Sara Hand runs Spark Growth, a Bradenton-based business consultancy and incubator housed in an old firehouse called Station 2 Innovation.
1. Keyboard skins
I wear off the letters of my keyboard every six months, it seems, and before I discovered keyboard skins, I would try makeshift stick-on letters and liquid white. These new skins not only display letters and symbols with perfect clarity, they help keep my keyboard dust- and grime-free. There are lots of brands. You have to order one that fits your computer.
2. Colored printer papers
I started using colored paper years ago for important lists because they don’t get lost in the sea of white notes. I keep mine on the wall by my desk. I have a master list and I may have one or two others depending on where I am in a production cycle. On a regular basis I can look over, see my green, yellow, orange or blue paper and do a mental rundown to make sure that I haven’t dropped the ball somewhere.
My work involves frequent travel, juggling huge amounts of data and communicating across multiple platforms. DropSend allows me to send these files without requiring the recipient to go through the tedious process of creating yet another username and login.
4. Resilio Sync
Often I am working on projects that include several team members. This app syncs those files regularly when I am online to keep me connected to the most recent contributions. So whether I am one desk away or halfway across the world, or have access to great bandwidth or not, I am able to work directly with the things I need most.
5. Arc Touch mouse
Many people just use touchpads that come with their device, but I like a mouse. Unfortunately, carrying a mouse is usually awkward because they are fat. I love Arc Touch Mouse by Microsoft. It is lightweight, wireless and folds flat for mobility.
I am geographically challenged—a real hindrance since I travel so much—so Waze is a lifesaver. It’s a navigation app that allows users to share information in real time. It’s great when I’m walking and driving in a new city, and it also reroutes me around traffic jams. I even use it here at home to avoid seasonal traffic and construction projects.
7. Great bookstores
One of the highlights of going to visit my youngest daughter in New York City is the Columbia University bookstore. I love the quiet ambiance and chance to browse away from my computer. I have other favorites, too: The Strand, also in New York, and Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon.