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My Favourite Things

Phil Jones MBE, managing director of Brother UK, lists his six favourite items of stationery, tech and office equipment.

1. My iPad Air

The iPad Air is without doubt one of the best devices out there. When I’m working on the move, I find a laptop can sometimes be overkill and that the iPad Air can do the job just fine. I use it as a screen for my web conferences; as a place to recall images and videos when I’m coaching; or as a handy tool for taking notes with a Bluetooth keyboard. Of course, it’s great as a personal entertainment centre too, for accessing Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

2. My Fitbit Charge


I think it’s important to move around and stay active every day, particularly in a job like mine that involves lots of meetings. Many people now track their movement using products like Fitbits and, for me, there are two features that really stand out.

Firstly, I like to use it to track the length and quality of my sleep and, secondly, my resting heart rate. These two insights are key to understanding my ability to perform. Sleep is an opportunity for my brain to de-fragment and for my body to rest and renew, while my resting heart rate can indicate any underlying fatigue or illness. Once you understand the patterns behind your sleep and heart rate data, you can really begin to know your own physicality.

3. Really Useful Boxes

I love to be organised and have long been a fan of Really Useful Boxes, a UK company run by the very hard-working Mike Pickles. It produces well priced plastic boxes of all shapes and sizes and has a sturdy box for every use, from the tiny box I keep in my briefcase to hold easily lost cables and small items to larger boxes I use to store my cycling equipment and vinyl collection.

4. The Evernote app

Really Useful Boxes
Really Useful Boxes

With so much information needed to run our lives, keeping it organised and synced across all devices is essential. I’ve been using Evernote to do this for years, both at work and in my personal life. The app helps me store things like meeting notes, event tickets, travel schedules and flight information. My assistant can send information straight into the application, which saves time, and I can use it to share information with others too.

One of its best features is the ability to photo capture a business card and convert the details into text, which I can keep in my notebook so that all my contacts are easily accessible. The cool bit is that the app can automatically send a LinkedIn request from me (if the feature is enabled) – a great time-saver when meeting new people at a conference.

5. My laptop privacy screen

It always amazes me how much sensitive information is easily readable on other people’s personal devices, especially when travelling. I recently came across privacy filters, which effectively prevent your screen from being read by someone sitting nearby, whether on a train, plane or even in a coffee shop. Security breaches aren’t always about being digitally hacked, they can also be from someone watching what you’re doing on your laptop. Privacy filters are an inexpensive way of preventing this from happening.

6. My Bose SoundLink Mini speakers

These Bluetooth speakers pack an enormous punch. They’re easily portable and are brilliant for creating an impressive sound quality when watching a film on the iPad or for background music while getting up in the morning. They’re also great for an impromptu stay-up-late moment in a hotel bar when a bit of music is needed to inject some atmosphere – something the sales team at Brother UK have come to appreciate over the years!

Follow Phil Jones on Twitter @PhilJones40