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On Your Grind Back to School Tools

Summer’s great and all, but it can really kill your hustle. Have you been making connections or making a mess of yourself? Been working on your brand – or your tan? It’s okay. We get it, and fun is never a waste of time. But it’s time to get back on your grind.

As Fall approaches and Labor Day has officially passed, we adults get a chance to have that “back to school” feeling, too. Similar to the excitement and anticipation felt by students, our version of “back to school” keeps in mind all of the new things we’ll explore, learn and discover this year. Think of the possibilities. (And keep a positive outlook, for sure!)

Just as a reminder (we know you’ve been following our series here each week, right?), here’s how to be your back-to-school best:

  1. Think about what you really want to accomplish with our life coaches’ tips on goal-setting and goal-getting
  2. Put on a fresh new outfit (ideas for ladies and gents) that makes you really feel like “you”
  3. As a final step, consider some of the back to school tools our style team has selected below. From apps to bags, these are the items that can really help you get it all together, as you’re on your grind.

“Fall is a great time to get back on track,” says Orly Schwartz, a personal stylist and co-owner of mobile boutique Zahavi & Schwartz. “Take a look at your schedule, your responsibilities and commitments. See if you need to make any changes. This app helps in merging your calendar, to-do lists and notes all in one easy to use, clutter-free app. 24me acts like second brain, and it’s easy to use.”

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

Do you love dinner with friends but groan when it comes time to split the bill (or any other thing you do that requires your friends to fork over cash)? Orly recommends using Square Cash, even more than Venmo, because it keeps your transactions private.

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

It may sound counter-intuitive, but the more you work, the more you need to create time to relax and play, too. Orly says an app called Wildfulness can help with that.

“It’s a meditation app that is simple,” she says. “It allows you to take time to sit in nature based on several outdoor landscapes, and you can set a timer on it. I usually use it for my morning commute or when I just need a quick break from a stressful day at work.”

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

Another app that helps you keep stress in check comes from David A. McKnight, a certified image consultant and owner of McKnight Image Lab. It’s called Insight Timer.

I love this meditation app,” David says. “Meditating is the best way to get focused on your goals in order to turn them into reality. This app allows you to select guided meditations according to the length of time you have available or the topic you wish to focus on, such as anxiety or relaxation. I use this app daily.”

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

With all those new apps to keep you calm and focused, maybe it’s time for a new phone case, too? They serve a practical purpose, of course, but also can serve as a fun little reflection of your personality. Here are some we like.

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(See links below to access more product info.)

In order: Banana  |  Hot Dog  |  Cigarettes  |  Amazing for selfies in low lighting & used by Kardashians: Lumee Case

It’s not just online tools that can help you get (and stay) on your grind this Fall. From bottles to bags, our stylists think these products are must-haves. First, we have something that is good for you and for the environment: a reusable water bottle.

I am preferential to the S’well,” Orly says. “It keeps my water hot or cold, and I bring it everywhere. After my blanket cashmere scarf, it’s my favorite travel companion. The colors and designs are limitless and it’s truly a great investment!”

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

What about better sound as you’re walking around town?

“I know walking around NYC, I always see people with ear buds in or headphones. B+O are making the case for over-the-ear headphones,” Orly says. “The sound is great, and the look is good. It’s worth the investment in yourself, your music, and your headspace, if you use it every day on your commute.”

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

There’s nothing better for back-to-school than a new notebook! Orly loves how the classic Moleskine, with its anything-but-boring colors, helps keep her organized.

“It looks professional and is a classic tool to have for any job,” she says.

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

What are you gonna use to jot down all those great ideas into your Moleskine? David says a great pen is needed. A pen that really makes a statement (and has the price point to prove it).

This Starwalker Montblanc Pen with floating Montblanc emblem will instantly upgrade any professional’s image to give them an executive presence,” he says.

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(Click image to access more product info.)

Omar Yapor, a NY-based designer and wardrobe consultant who’s also been a part of our “dream team” for this series, seriously wants you to consider wearing a watch to upgrade your image and keep you on track this Fall.

By the time you dig into your pocket to get your phone, you would know the time already by just a quick twist of the wrist,” he says. “But aside from that, the watch is a timeless accessory. Grown men wear watches. It’s the finishing touch to any outfit.

He loves these stylish options that won’t break your bank account.

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(See links below to access more product info.)

In order: Bulova  |  Timex  |  Nixon

And Omar reminds us that glasses can be a great statement-maker, too! Consider new options from Zenni Optical and Warby Parker.

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(See links below to access more product info.)

Zenni Optical Site  |  Warby Parker Site

For our final pick, everyone agrees: just as you can’t start the school year without a new backpack, maybe it’s time for a new bag to keep all of your essentials within arm’s reach.

These options, from Jack + MulliganL.L.Bean, J.Crew, FossilThirty-One Gifts and Lands’ End are just the right size, and include a selection for women – and for men.

Yes, it’s time to make the man-bag a part of your life, fellas.

As Alice Kim, owner of Veritas Image Management (a styling service exclusively for men), says, “These days we all carry at least one device. With phones getting bigger each year, your pant pocket isn’t enough to hold it, plus all the other essentials like your wallet, keys, and sunglasses. Invest in a handsome bag that not only holds all your items in one place, but also ups your style game.”

On Your Grind Back to School Tools
(See links below to access more product info.)

In order: Pablo Tote  |  Boat and Tote Bag  |  Mayfair Duffle  |  Around Town Tote  |  Defender Double-Zip Workbag  |  Harwick Messenger Bag  |  Abingdon Messenger Bag  |  Miles of Style  |  Canvas Briefcase

With a phone full of new good things, a new bag full of good things, and so many good things in your head (and heart) – it’s time to get out there and make things happen.

Stick close to us here each week for more ways on how to make things happen. Got a topic you think we should cover or person to interview? Tell Kyle! Kyle@KyleCollins or @KyleCollins (Twitter) and @KyleInterviews (Instagram).

Connect with our style team here:

Alice Kim  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Omar Yapor  |  Thumbtack  |  LinkedIn  |  Twitter  |  Style Portfolio

Orly Schwartz  |  Website  | Instagram  |  Facebook

David A. McKnight  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  | Instagram