Today’s BlogHer prompt for NaBloPoMo is “What are 10 things you pack whenever you travel?” I’m sure there are ten things I pack whenever I leave home for an extended period of time, so I decided to tweak that prompt a bit and turn list my favorite accommodation tools.
|One of my handmade bookmarks.|
Even though I love reading, I sometimes have problems keeping my place. When I was in school, I learned the simple trick of blocking out the rest of the page with a piece of paper so it’s easier to keep my attention on the line I’m on.
I still use bookmarks to do the same thing. If I’m stressed, tired or sick, my reading skills tend to go down the drain. When I’m sick or stressed, reading is often the best way to make myself feel better. You see my problem. I’ve found the bookmark trick still works when I have too many problems.
I know this one is widely used by almost everyone, but it’s a hugely helpful tool for those of us with dyslexia. Knowing I can correct the majority of misspellings by activating that program makes writing much easier.
Even before I start edits, I run my spellchecker, since seeing my misspelled words still irritates me.
3. Speech to Text
Before my external microphone quit working, I used a speech to text program on a fairly regular basis. Again, it helps cut down on spelling errors, but it’s also a great way to work during carpal tunnel or tendinitis flair ups.
Again, this is a widely used technology. When it comes to numbers, though, I can’t seem to keep more than three or four in my head at the same time, which means doing math in my head is out. Paper and pencils help, but since numbers are still nonsensical to me at times, well…that’s where calculators come in.
To-do lists, shopping lists, procedural lists, you name it and I’ve probably done it with the help of a list somewhere along the line. Part of the problem with poor short term memory and procedural issues is a tendency to miss key steps or items.
Having a list I can alter as I work on a project, or group of tasks for the day, is a massive help. Shopping lists for me usually get written on a scrap of paper, while my daily to-do lists are on my white board. I am currently saving up for a smart phone, though, since there are some great apps I’d like to try out.
These amazing technological machines have been a massive help in general. I touch type, which has ingrained key location into my muscle memory, and gets rid of some difficulties involved with physical writing. The ability to save a document and come back to it later makes edits easier and more effective. The window a computer with an internet connection opens to the world is of great value when it comes to making connections and keeping in touch with something.
When it comes to any sort of writing, math or communicative difficulty, computers probably have a way to help us cope.
7. Portable audio players
|My beat up old iPod mini.|
MP3 players, MP4 players, phones with audio playing capability, you name it. These are great for listening to audio books on the go, but they’re also incredibly helpful to managing auditory integration disorder issues.
When I commuted to and from work on the bus, I almost always had a player of some sort to give me a steady source of music to combat the loud, unexpected nature of urban life. I still got headaches and ended up stressed out by the end of the ride, but having something I could control helped immensely.
8. Highlighters and colored pencils
When it comes to organizing notes, sorting information out by color is so much easier on me than writing out an outline. Highlighters make that task infinitely easier.
Again, one of the most widely used technology, video is a wonderful alternative to books when reading just isn’t an option. I’m a huge fan of documentaries and educational YouTube videos. When my brain decides it’s had enough text and stops cooperating with me, I can almost always find an interesting documentary to watch for information, ideas and entertainment.
There’s a reason why many classes have documentary days, so I don’t think I’m alone in this.
I know this one might seem a little odd, but a good camera can be a wonderful aid in keeping notes, especially when it’s digital. New text recognition technology makes it even neater. The newer generations of Samsung Galaxy phones has the ability to recognize text and read it aloud, which is extremely impressive, not to mention useful.
I don’t have one of those phones, but I have used cameras to snap pictures of text for later perusal. Part of a camera’s job is to capture memories, right? Why not use that ability to make our lives a little easier?
I’m sure I’ve missed some great tools out there, but these ten have helped me immeasurably through the years. What are some of your favorite tools?