Travelin’ Tools for Travelin’ Fools

Some small business owners and employees spend more time behind the wheel than they do behind the desk. And as mobility becomes more of a work necessity than a convenience, it’s good to have the right tools to help keep you as efficient and effective as possible. Not all mobile workers have the same needs or experience the same problems on the road – your mileage may vary – but we’ve got four products that might just make your workload a bit easier to bear.

Plantronics Discovery 655 Bluetooth Headset
The Discovery 655 Bluetooth Headset offers noise-reducing technology, three sizes of soft-gel ear tips and a lightweight, ergonomic design.

Plantronics Discovery 655 Bluetooth Headset
Wired headsets are an annoying, tangled mess. Talk on a cell phone with no headset, and you risk becoming a mangled mess. If your cell phone supports Bluetooth, you might want to try Plantronics’ Discovery 655, a lightweight (nine grams), wireless headset with noise-reduction technology.

The Discovery 655 also features an ergonomic design, soft-gel ear tips (in three sizes), a charging and storage system (for in-car use), a mini USB headset charger (for recharging from a laptop) and a visual call indicator and low-battery indicator. The headset sells for $149.95.

Neat Receipts Scannalizer
Your business might generate a mountain of paperwork, but managing it on the go may have gotten a little easier. Neat Receipts Scannalizer lets you quickly scan expense reports, receipts, documents, business cards, etc directly into a database on your PC. It can also scan directly into Outlook and ACT.

The Scannalizer includes OCR software that reads and translates the scanned text into editable form, organizes it and fills the info into the appropriate category fields such as name address, e-mail, phone and so on.

Neat Receipts Scannalizer
Neat Receipts Scannalizer helps organize paper documents on the road.

Weighing in at less than one pound, the scanner measures a compact 10.8- x 1.6- x 1.3-inches – easy enough to tuck into a laptop bag or briefcase. The Neat Receipts Scannalizer sells for $199.99.

Qipit, an online mobile service, lets you capture, store and share digital documents using a camera phone or a digital camera. For example, ever attend a meeting where all the great brainstorming ideas end up on a whiteboard? Snap a picture of the white board, e-mail it to your Qipit account, where it’s transformed into scan-quality document and saved, along with the original photo, in a PDF, JPG or PNG format.

According to the company, a photograph of a document is typically dark with low-contrast. A qipit, it claims, is a cleaned-up, clear ink-on-white digital copy of the original document that can be read, printed, faxed or posted on a Web site.

DLO's TuneStik
TuneStik lets you play your iPod on your car’s FM radio, and the remote attaches to the steering wheel.

Qipit can instantly delivers the digital copy to your e-mail, to your phone and to your designated recipients’ e-mail or fax number. Currently Qipit is a free service, and while the company plans to roll out subscription plans in the next three-to-six months, it said there will always be a free component.

DLO TuneStik
All work and no play makes the mobile part of working very dull indeed. While you’re driving from Point A to Point B, get motivated with a little iPod mood music. The TuneStick with Remote combines a wireless FM transmitter with a RF remote control for iPod playback and control in the car.

Snap the TuneStick onto your iPod dock connector, tune the radio to an FM frequency, and then use the remote control to match the frequency on the iPod. The remote comes with a Velcro steering-wheel cradle, which reduces fumbling and makes adjusting your iPod easier and safer. The TuneStik sells for $59.99.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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