Five must-haves for the urban professional

Published: December 30, 2010
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A list of items that may not be save your life but will certainly make it comfortable.

I recently came across a list of ‘essential gifts for a surgeon’ and decided to make a list of my own. However, I expanded it to cater to all professions and not just doctors.

1. Sony Vaio 14/15 inch and a laptop bag

An absolutely gorgeous laptop which combines aesthetic beauty with functionality. Now, you may go for a cheaper brand but there is no replacement for the beauty of this gadget. Also, the keyboard and the touchpad on this machine are simply brilliant to use.

The 14 inch, or the 15 inch for that matter, is not very heavy and gives reasonable mobility, which is essential for a professional, as it can be carried from home to office with ease.

There are a number of different series available in the Vaio to choose from. I prefer the E series as it is not very expensive (in comparison with other Vaios) and gives you all the elements of a Sony laptop.

A good laptop bag can be very handy as well. You can carry all your stuff in it if you choose carefully. Bags are available with enough space to allow you to fit your laptop, ipod, headphones, smart-phone, digital camera and your daily accessories like a notebook, pen, etcetera. A laptop bag can also be your style definition depending on the sort you get. I would recommend looking into a Kenneth Cole leather bag.

2. An Android phone

I prefer the HTC brand (specifically the Desire) but all Android Phones with Froyo, (the latest version of the Operating System) are equally good with Google’s Nexus S (which is launching Gingerbread, an update to Froyo).

You can carry your professional references on the Android. You can check your emails and your social sites on the go. And most of all, you can create your own Wi-Fi hotspot through your cell phone’s internet connection so you can connect to the web with your laptop. Before anyone points it out, I realise cellular internet is not big in Pakistan but it is improving and the mobile Wi-Fi hotspot will soon become very popular. In some countries it is almost a must!

3. iPod Touch 4th Generation

iPod touch 4th generationis basically a 4G Iphone without the phone. As there is no phone housing, it is very slim with a front and back camera. The retina display on this iPod touch makes it ideal for multimedia applications and games.

It also offers Facetime application which should become an integral working app very soon. There are certain apps available for iOS and not for the android platform. Thus, by having both at hand, you have the best of both the worlds. The VoIP functionality offered with Line2 app for instance is very handy in cell phone dead zones where Wifi is available. Not to mention, the retina display on this is mind blowing!

And of course, you can carry your music around and listen to it during your free time or on the go. Students and even some professionals (like doctors) can carry updates about new developments (CME for doctors) on their ipod and listen to them to keep themselves abreast with the latest happenings in their world.

4. A watch

A watch can be your best friend. Every professional-note needs to have a date and time on it. It doesn’t have to be a gold Rolex, Omega or a TAG Heuer, although that can be your signature style. Stylish and cheap alternatives are available. For men, Citizen or Seiko could do, while for women Fossil or Kenneth Cole present good options.

5. Pen and notebook

No one should ever be caught without a pen. While a premium Caran D’Ache or Mont Blanc would look nice in your coat/shirt pocket, remember pens have to be used as well and that too very regularly. A number of good cheap pens are available in the market that can be bought in bulk and be kept at home or office so that you are never out of them.

Notebooks are essential as well, to maintain a log of your daily activities or to note down any observation that you might want to look up in the future.

This list is by no means extensive and a lot of people can argue about the merits of other items that I have not mentioned. Some may disagree with me on choice of the gadgets but this list can be a start for you as you build your own list of essential gifts that you would want to purchase for yourself.

Dr Amyn Malyk

Dr Amyn Malik

The author is a PhD student at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who likes to write. He tweets as @amynmalik

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.