Cartoon of Productivity
As I was sitting lunch today, something wonderful happened.

A co-worker of mine handed me a big brown box and I knew exactly what it was.

It has been on my mind all weekend as I was carving through the slopes and hanging out with my friends.

I unpacked the box with the 18 minutes I had left for lunch and turned it on.

My new laptop powered through the start up sequence and asked me what region and language would I like my laptop to be programmed as.

I could not wait to get home today!

Enter Item # 1, the laptop.

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This single tool has revolutionized the way we live in this age of digital information. I opted for a Dell XPS 15 15.6″ i7 core, 512 GB SSD, 16 GB of ram refurbished laptop for about $1,300. Ultimately it depends on your purpose whether it’s web design, video work, or other things.

Not only did I snatched a powerhouse machine, I also managed to put a big ol’ dent to my Chase Sapphire Card spend minimum. So now you have a nice new laptop, how are we going to carry it around?

 

Obtain Item #2, the backpack.

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I did an extensive amount of research on backpacks to find the perfect one. Some were not so stylish like the Osprey Farpoint 40, only have small capacity like the Timbuk2 Aviator, might be questioned for luggage bins like the Kelty Redwing 50, or justified in the price for a simple travel backpack like the Minaal Bag or Tortuga Backpack.

I simply wanted something simple yet effective, durable yet economical, and comfortable yet stylish. I wanted to make sure that it would be accepted by most major airlines when I travel, which I believe the cutoff is between 40-45 liters. Some Europe airlines are reported to take even lower.

I finally picked the REI Trail 40 for about $110. I will most likely review the backpack when I get a chance. So what is that last all important item you will need to hack away at productivity?

 

See Item #3, the earbuds.

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However you are most productive, noise can be an issue at times for getting stuff done. I know myself to work best when there is silence or very low volume non-vocals. Your music preferences may be strictly your own. My preference for earbuds over headphones is that they are more compact, cheap, and effective at what they do.

Earbuds pack quite nicely into your pockets or small container not in the manner that a pair of headphones can. If you lose a pair of cheap earbuds, you’re not going to cry spilled milk for something less than 20 bucks; however, I can’t say the same for a nice pair of Beats or Bose headphones. The earbuds also offer a haphazard function of muffling the noise of the world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not noise-cancelling technology or can beat a nice pair of earplugs, but it works quite nice in a pinch.

Sound quality may or may not be a factor for you, but I would recommend an attached microphone. This will increase your productivity if you don’t have to hold your phone or scream at your laptop to make yourself heard.

I picked myself up a pair of JLab JBuds for about $25. They have been doing great so far.

UPDATE 1/12/2017: I picked up 2 pairs of the Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbud Headphones. The audio is amazing and helps to drown out some of the outside noise. The placement of the buds also helps you figure out if it goes in the left or right ear without having to look for the little L or R markings. They work great and were inexpensive.