When traveling for business or simply commuting to the office, what are the items or gadgets you cannot live without? That's the question LinkedIn recently posed to its network of business leaders and other professionals. The result is " Things I Carry," a collection of more than 50 essays -- from the likes of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and HP CEO Meg Whitman -- detailing the items they deem necessary for their personal and professional success.
Of course, many of the items are pretty obvious: smartphones, tablets, music, thumb drives and even old-fashioned pens and paper. Some, on the other hand, veer to the weird and even wacky. Here are the seven we found most interesting:
1. Basis, a biosensor device that tracks exercise, sleep and heart rate.
Well-known alternative medicine practitioner Deepak Chopra wears one of these on his wrist to collect information about his body -- including heart rate, skin temperature, perspiration and movement -- to monitor and improve his health and habits. Chopra is an advisor to Basis, which is based in San Francisco.
2. A weight vest.
At home and at work, Reputation.com founder and CEO Michael Fertik wears a vest that adds weight to his body. The idea, he says, is to maintain fitness despite his busy work schedule.
3. Anything (and everything) the color orange.
This might be an obsession for him, but Likeable Media's CEO Dave Kerpen cannot go anywhere without things that are orange. Kerpen says he always wears orange shoes and usually carries an orange backpack, wallet, phone cover, business cards, pen and "any other orange items I can get my hands on."
4. A bathing suit.
Tech investor and entrepreneur Esther Dyson has gone swimming nearly every day since age 18. She packs a bathing suit and cap whenever she travels overnight. "It's in the pool that I make decisions about whether to make a trip or an investment," she says, "or consider the results of past decisions."
5. Love letters.
When Don Peppers travels for business, the founder of Stamford, Conn.-based management consulting firm Peppers & Rogers Group finds love letters from his wife packed in his bag -- one for each night he's away. She dates each envelope according to the day he's supposed to open it. "Her card is the last thing I read before going to sleep and the first thing I read again after waking up," he says.
6. A Pebble watch.
Reuters technology columnist John C. Abell has only been wearing his Pebble watch for two weeks, but already he's found the device to be indispensable. A smart watch, Pebble is the popular Kickstarter project that syncs with a wearer's iPhone or Android phone to display messages such as phone calls or texts.
7. Dream Weaver, a device that uses light and sound to alter a user's state of consciousness.
Using digital programs designed by alternative medicine practitioner Chopra, Dream Weaver is a machine that "safely and automatically" puts the user into a meditative, relaxed or creative state of mind, he says. Chopra co-developed the device with a Harvard neuroscientist.
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