It’s hard to imagine how we’d live our lives without all of the electronic devices we’ve come to depend on. I’m talking about everything from mobile phones to portable computers, tablets, MP3 players, GPS trackers and eReaders, too. And it’s not just an adult thing. My 5-year old grandson has his own bevy of things that need to be powered including his LeapFrog LeapPad and LeapFrog LeapBand (amazing learning devices, by the way).


The challenge is more than staying powered while on the run. The trick is to keep electronic devices fully charged and ready to go. The more people in the household, the greater the challenge and greater potential for a big fat mess.

The best way to make sure you’re always powered up and ready to go it to make charging convenient. Not necessarily expensive, but well-thought out.

Today I thought I’d give you a quick tour of the charging tools I depend on and wouldn’t be without.

USB wall charger. This charger requires only one electrical outlet, but charges four devices at the same time via USB connection. Most mobile phones, laptop computers and various other devices are USB compatible. Love this little thing because I can take it with me on the road.

Battery charger. Panasonic’s Eneloop individual battery charger kit is fabulous. Just take a look. This starter kit comes with 20 rechargeable batteries in all four battery sizes that can be recharged up to 2,100 times! I’ve never been a fan of rechargeable batteries until now. These are the only batteries I need for remote controls devices and all the other things around the house that require batteries. It’s convenient and works like a champ. This set makes a great gift, too.

Portable phone charger. This Anker mini portable charger external battery bank is the size of a lipstick. It’s like having an extra battery for my mobile phone (compatible with iPhone, Samsung, HTC and more). Just plug your phone into it, and you’ll be charged up in no time flat. I don’t have to search for a public electrical outlet in the conference room, restaurant or airport any more because now I carry my own power.

Surge protector. I’ve had to learn the hard way about electronic devices and power surges. I only had to fry a computer one time to gain a tremendous respect for a surge protector. Now that is all I use when charging devices at home and the office. And mostly they are big and bulky. But not this Quirky. It’s bendable, and quite cute at the same time. I can bend it to conform to any tight or awkward space. It has a flat plug, four feet of cord and an On/Off button. When everything’s charged up, I just flip the whole thing off to cut the phantom power drain. So convenient! And it has surge protection up to 672 joules, which is more than sufficient to protect all those devices plugged into it.