Cool Technology Fantasies: What’s Your Wildest Tech Wish?

If you could wave your digital wand and create any time-saving, productivity-boosting tool or web app (never mind if it’s technically possible), what would it be?

I’d love to find some kind of automatic attachment suggester. Sure, there are some useful email features, like the one in Gmail that will detect when you’ve  forgotten an attachment, but I’d love something that would take care of finding the right document and attaching it for me. I have so many folders and subfolders on my MacBook that attaching documents can be a hassle!

Perhaps such a tool could look at my most recent documents, the keywords in my email and the recipient to figure out what I meant to attach. I wouldn’t expect this to be an exact science (at least not right away), so there would have to be some kind of feature where you could reject the attachment and the computer would eventually learn your habits.

That said, maybe something like this already exists…I just don’t know about it!

What’s your wildest tech wish?

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Susan Johnston is a freelance writer/blogger who has contributed to publications including The Boston Globe,’s blog,, and Yahoo! HotJobs. Her own blog,, covers tips on productivity, brainstorming, and more for fellow writers.


  1. Jacques van Heerden on the 18th June

    Your suggestion is nice, but mine is even better!

    I would like a brain scanner that could pick up my thoughts and then compose scripts or articles/books from my initial thought patterns.

    It will be a small sized gadget that basically has heated pads that you put on the side of your temples and then radiates transmissions from your brain which then leads through the gadget and into a composing unit.

    Couple of thought patterns and your a few articles richer. BOOOM!

  2. John Braine on the 18th June

    >time-saving, productivity-boosting tool

    Would have to be something that bars me from using the internet for 30 minutes!

  3. Hilary on the 18th June

    Uhhh…. there are tools that can prevent you from accessing the internet for set periods of time… but you have to implement them first. Susan, you can select files recently accessed on your mac and I’ll tell you how at the end of this post. 🙂

    I wish for a robot that vacuums … oh wait we have that too. 🙂

    My tech wish would be something the coordinates and syncs information from evernote, google docs, livesync, jungledisk or any other combination of that type of cloud computing and also allows for complex file permissions and sharing without making your brain explode. Oh and I want to be able to back it up on my computer and have versioning capabilities (which some of those services already have.) Oh and onenote – I want onenote to function with these others because I love it and hate it’s complete lack of portability.

    Oh and this must all work on macs, pcs, linux, iphone, android, palm, windows mobile, blackberry and any other major platform I’m forgetting.

    Basically the ultimate in collaboration and portability.

    And if it had some sort of powerful yet intuitive project management system built in, and also didn’t cost a fortune so you could work with other freelancers and not spend $500 per temporary “employee” because the system was created for corporate behemoths. Oh wait, can it be open source too? And work with git? And subversion? And other things I might use in the future or might be useful to someone I’m collaborating with?

    Am I asking a lot of this thing yet?

    Susan: in gmail compose a new message and select “attach a file” which will bring up the file browser. If you have the sidebar in your mac scroll down to where it says “search for” and there are “today” and several “recent” type options. You can also do a search from that “attach file” window. Works in 10.6 and I suspect it works in 10.5 as well.

    John: There are many many options for what you are talking about. From things that force you to focus on writing for a set amount of time to things that just don’t let you access the internet for a set amount of time. You can go as geeky as configuring your router or you can go as simple as turning off wifi or unplugging your ethernet cable. There are also tools and softeare. can block any site labeled “distracting” for a set amount of time so if you still needed to do research on select sites you could (premium accts only.) There are also various other posts on lifehacker on this same topic.

  4. Don on the 18th June

    A robot that could do everything I can do would be my choice. I need a concluder/producer as I’m an ideas man. It’s often difficult for me to get motivated to finish, and sometimes even sart, the projects to produce my great ideas!

    So a robot that could take the instructions and make everything happen while I spend my time at the gym getting slimmer, on the computer reading blogs and having long lunches undoing the gym work then napping, yes, that would be nice, thank you.

  5. Umm I guess it would be a laptop that boots in a second to windows 7. And I would like that my pc to automatically shuts down/sleeps when I disappear from the front of the screen and wakeup as soon as I come near it (these are not the sleep/wakeup feature already present in windows).


  6. dragos on the 19th June

    A front facing cam that is very slim, light and connects to the mini/micro usb port on the bottom or side of any smart phone, preferably my nexus one.

    Android and evryone else can then just write the software app that handles video chat. Not as elegant as buying an iphone 4 or other front facing camera phones, but then again why should I replace an expensive phone for one BADLY needed feature.

    I’ll settle for wifi only to begin with if t-mobile is too cheap to provide 3 & 4g bandwidth.

  7. Katie on the 20th June

    Hmm that’s a hard one. I think a non-stop collaboration between everything on my computer would be nice, but I’d probably get plenty confused. Ooh, how about one that syncs with my mind, paper, images, magazines. Anything I want. Yeah I could scan it in, but I don’t want to, I’m lazy.

    Maybe they should make something to make me less lazy. Or just change time so that I have a bit more everyday. I reckon if you added just five minutes to everyday, then no one would really notice.

  8. vicki sauvage on the 20th June

    My thoughts on this are:

    1. A UNIVERSAL adater for any mobile phone charger

    2. A UNIVERSAL adapter for any laptop

    3. speech recongnition software that does not take for ever to train

    4. speech recognition software that does not default to american english

    5. a fully portable, cheap tablet like device that can do phone calls, drawings, text and such.

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