Portable power bank
External batteries that can charge a smartphone on the go are now available at even gas stations and convenience stores. These can be a lifesaver for a busy professional who needs to be connected no matter the situation. These three go above and beyond. Rayovac’s portable power bank — simply called the 8X phone charger — is a beast that boasts a 16,000 mAh lithium ion battery, one of the most powerful on the market. The 8X phone charger can restore a phone to full battery life, as the name suggests, eight times over before it needs to be recharged. It holds a charge for six months and can power up two devices simultaneously.The Lepow POKI series 5,000 mAh power bank is significantly slimmer than other portable batteries and still restores a phone to full battery strength at least twice on one charge. The major drawback of any external battery is that — alas — it also needs to be charged. The Roadtrip by Nomad has an elegant solution. It plugs into a vehicle’s 12V socket (formerly known as the cigarette lighter). It also has a USB port so your phone can charge directly through it; after it’s done giving juice to your phone, it charges its own internal battery. Then, it’s ready for your go-getter’s portable charging needs.
Where: rayovac.com, amazon.com
For folks who have places to be, keeping an eye on the clock is a necessity. This flip clock is gear-operated with a mechanical display. Every 60 seconds, there is a very satisfying flip of the digits. It carries nostalgic charm, but is still useful in any setting. The flip is a constant reminder that you may delay, but time will not.
Where: Pieces Unimagined, 1228 Williamson St.
Marvy Uchida's Le Pen
Kick-ass pens (and paper)
In a world awash in cheap ballpoints, nothing beats a nice felt tip. Le Pen from Marvy Uchida is a real beaut for everyday use. It’s a super-thin, smudge-proof black writing instrument that’s as smooth as it is economical. Best to buy a few for the stocking. Or up your giftee’s game with a set of Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. You have entered serious pen territory with these — they’re fade-proof and waterproof. Just a pen? No! For the right person, these pens are a little luxury that can improve a hectic day. And what’s a pen without paper? Complete the gift with an EarthLink Reporter’s Notebook. A staple of beat journalists, this notebook is great for more than just chasing down a hot scoop. It fits in one hand so you can write comfortably even while standing.
Where: University Book Store, 711 State St.; Artist & Craftsman Supply, 203 W. Gorham St.
Salt lamps are said to reduce stress, cleanse the air and increase serotonin levels. When Himalayan halite (salt crystal) is heated, negative ions are emitted that alleviate headaches, allergies, asthma and a host of other health ailments. Are these claims a bunch of New Age hooey? Well, who’s to say? Regardless, a salt lamp is a great gift. It’s a big crystal that lights up. What’s not to like? The mini USB-powered salt lamp is perfect for the office. For some added fun, play up the health benefits. Worst-case scenario, it has a placebo effect.
Where: Earthbound Trading Company, 508 State St.
Staff at Community Pharmacy can help in putting together an individualized wellness kit that’ll keep your go-getter running on all cylinders. For instance, Fire Cider, made by Desert Woman, is a general health tonic that promises an “easy heat fading into slow burn.” It’s also a decongestant and digestive aid that boosts immunity — and ostensibly a pick-me-up comparable to No-Doz but without the side effects. Elderberry syrup shows the flu who’s boss and aids in a quick recovery. Essential oils can be used as vapor rubs, natural perfume, breath fresheners and even hangover cures. You also can’t go wrong by adding a Cocas Besas Coconut chocolate bar by Taza Chocolate.
Cost: $45 (varies according to products)
Where: Community Pharmacy, 341 State St.