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Tips and technology

Elizabeth Diffin

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Tracking expenses, apps to help with time management, and technology for home and business.
Heating up
You can dump that dreaded lukewarm coffee thanks to this little miracle worker. The Ember Ceramic Mug is smarter than your average mug, thanks to state-of-the-art technology that ensures your hot beverage of choice stays at the ideal temperature you select. The mug also syncs to an app that will notify you when your drink has reached its peak. Now that’s what we’d call java genius! $80, ember.com.

If your hands are often cold — especially in chilly temps — then these Wireless Rechargeable Warming Glove Liners just might become your new best friends. The lightweight hand warmers comfortably fit inside most regular gloves, providing up to five hours of heat on a low, medium or high setting. Two batteries act as the gloves’ power source, which are recharged using a standard outlet. $100, sharperimage.com.

Back to back
“Sit up straight!” has been a command used by everyone from etiquette coaches to piano teachers, but it might soon become a relic of the past. The Upright Go is a posture trainer, a tiny device that attaches to your back via a hypoallergenic adhesive strip and provides feedback on your posture while you’re sitting, walking, driving or even working out. The device gently vibrates every time you start to slouch, providing an instantaneous reminder to straighten up. Training with Upright Go can lead to stronger core muscles, decreased back pain, and that ever-elusive increased productivity. Some spine news, indeed. $100, uprightpose.com.

Track star
Keeping tabs on mileage, expenses and other reimbursements could be a full-time job, but not with Hurdlr. This app, compatible with Apple and Android, automatically tracks everything from business travel to tax deductions in real time, and is specially designed for the self-employed.

The company claims its app helps users find more than $5,600 in tax deductions, on average. It also lets users file taxes in-app or send reports to their accountant. $48 annually, hurdlr.com.

Writing smart
Forget having to use the ridiculously tiny keyboard on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll never miss another word with the help of the Livescribe 3 Smartpen. This Bluetooth-enabled writing implement lets you send everything you scrawl on paper directly to your smart devices, saving them to the memory so you don’t have to bother with any extra apps. The Livescribe 3 is designed to write like a premium ballpoint pen, and its sleek design rivals the fanciest tool in your desk drawer. $180, livescribe.com.

Productivity or bust
If time management is on your to-do list, Tomatoid is a must-have. This app focuses on efficiency, with a task manager that lets you create and categorize custom to-dos, a time tracker to keep tabs on how long it takes to tackle specific tasks, and a customizable timer. The premium option offers such features as project management, hourly rates, and the chance to produce detailed reports on specific projects, your own productivity or other relevant factors. Free to $5 per month, tomatoid.com.

Steamy stuff
Be ready for anything with a steamer you can take anywhere. The Rowenta X-Cel Steam Steamer DR8080 weighs just 2.2 pounds, but it packs a sizable punch. After just 45 seconds of warm-up, the steamer refreshes and de-wrinkles all kinds of fabrics with its 22 grams per minute of steam output, considered the most powerful on the market. The removable water tank provides 10 minutes of uninterrupted steaming, so you can go from hotel room to boardroom without breaking a sweat. $100, rowentausa.com.

Who’s there?
Keep an eye on who’s at the door — even if you’re not at home — with Nest Hello. The video doorbell takes the place of your standard doorbell and delivers HD video of your front door at any time of the day or night. The brand-new technology also offers person-, motion- and sound alerts, prerecorded responses, and recognition of family and friends (with additional Nest Aware subscription). We have a feeling ding-dong-ditch just might become a thing of the past. $230, nest.com.
 

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