is exceptionally small and light, at about a tenth of the size and weight of the smallest PDA I have ever owned. In fact, it is so small that I hardly know it is there and I don’t need to carry as charger for it as the battery life is incredible. It doesn’t let me down on long trips, unlike my Windows Mobile PDA, and doesn’t clutter my bags with leads and chargers.

In addition to all of that, with additional effort, it can store text notes, you can even fit the whole Bible on it! It also lets me keep up with the world and learn when I am on the move, as I use iTunes to sync the latest podcasts onto it.

Thank you Apple for my best ever PDA. Apparently you can listen to music on it too, that sounds good!

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