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Save time and aggravation: top life hacks and gadgets

Have you noticed how it seems like there’s never enough time to get everything done no matter how hard you try? Rest assured, you’re not alone. In today’s hectic world, balance is a goal often sought but rarely achieved. In other words, the struggle is real.

The good news is that there are gadgets and other life hacks that can save time and reduce aggravation. The trick is sorting through all of your options and choosing a few that truly make a difference in your day-to-day life. Here are just a few:

The Roomba. I don’t know how I ever managed without it. I currently own the Roomba 690, and it’s a lifesaver. We have two dogs, who seem to shed year round, and my Roomba manages to make life with them so much better. Every night we set our Roomba to run in our two most-trafficked areas — our family room and kitchen — and then wake up to clean floors. A Roomba can cost anywhere from $200 to $300, but trust me, it’s well worth the price you’ll pay.

Mirror. It’s a full-length, interactive gym from which you can play one of hundreds of pre-recorded or live workouts (and there are also live one-on-one training sessions available). It’s like having a boutique gym right in your house. No matter what your poison — yoga, boxing, barre, dance, Pilates, cardio, and more — the Mirror has you covered. You choose the class length (15, 30 or 45 minutes) and the difficulty level (1-4), and then start exercising, guided by the full-length image of the instructor and your own image on the mirror as you work out. You can exercise any time day or night, so it’s perfect for busy lawyers without much free time — especially those with kids. Sure, it’s pricey ($1,495 for the Mirror itself and $39/month for access to the classes), but it’s a great investment.

Google Wifi Mesh Router. One of the best parts about this router is that because of the mesh network, which is made up of individual Wifi points that “talk” to each other, it has extensive reach. Another added bonus: setup is a breeze. The router is controlled via your smartphone, so the first thing you have to do prior to setting it up is download the free Google Wifi app (available in iOS and Android). Next, you plug in your primary Wifi point. The number of Wifi points that you use is determined by the size of your home or office. For a smaller space (500-1,500 square feet), you’ll need one Wifi point. For a medium-sized space (1,500-3,000 square feet) you’ll need two. And for a larger space (3,000-4,500 square feet) you’ll need three. Not only does Google Wifi provide reliable, consistent internet access — it also offers a number of other great features, including the ability to prioritize a specific device and built-in family control features. A single Wifi point starts at $99 and a set of 3 can be purchased for as low as $242 on Amazon.

My favorite laptop stand, the Moft “invisible” laptop stand.This laptop stand permanently attaches to the bottom of your laptop via an adhesive backing. When not in use, it folds nearly flush to the bottom of your laptop, lays flat at 1/9”, and is barely discernible. It weighs only 3 ounces. Its dimensions are 170x224x3 mm and it’s designed for use with laptops with screen sizes between 11.6″ and 15.6”. It can be folded into two different height settings, and costs only $24.99. So if you’re in the market for a lightweight and incredibly convenient laptop stand, I highly recommend it.

Nicole Black, based in Rochester, New York, is an attorney, author, journalist and the legal technology evangelist at MyCase legal practice management software.