Technology is great until it stops working. Be prepared and solve your technology frustrations by preparing a tech essentials backup kit.
Home and technology blog Unplggd reminds us that we often run out of printer ink the night before a big project deadline or lose our mobile phone charger right before leaving for holidays. They recommend getting backup printer ink, an extra mobile phone charger, memory cards and batteries to ensure you're always covered when disaster (or just the everyday problem) strikes.
This is a good start for the average person, but if you're immersed in technology on a regular basis, you may want to consider a few more things. For example:
Chargers for all your gadgets (laptops, media players, etc) - Extra laptop chargers can be a little bit pricey, but having one ready for travel (or for when you get home from a holiday and find out you've forgotten to repack it) will keep you from finding yourself suddenly without power. If you're a Mac user you've really only got one route, but PC users can pick up a universal charger and keep it around through laptop upgrades and just buying new charging heads when necessary (much cheaper). Add to that a travel surger protector/USB charger with relevant cables, and you've got most of your other devices covered too.
External hard drives and flash drives - When you need that extra disk space or need to quickly transfer a file to another machine, being able to grab some external storage can seem pretty vital.
A mobile broadband plan and device - If staying online is a necessity for your work, a 3G connection will keep you connected in the event of an outage. The Mi-Fi is an obvious choice, since it's a standalone device and allows for multiple connections over Wi-Fi, but really anything will do if it keeps you working despite a dead connection. Cheaper (and possibly free) alternatives: tethering your mobile phone or keeping a list of nearby free Wi-Fi hotspots you can get to quickly when necessary (think coffee shops).
A wired keyboard and mouse - Nowadays everything is wireless. Bluetooth is often great for peripherals — until it's not. If you have serious issues with your computer and want to troubleshoot, Bluetooth isn't going to cut it. You need to connect with good, old-fashioned USB. Having USB peripherals around for emergencies — or just for when you're out of batteries — is a must.
Unplggd also suggests setting up Google Alerts so you can stay on top of product deals and order your backup supplies when they're the cheapest. For consumables like AA batteries (even rechargeable ones), this is exceptionally useful. If you want regular deliveries of discounted stuff (like batteries), Amazon Subscribe and Save is another option.
We've given a few examples of stuff worthy of a tech backup kit, but it's just a start. What items do you keep in your tech backup kit? Share 'em in the comments.