Last year I wrote about my 2010 favourites and it was one of my most viewed posts of the year. So I thought I’d repeat it for 2011 too – and there’s a clear theme running through these favourites!
Favourite new gadget
One of the things I’ve really got involved with in 2011 has been cycling. It started in February when I was out of breath going up a local (yet very long and steep) hill, then got to June where a group of friends rode the BHF London to Brighton. I then started riding into work (13 miles, from North West London to the City).
Three rear wheels later, thanks to the Holloway Road, I decided to go for a new bike. My £27 eBay investment (see below) had had its day after almost 1,800 miles between May and December.
However my favourite gadget wasn’t the new bike, it was the base layer clothing. Base layers have been around for a few years and despite some literally freezing motorcycle journeys, I hadn’t used one until cycling this winter. They are fantastic and if you get cold easily, try wearing them under your clothes. There you go, a favourite gadget that doesn’t run out of batteries!
Without a doubt, it was Lance Armstrong’s autobiography. It’s a very easy read that is very emotional about someone’s battle with cancer, from denial through to winning the Tour de France afterwards. Thoroughly recommended.
In second place was Alan Sugar’s autobiography which was several times longer than Armstrong’s, but just as enjoyable.
Favourite iPhone app
I’ve started using Barclays Boris bikes to travel around the City if the meeting is only one or two tube stops from the office. So the BarclaysBikes app is really handy, showing how many bikes and spaces are at a specific location. The AR (Augmented Reality) view is genuinely useful to find the nearest bike.
A close second is the updated LinkedIn app. The previous version never seemed to work without wifi. The latest app is excellent for looking up contacts after a meeting or even in the middle of a meeting when we’re discussing a mutual ex-colleague.
For outside work, the Geocaching app is excellent. It shows the three nearest geocaches and makes a spare hour disappear quicker than you can say “Where on earth would someone have hidden it around here?”