The best time-saving gadgets and apps of 2017
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The just-unveiled phablet is earning raves not just as the best smartphone for business, but as a true productivity device. Much of the praise has gone to the smarter S Pen, which offers real-time text translation and allows the user to handwrite and animate messages.
Slip on biometric-identity ring and move toward a key-less, card-less, password-free life. The Token promises to handle the authentication for you.
Prices start at $249, but if you didn't buy in during the (now-sold-out) preorder phase, you'll have to wait until production ramps up in spring 2018. Reservations are being taken at Token's site.
This Bluetooth-equipped, eight-sided device from Timeular aims to save you time by letting you track your time efficiently. Assign a task to each side -- literally write "meeting" or "email" on it, if you wish -- and then flip the polygon to the appropriate side as you move from task to task.
This one's a twist on the help-you-find-your-missing-keys gadget: The attachable Mu Tag with Bluetooth-beacon technology promises to keep you from losing them in the first place.
The developer says it pulls off this trick with an app that sends alerts to your smart device. Preorders are being taken via Indiegogo; shipping is expected in December. Prices start at $25.
Amazon Dash Wand
This Wi-Fi-enabled, Alexa-powered gadget is amazing. With a voice command or barcode scan, "it will add anything ... to your cart, as long its available on Amazon," CNET noted.
That should make ordering office supplies easier. Buy the Dash Wand at Amazon for $20 -- and get $20 off your next eligible purchase on the registered device.
This Mac app is a distracting-website blocker that's much more. It blocks distracting apps, too. Focus also serves up inspirational quotes, and allows you to schedule breaks so that you can peek at Facebook or email at lunch.
Manage -- or prevent -- workplace interruptions by attaching this LED light to your laptop, then downloading the Luxafor software, and setting the indicator to glow red (for busy, if you wish), green (you're free), or other colors and patterns.
The Luxafor Flag can also be used as a timer or time-management device. From $28 at Luxafor.com.
Named one of Time's best apps for 2017, Missive bills itself as "team email that works." It works with Gmail and Google Apps and allows you and your team to compose group emails and chat within email threads.
Razer Atheris mouse
Pitched to gamers for its "lag-free" performance, this wireless productivity mouse deploys a 7200 DPI optical sensor for accuracy and speed and boasts long-lasting battery performance (up to 350 hours, it says, from a pair of AAs). Get it from Razer for $49.99.
Tile Style and Tile Sport
With its new Pro Series, the popular Bluetooth-tracker brand adds the Tile Sport and Tile Style. "They feel sturdy and look more premium" than the previous models, CNET found.
When prompted by the app, Tile says they emit a louder ring than the Mate or Slim -- the better to help you locate your passport, luggage, or whatever else you've tagged with the gadgets. Prices for the Style and Sport start at $35 each, via Tile.
This BMW-backed, car-sharing service takes the hassle out renting a car. Sign up for the service (now available in Seattle, Portland, and Brooklyn), locate a ReachNow car near you, unlock it via your smartphone or ReachNow card, and take off.
Rent by the minute, hour, or day. Drop-off is said to be as easy as leaving the car in any legal, street-parking spot within the service area. Get the free-to-download ReachNow app via the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Chief among its features is its capability to synthesize your data from Google Fit, Fitbit, and any other number of apps and gadgets, and show you in a chart how your lifestyle is affecting your productivity. Available for free download for iOS and Android; paid add-ons available.