Reversible Micro USB Cable
[$9 for 2] Did you know you can get USB cables that can be inserted with either side up or down? I wish all USB cables were reversible!
AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank
[$24] Tech geeks don't like to run out of battery. A USB battery can give tablets, smartphones, and other gadgets extra power. The higher the capacity, the larger physical size and weight of the battery. I keep the largest (16,100 mAh) power bank in my backpack. It has enough capacity to give an iPhone 8 full charges, or an iPad two full charges. Though, the smaller and lighter 10,000 mAh version should have plenty of capacity for most people.
[$18] Tech geeks have lots of cables, adapters, and gizmos to keep track of. Grid-it is an innovative way to store all that stuff. It's a board covered with elastic designed to hold items firmly in place. I've used one for years. I simply slip it into my laptop bag, and I know I have everything I might need. It's so much better than using a bag full of tangled wires.
Grifiti Nootle Tablet Tripod Mount
[$15] I use the Nootle to mount my iPad on a tripod for recording videos and for using my iPad as a teleprompter. The Nootle is adjustable and fits iPad, iPad mini, and Android tablets with or without a case. The regular sized Nootle does not fit a 12 inch iPad Pro, but a larger Nootle is available [$15]
ZipShot Compact Ultra-Light Instant Tripod
[$70] This is the tripod I travel with. It's very compact and literally takes two seconds to set up because it instantly springs open. At 44 inches, this tripod isn't as tall or as adjustable as a full sized tripod, but I love that it fits in my backpack.
Clip Camera Lens Kit
[$7] This kit comes with three lens: wide angle, fisheye, and macro. They clip onto a phone, iPad, or tablet to cover the front or rear facing camera. The wide angle lens allows the camera to capture a larger field of view. This is great for interviews because you can fit more people in a shot without having to be far away from the device and its microphone.
Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
[$8 for 12] Zwipes are my favorite touchscreen fingerprint removers! I keep them in drawers around the house and in my travel bag. Seriously, they wipe away smudges on glass screens with just a couple passes. If you wash microfiber clothes, don't use detergent as it breaks down the material. Also, don't cut them into smaller pieces—you'll end up with little fibers everywhere.
iRig Mic HD
[$100] The iRig Mic HD is the microphone I use with my iPhone or iPad when I record instructional videos or broadcast live. It connects to the Lightning port and does a fantastic job of reducing background noise. It really does make a huge difference in sound quality versus the built in microphone. Not only does it come with a cord for connecting to Lightning, it comes with a second cable for connecting to USB so you can use this with a computer. You might also consider getting a tabletop stand [$6]
[$8] This cube slips onto a handheld microphone. You can affix logos, web addresses, and social media information to the cube (making that information visible to the audience).
Sugru Air-Curing Rubber
[$12 for 3] Sugru is like Play-Doh you use to fix your stuff. I've used Sugru to seal frayed cables. It's great for repairing and reinforcing laptop power supplies, USB cables, and headphone cords (especially ones from Apple). Each 5 gram package can fix 2 or 3 cables.
Brother QL-700 Label Printer
[$60] As a geek, I like to label my stuff. I also like to pass out stickers. I can do both those things with this USB printer! The QL-700 is a thermal printer, so there is no ink to buy (but it only prints black and gray, which is fine with me). I make lots of stickers as handouts for my presentations, so I buy compatible refills that are $8 a roll. That comes out to about 1.3¢ per sticker.
Ricoh Theta S 360° Camera
[$346] The Theta S has dual 180° cameras that take seamless spherical photos and videos. You can view the photos and videos in the Theta iOS or Android app or upload to the Ricoh website. You can also upload (after your Mac or Windows computer processes the video) to YouTube for 360° viewing in a Google Cardboard viewer.
[$35] I like to use a grip with my iPhone when filming videos. This Manfrotto tabletop tripod can be a grip and a stand! Not only can you mount a phone, but you can use the stand with the Theta S or Mevo cameras.
[$17] This bright LED light clips onto a smartphone or tablet. It helps in lighting dark subjects, especially when filming with an iPad that doesn't have a built-in light. This particular light has three brightness settings and can work continuously for 1-3 hours on a full charge. It charges through mini-USB and that cable and clip is included. The clip can slide off, which came in handy when my son used the light for his Ironman costume.
Mevo Live Event Camera
[$400] The Mevo camera is a wide angle 4K camera with iOS software for zooming, panning, and cutting. Mevo works with Facebook Live and is great for live streaming interviews and presentations. When viewers watch, it appears that you have a camera crew working for you, but in reality it's one high-resolution camera image that is being edited live!
LED Photographic Lighting Kit
[$80 for 2] I use these lights to enhance my photos, videos and broadcasts. These little lights run on AA batteries, so they can be positioned without worrying about power outlets.
[$95] Apple Pencil is an expensive stylus that only works with the 9.7 inch or 12.9 inch iPad Pro. However, it's one of my favorite tools of 2016! Unlike a regular stylus, Apple Pencil has a precise tip and is pressure sensitive, so it's great for drawing. In fact, I drew the pictures at the top and bottom of this page with my Apple Pencil. (Watch my video about how I use the free Adobe Draw app to turn photos into clipart.)
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
[$248] This year I replaced my front doorbell with the Ring Video Doorbell. Now when someone rings the front door, my phone, watch, and Mac all let me know someone is there. I can see video and talk with the person at the door because the Ring has Wi-Fi. What's even better? My twins use it to "call" me when I'm out of town. They know I'll answer. And while they can't see me, we can carry on a conversation through the doorbell over the internet. 😍