Faster Thinking

Kit for extreme productivity

Travel and technology writer Nell McShane Wulfhart rounds up eight of the latest apps and portable gadgets that will help you work smarter, better and faster


Relinquish control of your schedule to the clever and intuitive Timeful, a free app for iOS that organises your day for you based on your location, how much free time you have and your peak productivity hours. It connects with your calendars, schedules all your events and to-dos, and even adds reminders for habits you’re trying to build, such as daily exercise or drinking more water. 


Bose QuietComfort 20i

Bose’s in-ear, noise-cancelling QuietComfort 20i headphones (£189.50) let you work effectively even in hotel rooms with loud neighbours, or on board a flight (press a button to switch the noise-cancelling off to, say, hear the pilot’s announcement). They pack up small in their own carrying case, so they’re ideal for travel.


Rescue time

Figure out exactly where all your time is going by downloading Rescue Time (free). Once installed on your computer, it tracks which websites and applications you’ve been on, whether it’s Excel or Facebook, and sends you a breakdown in a neat chart. 

Rescue Time

RAVPower RP-PB19 Deluxe

Stay connected with this external charging pack (£26.99), which works for almost all phones and tablets, thanks to a new ‘smart’ chip. Small enough to tuck into a handbag or briefcase, it has two USB charging ports (2.4A and 2.1A) and charges a phone seven times. Perfect for a long day on the road.  

RAV power

Griffin Technology USB Mini Cable Kit

Eliminate tangled cables and conserve space with these stubby mini-USB charging cables (£13.25), ideal for the frequent traveller. You can also use them at home to get rid of that trail of wires covering your desk. This set of three charges phones, tablets, cameras and more from your laptop. 



Round up all your cables and chargers with a GRID-IT (£15.80). This accessory organiser is made up of elastic bands that keep all your bits and pieces, from headphones to adaptors, in one place, so you don’t waste time searching through your suitcase. 



Cut down on time spent organising travel with a single app: TripCase (free, Android and iOS). Forward all your travel emails – flight tickets, hotel reservations and so on – to the app, which assembles them in an easy-to-view portfolio. You can add dinner reservations and meetings to form a full itinerary, as well as checking flight status updates, weather and seat maps.



Do you spend too much time browsing the internet when you should be busy tapping away on your laptop? Then you could download Freedom (£6.30, Mac and PC), which disables your web connection for a length of time that you specify, up to eight hours. Use this for when project deadlines are looming but you’re running low on willpower.