post written by: Marc Chernoff
30 Useful Tools Everyone Should Own
Productive living is all about being properly equipped. Maintaining an essential set of useful tools is the key to the productivity kingdom. The list below is by no means all-inclusive, but instead concentrates on the very basics, the essential supplies everyone should own.
- Laptop Computer – In most cases the desktop computer is dead weight. The portability of a laptop provides you with the flexibility of using the whole world as your personal office space. Some of my most creative ideas come to fruition while working remotely in fresh, stimulating environments.
- 4 Month Calendar – Take a quick glance at the next four months in one clean shot. A hard copy 4 month calendar is an indispensible tool for capturing an elevated view of a busy schedule. Even better, you can make one for free.
- Measuring Tape – Measuring things by the length of your hand or shoe isn’t exactly an accurate practice. Get yourself a 25 foot retractable measuring tape that will be capable of handling all of your measuring needs.
- Portable GPS – Being truly lost is not a fun feeling. A GPS basically eliminates this possibility. During a recent vacation to Costa Rica our Garmin GPS pretty much saved our rear ends on multiple occasions.
- Cell Phone with Handsfree – Why would any sane person drive one-handed while holding an odd shaped phone to their ear when they have the option to use a handsfree set? When I’m forced to be on a long phone call, I like to get other things done at the same time. My handsfree cell phone allows me to do this no matter where I am.
- Hand Sanitizer – Because there isn’t a sink and bar of soap conveniently located outside of every drive-through window or various other snack time locations. In my mind, hand sanitizer is a tool, a tool that prevents me from infecting my body with germs every single day. Keep yourself healthy! Sanitize your hands before you eat!
- Multi-head Screwdriver – Take a look around. I bet most of the manmade objects around you are being held together by screws. Throughout your lifetime you’re going to need to tighten a whole lot of them in all different sizes and varieties. A decent multi-head screwdriver with a wide assortment of screwdriver heads is your best bet.
- Pliers – Your hands are not the most effective tool for gripping and maneuvering small objects. That’s where pliers come in handy. One set of pliers will not do the trick either. Likely, you will need a small assortment of pliers in various styles and sizes for different kinds of jobs. You’ll probably use needle-nose pliers most often, but heavy grooved pliers and wire cutting pliers will come in handy at times too.
- Hammer – The single greatest tool of all time. The hammer has an infinite set of practical applications. A good old 16 oz claw hammer will provide a lifetime of reliable service.
- First Aid Kit – Human beings are not made of titanium. When you or someone you care about gets injured, a basic first aid kit becomes the single most important thing you own.
- Water Filter – People trade precious hours of their lives for dollars and then waste the dollars buying something that’s already free. This scenario represents the inverse of productivity. A Brita water filter makes tap water taste just as good as anything you’ll find at the grocery store, not to mention you’ll be saving money every time you take a sip.
- Various Types of Tape – Scotch tape, masking tape and duct tape… you need them all. Tape may very well be the second greatest invention after the hammer.
- Quality Sunglasses – Most people consider sight to be their most important sense. Quality sunglasses protect the human eyes from being destroyed by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. This radiation can lead to short-term and long-term ocular problems such as cataracts, blindness and various forms of eye cancer.
- Wrist Watch with Alarm – A wrist watch doesn’t have to be fancy. Being able to tell the time and set an alarm for last minute reminders is the key. It has been my experience that people who wear wrist watches are noticeably better at managing their time.
- Extension Cord – Because an electrical outlet is not always where it should be. How great will it be when household electrical power is transmitted wirelessly?
- Work Gloves – Unfortunately, human hands are covered with fragile skin just like the rest of the body. Sometimes you need to use your hands to accomplish a task that requires a durability threshold beyond that of your exposed skin. This is where a rugged set of work gloves saves you from a few days worth of blistering agony.
- Flashlight – What happens when the lights go out and its pitch dark? Always keep a bright, quality flashlight with a fresh set of batteries in both your home and automobile.
- Rubber Bands – Rubber bands are simple, functional and versatile. There is an endless list of practical uses for a rudder band.
- Step Ladder – If your name isn’t Shaquille O’Neil, you’ll probably need a step ladder quite frequently throughout your lifetime. A standard 6 foot aluminum step ladder should fit most people’s needs.
- Shop Vacuum – The convenience of being able to instantly clean up wet and dry chunks of a hefty mess can be quite a priceless time saver. A 16 gallon, 6.5 horsepower shop-vac will be capable of handling almost any major clean-up job.
- Fire Extinguisher – This one is a no-brainer. Completely useless until the moment the sh*t hits the fan and the house is burning to the ground. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher, you’re being foolishly optimistic.
- Earplugs – Earplugs are one of my favorite simple tools. They allow me to concentrate on my work (usually reading or writing) when I am in the nosiest public environments imaginable. They’re also great when you’re trying to catch some shuteye on a busy airline flight.
- Heavy-duty Scissors – A heavy-duty pair of scissors capable of cutting through thick cardboard, packaging zip ties and other rugged materials is always a handy tool to have around. Get a pair with a 9 – 10 inch serrated blade and you’ll have the ability to cut through almost anything.
- Leatherman – This is the all-in-one multi-tool you should never leave home without. These little tools can handle a wide plethora of different jobs. I personally own the Leatherman 830039 and I love it.
- Bungee Cords – Tie things down, wrap things together… Bungee cords are like giant rubber bands with hooks. They’re darn practical to have around when you need them!
- Adjustable Wrench – If screws aren’t holding it together then nuts and bolts almost certainly are. You will eventually need to adjust the bolts on furniture, appliances, bicycles, etc. A basic 3-piece adjustable wrench set should fit the bill just fine.
- Lightweight Cordless Drill – A cordless drill can be a pretty versatile tool. Depending on the kinds of bits you buy, it could be used to drill various sized holes in various surfaces. Or you could use it as an electric screwdriver. Before you buy a portable drill, check the manufacturer warranty as well as the availability of parts. Popular tool manufacturers such as Craftsman are your best bet.
- Binder Clips – Binder clips are basically big paper clips with 4 times the holding strength and 10 times the versatility. I use them regularly in the kitchen to keep the cereal fresh, in the office to hold large mounds of paper together and in the garage to keep various bags soil and fertilizer from spilling.
- USB Flash Drive – The most practical accessory for a computer, the USB flash drive pretty much killed off prehistoric floppy disks and CDRW discs. A USB flash drive is a smaller, faster option with a lot more storage space.
- Filing Cabinet – Unfortunately, paperwork hasn’t completely vanished off the face of the planet just yet. Maybe someday, but for now a small filing cabinet is still great place to organize all your important receipts, medical records, titles, etc.
Photo by: flattop341