Top 10 Digital Life Balance survival tools (and great gifts) for 2018

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These are a few of my favorite things. I always like to round off the year by sharing some of my favorite things that promote digital wellbeing (and make great gifts) as we shift into the new year. Let’s do it in a thoughtful way to bring joy, peace and love to those who really matter to us.

Hybrid journal

I love to write and sometimes offline is where my best ideas are created. That last minute thought before bed (or even one that comes in the middle of the night). Skip the screen and go straight to the notebook. Rocketbook is a great tool for those of us who still like to write on paper, but need to be able to organize our thoughts digitally. Even better, it is well thought through on sustainability as you can use it over and over (after you have synched it). It is one of my favorite writing tools for both note taking and ideation (you can draw too). I recently discovered their markers which makes it even more fun. Check them out here http://bit.ly/2zowYmH Use code: RB-Ref18-15 to get 15% off your order.

Tech-Neck Relief

I love to write and sometimes offline is where my best ideas are created. That last minute thought before bed (or even one that comes in the middle of the night). Skip the screen and go straight to the notebook. Rocketbook is a great tool for those of us who still like to write on paper, but need to be able to organize our thoughts digitally. Even better, it is well thought through on sustainability as you can use it over and over (after you have synched it). It is one of my favorite writing tools for both note taking and ideation (you can draw too). I recently discovered their markers which makes it even more fun. Check them out here http://bit.ly/2zowYmH Use code: RB-Ref18-15 to get 15% off your order.

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Give Your Devices a Little Love

Did you realize that a frayed charging cable may be impacting your phone’s ability to fully charge or relay sync information? You spend several hundred dollars on your phone, don’t be cheap about taking good care of your investment. Replacement phone cables for all those frayed ends. This is the time to start the year freshen up. Treat your devices to the gift of a clean connection, for better power and communication. You will both benefit.

Apple Lightning Cable is usually best with Apple products to stay in   their eco-system. If you cannot get one, make sure it is at least Apple MFI certified (you could otherwise be damaging your battery.

Short lightning cable for travel, car or connecting to external battery pack

Mixed lengths Micro USB for all non-apple devices
I love these for travel as they accommodate all my needs and don’t take up much extra space. As long as I have one short microUSB and one short lightning, I find that I am covered in a pinch!

Better Sleep Blocking Blue Light

With all the screen time, our systems are getting all out of whack. From manipulating your circadian rhythms (sleep patterns) to increasing your cortisol production (Stress hormone) they are generally not doing good things to our body.  

Fortunately, blue blocking glasses have been proven to help.  Even better, there are a lot of new choices in design. You no longer have to stick with the ultra geeky (unless you want that). I have found them so helpful that I bought them for the rest of my family. I find the ones with yellow lenses for nighttime use are the most effective for me. That said, you may not like that style and there are options. It also depends on when you are most in front of screens. (also good with artificial light if you fly a lot). I have a pair of TruDarkand husband and daughter have Swanniesand son loves his BluBlck. It is about finding a good pair that you will wear, so enjoy the fact that you have choices. 

Dock and Rest Easy

Every year I put the same thing on my favorite things list, but the options grow to fit different styles. I love having a docking station in my kitchen. Devices are ready to go when I need them and they don’t come to the bedroom (unless I want them too).

I suggest you get a mix of short cables to accommodate different devices and also visitors a 5 pack of Apple lightningand a 5 pack of MicroUSBwill only run you about $15/each.

Delegate for Win-Win

One of my favorite new resources as an entrepreneur, GenM. I was very fortunate in having the opportunity to interview their founder, Moe Abbas (Episode 057 on  Evolving Digital Self) earlier this year. They are providing solutions for digital marketing talent to find their fit through online courses and on the job training, while providing an affordable resource to small businesses. Truly taking advantage of the growing gig economy and helping both new MBA student and small businesses grow. Use this link https://genm.co/r/21tf8huj5 and you get $25 off

Prioritize Yourself

Speaking of great online resources for road warrior entrepreneurs, I LOVE my FoundersCard. As a remote worker, I am either nestled into my home office or on the road. The older I get the more creature comforts I need and higher my expectations when I travel. Now the caveat is, you must use the benefits to make this resource worth it. But if you do, woah, it pays for itself in really quickly. Sweet deals with upgrades status and priority treatment and discounts make things work so much more enjoyable. Fly through airports with Clear, Order your MOO cards at a discount and even get help with your legal stuff with LegalZoom. Not to mention I have met great people at the face to face networking events.

Why is this a digital life balance item? Because you would never have the change to take advantage of these offers so easily if it weren’t for this crazy amazing thing called the internet. That same beautiful thing can be a time suck when we are searching for the things we need. Great services like Founders Card consolidate great finds and negotiate great relationships for their members. So, that is why I include it. If you use my code: FCHEIDI899 when you register, you get $200 off the annual fee until Dec.11

Tracking What Matters

As many of you know, I have a sweet spot for wearables. Now, I love my AppleWatch4.  Since they get plenty of love elsewhere, I will share my new favorite, the MOTIV ring. I even wear it with my AppleWatch. Why, because it tracks my sleep and heart-rate while my watch is in nightstand-mode charging. The ring fills in the gaps where my watch is not. I haven’t even begun to test to authentication feature.

Most importantly I like the way it looks, feels and responds to me. I am not a big jewelry person, and this one is simple, elegant and functional. It definitely appeals to the Swede in me. It functions stand-alone or in concert with other devices. Definitely loving where wearables are going. Check out my interview with Motiv CEO Tejash  Unadkat (yes, I love to interview people who work with the products I love) on Season One, Episode 56

Improve Your Relationship with Technology

Digital Self Mastery Across Generations is now available in print! I wrote this book for YOU. It is full of practical tools for understanding and mastering your own relationship with technology. It will also help understand those around you who have a different relationship with it. I am really proud of this edition, especially since my “ain’t 80” mother was giggling out-loud as she read it. It was selected to be one of the six books for Gary’s Book Club CES2019 (Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas). For the techie and non-techie alike.

Open Yourself to Fresh Perspectives

So my last suggestion is a gift for you. Put on your favorite headset. My favorite are sound reduction Bose, and settle into listening to podcasts. Some of my favorites are Consciously SpeakingHumans 2.0and WellnessForce Radio. If you would like to hear more from me, check out the weekly podcast, Evolving Digital Self. We had a great launch year 2018 sharing stories of the human relationship with technology. If you are not already subscribed on your favorite podcast app, please do so. If you are already, thank you and please share it with your friends. The podcast is now featured on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Alexa, BingeNetworks, YouTube, GooglePlay, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and most other podcast apps. If you are already a podcast listener, encourage others to check out this great medium. It is rich with great content to provide fresh perspectives.

These are all things that I use and love (wouldn’t recommend them otherwise). Some of them I have been able to negotiate a discount, if you use the links. By doing this, you also support the Evolving Digital Self podcast production.

Wishing you all a wonderful end of 2018 and beginning of 2019!