The Best $50 I Spent: Small Cost, Big Impact

Business leaders share the low-cost purchases that make them more productive.

Who: Michael Alexis, manager, Library.Jobs

What: External ergonomic keyboard for my laptop

Why: “Previously I had typed only on my laptop keyboard, and I wanted a setup that would encourage both better posture and faster typing speeds. I’ve seen improvements in both areas and get more done as a result.”

Who: Diane Elizabeth, founder, Skincare Ox

What: Rocketbook Everlast 

Why: “I needed the feel of a traditional notebook but did not want to waste my precious time transferring my notes to my keyboard and phone by hand. This was the perfect solution because every second I’m writing things, they’re also being transferred to my phone and computer.”

Who: Alex Robinson, general manager, Team Building Hero

What: Smart plug

Why: “My Wi-Fi router connects to one of these plugs. I set a timer to shut the router off at 10 p.m. and turn it back on around the time I wake up. I used to stay up very late working, but now that the router shuts off I get off the computer, do some light exercise and get ready for bed. I’m sleeping better, am generally healthier and am much more productive throughout the day.”

Who: Latoya Bidding, manager of office services, Mashable

What: The Happy Planner Wall Calendar

Why: “At a glance, I can see how busy my day is. I have a bad habit of not pulling out my planner or looking at my Google calendar on my phone or laptop. Having a hanging calendar allows my itinerary to be front and center so there is no way I can miss it.”

Who: Stacy Caprio, founder, Growth Marketing

What: S’well heat-insulated water bottle

Why: “It allows me to have hot water near my desk to refill my glass for an extra few hours without physically getting up if I have something I need to focus on.”