James Bond’s Aston Martin. Loaded with super-cool spy stuff, it kept him one step ahead of the bad guys and ever closer to romance. His endless array of gadgets left boys like me dreaming of getting our own. Now I have them, sorta….
My favorite five James Bond tools
Even though I didn’t get the Aston Martin (not yet, anyway), or grab private jet rides for globe-trotting adventure (coach seats are fine for me), I have amassed a set of tools to James Bond my way through my daily challenges.
Ian Flemming died in 1964, just as Bond was becoming a screen franchise. A parade of authors extended the story line (in varying levels of success) after Hollywood exhausted Flemming’s original novels. To celebrate the release of the 23rd post-Flemming Bond novel, “Carte Blanche” by Jeffery Deaver, here are some of my everyday-Bond tools you may find helpful:
Powerful information storage that syncs automatically to my phone, iPad, and laptop. Take a note or picture in one place, it’s available in all three. Notes can be assigned a URL you can use to share notes over the web. Evernote is available free, but the paid version offers more storage. You’ll need it soon enough.
It’s Evernote for files. Installed on all three screens (phone/iPad/laptop), Dropbox allows me to store files once and access them anywhere. As with Evernote, I can share them with others over the web. As with Evernote it’s free, but the added storage of the paid version becomes necessary quickly. Worth every penny.
Capture and carry web content to read any time—even when you’re not online. Instapaper works across my three screens and my Kindle. The latest version even optimizes content for the small screen on my phone. It’s a great way to gather research on a topic, though I prefer organizing what ultimately gets used in Evernote.
When receiving a business card, what do you do with it? Business Card Reader quickly scans it into my phone, translates it into a contact form and will even merge it into my contact management program. It can be quirky on the translating and merging, but it’s worth it to be freed of keeping track of all those cards.
A scanner in your pocket, Geniuscan not only scans a document with my camera’s phone, but it crops it square and enhances it on demand. While no replacement for a quality flatbed scanner, it does the job when there are documents I want to capture and carry.
There’s always more for the sequel
Just as Bond returns, so shall a sequel to this list. Because, I have a collection of brainstorming and creative writing tools I use too. I’ll share those sometime soon. Till then, with all deference to Flemming and Bond, make mine stirred, not shaken. My latte, I mean.