Accessories Must Fit Hyphenated Lifestyles

Manufacturers should do more to address multitasking on new devices.

After I got my first iPhone in 2008, on my way to a family work-cation in Cabo, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. If, indeed, “heaven” is the ability to combine work and recreation into an unending stream of urgent emails and up-to-the-minute restaurant reviews.

With my new iPhone I could take client calls, send and receive email, read proposals, and schedule meetings and meals directly in my calendar. I felt I had an entire office worth of equipment resting in the palm of my hand.

At the same time, my device was helping me enjoy the “vacation” part of the trip—capturing and sharing photos, reading the latest novels, listening to music, planning excursions, playing games and much more. The iPhone was a boon to my crazy, multitasking lifestyle. And, like most women (and more than a few men), I soon felt the uncontrollable urge to accessorize.

My first purchase was a protective case and three different phone chargers. I mean, you absolutely have to have at least one each for the home, the car and your bag. If I only had one, it would most certainly always be where I wasn’t. Shortly thereafter, caught with a dead phone, an AC charger and no outlet handy, I absolutely had to have a battery-life extender. I ended up buying three of them. You already know why.

I rapidly found that while my iPhone (and my new iPad) was an all-in-one wonder, most accessories are not.
Like most busy executives, I carry a bag. Unlike most executives, my bag weighs 40 pounds on a good day. As I weigh 120 pounds, this is a rather large percentage of my body weight slung over a single shoulder. I tend to favor the right one.
Does it make me walk with a tilt? Absolutely. Do I like walking with a tilt? Absolutely not. Does the tilt go away when I put down the bag? Eventually, yes, but not fast enough. Basically, my single-purpose accessories were not helping in my quest to carry less, do more and follow my mother’s advice to always “stand up straight.”
With that in mind, here are some of the latest accessories that seek to combine functionality, offer great value, and are designed to help me, and others like me, lighten the load.
1. iPhone Cover-Charger-Battery Extender
This device is a life-saver for a heavy traveler. With this one product, I can protect my iPhone from wear and tear and get about 24 hours of additional charge time. I can also charge my iPhone and battery pack at the same time from a standard Mini-USB cable.

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