Coffee Break: Fitbit Force Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband

Fitbit Force Wireless Activity + Sleep WristbandI just saw a review on CNET about how the new Fitbit Force is their very favorite fitness tracker, so I thought I’d pick this for today’s gift idea. Tread lightly if you’re thinking of this gift for someone who has not expressed specific interest in a fitness tracker or in getting more fit — it’s easy to offend people when offering fitness-related gifts and advice. That said, if you do have someone in your life who has been (loudly) thinking about it, this might be a great gift for them. It’s $130 at Amazon. Fitbit Force Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband

Readers, what are your favorite tech toys, either that you own now and love, want to own, or are gifting this season?

(L-2)

Comments

  1. Senior Attorney :

    Huh. I was all excited about this but the reviews at Amazon seem middling at best. Does anybody have this thing?

    • I have the Fitbit Flex (the wristband without the watch), and it is just okay. I feel completely neutral about it and would neither recommend it nor dissuade someone from buying it. I guess one plus is that I have it on almost every day and usually don’t even notice it.

      • I got the Fitbit Flex for my husband for father’s day and he really likes it. It’s encouraged him to take the steps more at work and he likes to look at his sleep.

    • Anon, wanting to be motivated :

      Funnily enough, I ordered the Force for me and for my BF for Christmas, and they arrived today! So no, I don’t have any review for you yet, but stay tuned. I got it because my sisters and nieces all have the Fitbit One and love them – they also compete for steps etc. I wanted something with a watch because my Timex Ironman died and I haven’t replaced it yet, and I like the idea of tracking steps and sleep etc. And BF walks so much on his commute, and then goes to the gym, so I thought it would be interesting for him to see just how much exercise he does during the day. And he’s a fitness addict too, so I’m not worried about sending the wrong message.

    • I’ve had the Force for about a month — totally love it. Was using the Flex before then. Not much difference but I love the display. It is a bit bulky, but to me it’s worth it. I mostly use it as a reminder to get up and move during the day. Love love love.

    • HIVE! Listen up! My favorite movie, Love Actually, is starteing right now on AMC! YAY!!!!!

  2. I have the fitbit one and love it. I’m not convinced the count is completely accurate, but it’s consistent (so, at a minimum, it allows you to compare across days). For what it’s worth, I picked the fitbit one because it’s easy to hid in a pocket or on my bra strap. I didn’t feel like the black band was appropriate for my office when I got it in the summer.

    I gave one to my brother for his birthday and he also loved it. But, it is a know your audiance present. He is huge into sports and fitness so I knew he wouldn’t take it is a hint.

    • I like mine but I do NOT LIKE it that my dad can monitor me and send me comments about my TUCHUS! FOOEY on fitbit for letting dad watch me workout on my walk to work (or not).

      I want a fitbit that sad can NOT monitor my wait either. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Lady Tetra :

      I have the Fitbit Zip and I really like it! I’m not sure the calorie count is accurate either. But it is fun to track my steps, and it’s a great incentive to go take a walk when it notifies you at the end of the day that you only need XX more steps to reach your goal.

  3. I was thinking about getting something like this to help motivate me to get back to my college weight (10-15 pounds). Anyone have firsthand experience?

  4. Killer Kitten Heels :

    Anyone else awaiting the ELLEN freakout that is sure to ensue now that Kat has featured the FitBit?

  5. I have the fitbit one also, and love it. Did not get the wristband one because that is not the look I’m going for. The one goes in a pocket or clips on my waistband, bra, whatever – nobody sees it. It’s really fun. I’m on it with my mom and my aunt, and we “compete” for more steps. I’m definitely moving more during the day because I log onto my account and see how much more they are walking than I am. I use it to track my sleep, too.

  6. Anonymous :

    TJ- For those who have traveled on your own (internationally), have you used a tour group such as G Adventures? I am single, in my early 30s, and looking to do more travel on my own (i.e. cannot find people who have time/resources/matching logistics to go with me). But I also am wary of being completely on my own in places like Africa (I would like to do a safari) and east Asia.

    • This isn’t quite what you asked, but….you can go on safari in the US too!

      If you’re not looking to go further afield, I did a trip this summer with the Yellowstone Association. We stayed in cute cabins inside the park, had gourmet catered meals, and spent our days looking at wolves, bears, bison, pronghorn, foxes, coyotes, pika, birds of prey…anything that moved, through scopes, hiking, and learning about Yellowstone ecosystem. All in, including lodging and food, it was less than $900 for the week, and I had a great time, solo. Highly recommend if you’re looking to stay domestic. They do a number of other programs within Yellowstone that focus on other things (wolves only, wildlife, geology, etc.). Absolutely fantastic guides.

      I haven’t traveled with a group abroad, but I have traveled abroad alone, between meeting some of my Euro friends in other cities, and I had a great time. I agree that I would feel more comfortable in a group if I were going somewhere that was more out of my comfort zone, like Africa or Asia…harder to navigate when no possibility of a common language, etc. Have fun!

      Another one that looked amazing and was recently featured in the NYT was Tao Philippines–they cruise on a small sailboat bw Philippine islands. Looked heavenly, and was mostly for 20-30s crowd.

    • Equity's Darling :

      A good friend of mine used G for South America and thought it was worth every penny – well organized, etc. I am always researching their trips, and I’ve heard generally positive reviews.

    • I took a G Adventures tour in Africa and loved it. I spent a week in Cape Town on my own, and then another month on the group tour. I wanted to spend time in game reserves and felt it was a safe, interesting way to do it. If I hadn’t done a tour, I wouldn’t have gotten to go to anywhere near the places I did . I loved the trip so much, I’ve taken another two trips with G Adventures.

      In places like Africa and the Galapagos, it is similar to a traditional tour group. Many activities you do with the full group and there are more limited opportunities to go off on your own. My other tour in Southeast Asia provided more opportunities to explore on your own. The tour guide coordinated the hotels and travel from city to city and would set up tours of places that the majority of the group was interested in. He also would recommend places to visit and help with any questions you have. I find the prices not much more than I would spend on my own, you don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting from city to city, and it’s an opportunity to meet people from around the world. And any extra money was drastically outweighed by not having to stress about figuring out local buses, ect.

      I probably wouldn’t do a G Adventures trip to Europe or Australia, but couldn’t recommend it enough for Africa and Asia. I think it provides the best of both worlds in places you wouldn’t feel safe exploring is a single women (i.e. a guide to help with logistics and safety with the flexibility to visit the sites in a city that you are interested in.

      • Also, I intended to mention that I generally combine a tour with a little time on my own either before or after the tour in a bigger city so I still get the opportunity to explore completely on my own. In Africa, I spent a week in Cape Town. In Southeast Asia, I spent a few days in Bangkok. For the Galapogos trip, I spend a few days in Quito, Ecuador. This works really well with G Adventures because the tours started in the city, but you leave for the next destination on the morning of the first full day. So, if you only did the tour you would not get to explore that city.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This isn’t exactly what you asked about, but I was alone in Japan last winter (after Mr. Senior Attorney decided he was sick and took to his bed in the hotel) and had great luck with private guides I found on toursbylocals dot com. They have reviews and direct contact information so you can communcate beforehand about what you want and expect, and it’s not as expensive as you might thing. It was great to not have to be stressed out about things like public transportation or where to eat.

    • In the past I did some trips solo with Backroads. I did bicycle tours, but they do multi-sport or just hiking ones too. I was apprehensive at first, but it worked out really well. I think it helped that I did camping trips, on the inn trips people are more likely to just go to their room at the end of the day.. On the camping trips you all tend to hang out together after dinner. I think they do have some “singles” tours, but I just did a regular tour and had a great time.

    • I’m single and in my early 30s and primarily travel by myself with tour groups. Earlier this year I took G Adventures to Peru, which I really enjoyed and in exactly one week I’ll be off to Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) with Intrepid Travel. In the past I’ve mostly done Contiki trips, but I feel like I’m getting a little old (age range is 18-35). I highly recommend solo travel with tour groups!

    • Kjoirishlastname :

      Look at some of the bigger outdoors/adventure companies. REI does trips, so does national geographic. You could also look for some women’s only trips (Learn to surf camp in Mexico anyone?). That is what I would do.

    • Actually I’d consider east Asia among the safest places for a solo lady traveller. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are all developed countries with excellent infrastructure and plenty of unescorted women getting on wth their daily routine in all public places, and the larger coastal cities in China are getting there too.

  7. anon a mouse :

    Question for the hive: What’s on your holiday wish list? I have been told I need to come up with stocking stuffer and present ideas for me (in the under-$30 and under $150 categories). Gift cards are discouraged.

    I am legitimately stumped – for the first time in a long time, there’s not really anything that I can think of, and I’m pretty content with what I already own. Ideas?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I read most books on my iPad but there are a few nonfiction books that I wanted physical copies of so I put all of those on my list. Other than that I had trouble coming up with ideas this year too.

    • We do a gift exchange in my husband’s family and each compile a wish list. I like to do a mix of specific items (like particular books and cookbooks) and items that would give the gifter some choice (2014 wall calendar with some kind of outdoor stuff). The family member I am shopping for has holiday cookie cutters and fun kitchen items on her list. If there are particular candles or soaps that you like, you could put those things (candles from Yankee Candle, anything from the hemp line at Body Shop, etc.). Do you play board games? Those are good under $30 items; if you want ideas check out Taboo, Bananagrams, and Pandemic.

    • Slippers, t-shirts, magazines, earbuds, fuzzy socks, bubble bath/candles/other pretty smellies, chocolates, recipe books, scarf, gloves

      As for the actual gift ideas, that’s always hard for me too. Is there something you like to use regularly that you could ask for a nicer/updated version of? For example, replace your Old Navy hoodie with a Lulu hoodie?

    • Anonymous :

      wristlet (Fossil Sydney)
      necklace
      throw blanket
      sleeping bag
      Naked palette
      fleece headband
      specific clothing items
      paper punches
      sewing items

    • I asked for a cookbook (from a chef whose other cookbooks I enjoy) and a stationery set in response to a similar request. You could also ask for a replacement for things you love but will eventually use up (ie. favorite perfume, tea, candle, etc.). Agree with Sydney Bristow on the books idea – you could also ask for the DVD version of a favorite movie/tv show as well.

    • For stocking stuffers, are there any food items you’d like? I always enjoy getting some fancy coffee or tea, and chocolate I wouldn’t normally buy myself. Also slippers/nice wool socks.

    • I know you said gift cards are discouraged, but what if it was for something like a spa service or massage?

      Here are some ideas of things I would like:

      – cute apron
      – fun pajama sets, fuzzy socks for lounging around the house
      – bath products from Lush
      – cross-body purse
      – leather gloves
      – pashmina
      – cashmere sweater / cardigan
      – travel size perfumes in different scents so I can have some variety without being stuck with a whole bottle
      – nail polish

    • Baconpancakes :

      Under $30:
      Fancy candles that you would never buy for yourself because they’re $25 each and that’s absurd, but they smell so good!
      Body Shop Body Butters, with a general scent profile you prefer (citrus, green, warm and nutty, flowery, etc)
      Teflon oven mitts
      New headphones – those always break quickly so you can’t have too many
      Pocket moleskines in bright colors
      Blingy but tasteful costume c@cktail rings
      Imported black/pink salts
      Custom tea blends
      Hot chocolate mix – check out Vosges
      Tarte lip colors – Caphillstyle just featured a set for $28

    • There’s a $35 Cuisinart immersion blender on Amazon. And for $17, a cheese knife called The Cheese Knife, which is great for slicing soft cheeses – the cheese doesn’t stick! Oh, and if you like baking, one year I got an adjustable rolling pin that has discs of different sizes on the end so you automatically roll out the dough to an even thickness. Mine was from Williams-Sonoma, but I found it on Think Geek ($20) when I googled “adjustable rolling pin.”

      In a similar situation, I’ve asked for books, suede gloves, kitchen utensils (zester, vegetable chopper), hand towels (I like using a new one every couple of days for washing my face), CB2 vase…

      Honestly, at this point I wish my family would stop doing gifts and all take a trip somewhere for Christmas. I have so much stuff!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Nice tights or hosiery. I love the Oroblu microfishnets but the price always gives me pause. But for a Christmas present it’s something nice and inexpensive.

    • Belle at caphillstyle.com is doing a “12 days of stocking stuffers” under $25 dollars. Merry Christmas!

    • Lady Harriet :

      Things I’ve received in the past or would like to receive:

      Historical fashion coloring books & colored pencils (I’m SO excited about getting these this year!)
      Tights
      Nail polish in fun colors
      Jewelry
      Fancy little notebook
      Headphones
      Lip balm
      Books
      Fancy spatulas
      Microplane grater
      Nice chocolate (my favorite are Ritter Sport marzipan bars)
      Board/card games (my favorites are Settlers of Catan & Munchkin)

    • darjeeling :

      I’m kind of of the mindset that one can’y have too many scarves so I would probably ask for that. I asked my husband for this necklace: http://www.shopbop.com/echo-bracelet-avant-garde-paris/vp/v=1/1504765697.htm?folderID=2534374302204940&fm=other-shopbysize-viewall&colorId=34594

      Adea layering tops would be another item on my list, and the faux-fur Russian looking hat from Restoration Hardware. In the stocking stuffer category, your favorite kind of lip balm.

  8. Tipping help! :

    I posted last week about whom to tip and now that I’ve got it figured out, I have one more question :) Is it inappropriate to email my apartment manager asking for both her’s and the maintenance guy’s home address? I’m not going to be around by the holidays and that’s the only way I can give them anything…but is it weird since I’m basically saying, how can I give you a gift?

    • It’s not inappropriate because you sincerely want to give a gift. I have stressed about things like this in the past (and things like is it inappropriate to give a teacher cash if I didn’t make time to buy a gift card), and I truly think it’s OK to do something that *might possibly* breach some standards of etiquette if you are trying to do something nice for someone. And in your case, I don’t think it’s breaching anything anyway.

      • Tipping help! :

        Thank you, I’ll send the email then!!! I normally would feel funny doing this, but you are right, I really do want to sincerely give them gifts because they’ve been so helpful to me.

    • Is it your landlord’s policy that employees cannot be tipped by residents? That’s my situation, so maybe using the home address is the answer. I don’t want to get people in trouble, but I also don’t want to be ungrateful. Last year I just followed the rules and felt awful.

  9. Shout out to customer service at ThinkGeek. I ordered something on Thanksgiving day then promptly forgot about it. I realized, at 5 am, that I had never gotten it. Checked the tracking and it had never gone beyond reporting the package info to UPS. I went online and chatted with their customer service and it was immediately replaced and re-shipped.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I somehow had something shipped to my correct address but old zip code. It’s somewhere in the USPS system in Brooklyn. I have no idea how to fix it but I realized the issue yesterday. I’m pretty sure it was my mistake and not some freaky error on ThinkGeek’s part. I’m hoping the post office is figuring it out but the last update was 6 days ago and says it was forwarded because of an incorrect zip code…

  10. How best to recover from a networking etiquette fail? :

    Reposting since this may have missed the boat in the coat discussion:
    TJ: What’s the best way to respond after a long time of ducking job referrals, outreach gestures, LinkedIn invitations, etc. due to lack of confidence, discouragement, distraction but NOT any desire to be rude, ignore people, blah blah blah? Does “long ago” ever become “too long ago” to justify a response?
    TIA.

    • Just respond. I mean how long are we talking? I would just write back and say, “Hi, I’m sorry for the delay in responding to this, but I would absolutely love to do X/get together for coffee/apply for that job. If it’s still available, please let me know how to proceed. If not, please think of me next time. Let’s get together for coffee (optional). See you soon, Me.”

      If it was something job related from an actual employer, I might come up with a teensy white lie, depending on circumstances. I remember I got an externship placement offer in school one year and it wasn’t my first choice and it was during winter break and no one was around from the faculty to advise me on whether to accept or not. I ended up waiting too long before I finally figured out what to do (5 days or so), but I ended up calling the hiring person and “explaining” that the email ended up in my junk mail. It worked out. Not sure you can do that more than once though!

    • I agree with AIMS, and after reading your post on the other thread, I just wanted to add one additional thought: people are often flattered to be asked for help. I always hate hate hated having to ask for references, recommendations, etc., but it helped me to turn it around in my mind and think that if someone asked me for help, I’d be more than happy to do it (most of the time. If my worst enemy called up and asked me for a letter of recommendation, I’d be confused). Try not to overthink it.

    • definitely just respond. I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘too late’ except of course if it was for a specific job that is now filled. But it’s never too late to reach back out to someone and say you are looking and would like to stay in touch. I would write an email something like: “Dear __, I am sorry I wasn’t able to respond to your previous message/offer/job recommendation, but I really appreciate that you thought of me. I am currently looking for new opportunities and I would love to take you out for coffee to get your advice on my search/and I wondered if you know of any openings currently that might be a good fit for me. If not, please think of me next time you hear of something. Thank you again, hope you are well. Have a great holiday and a happy new year. Sincerely, zora.”

      again: simpler the better. Like january said, most people are more than happy to help. Just do it! ;o)

  11. Calling all etsy-ers:

    I am looking for necklaces similar to the type made by Denise Heffernan (links to images to follow but if you google “denise heffernan necklace” you will get the gist). Does anyone have any leads? Price point should be around $100 (bonus points for less expensive, of course). Thanks!

  12. Holiday Outfits :

    I’m feeling stumped this year on what to wear to Christmas mass and dinner. What are you going to wear or what did you wear for your holiday?

    • Clementine :

      I got a pair of White House Black Market Perfect Form skinny pants. They’re a nice ankle-lenth (on me) black cigarette pant type thing.

      I’m planning on wearing them with a silk blouse and optional cardigan for warmth. I’m going to belt the whole thing at the waist with a skinny black belt. For shoes, I’m going with a great pair of red satin peep-toe pumps I got a few years ago and can basically only get away with wearing at Christmas.

      This is all topped by a black choir robe and church will be somewhere between 30 and 90 degrees, all probably within the same hour, hence going with silk which keeps me both warm and cool as necessary. …if only it were appropriate for me to accessorize with a headlamp though! We do this lovely thing where we sing either in the dark or by candlelight and it’s very moving and lovely, etc. The only issue is that this makes it very very difficult to read music because it’s almost pitch black.

    • Anonymous :

      We go to mass on Christmas eve so I will have two different outfits. I am cooking for 12 on Christmas and chasing a toddler, so comfort is key for me. If it cools back off (it will be in the high 70s next week here), I will wear black leggings, knee high flat black boots, and a cream White & Warren “coatigan” (their name, not mine) belted with a red skinny belt. It it’s still hot, I have no idea, but I’d be happy to have that problem.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Black tights, black suede wedges, deep green silk circle skirt, black cashmere turtleneck.

  13. Jessica Glitter :

    What is the favorite watch of the man in your life? Sporty is ok, but not a true sports watch (he has a Garmin). Thanks!
    [I am apparently all over the gift convos today...]

  14. Holiday gifting :

    I’ve been seeing a therapist for about six months now, once a week. Is it appropriate to give her a gift for the holidays? Or maybe just a card? Thanks!

  15. Baconpancakes :

    Thanks for all the shoes suggestions this morning, ladies! I think I’m going to go with the suede heels and some modern gold jewelry – the discussion was very helpful! (But I’m totally going to buy those gold Calvin Klein heels soon, too.)

  16. Dinner in Fredericksburg? :

    Anybody have a suggestion for a reasonably priced but fun dinner in Fredericksburg, VA on a Saturday night?

    • Avoid the Central Park area of town at all costs! It’s all chains there. In the old downtown, there is Capital Ale House, which can be warm and fun. I know there are some cool loking cafes in the historic district–can’t recall their names. Maybe check chowhound or yelp?

  17. Just an FYI: The Fitbit Force has metal parts that contain nickel, so it’s not a good choice if you have sensitive skin or a nickel allergy. I’m super bummed about it :(

  18. Can I wear a sparkly red sweater with a navy trim with a bright navy skirt and black tights and & shoes? Or is it going to look like I got dressed in the dark?

    • Assuming this is a festive occasion, sounds just fine to me. Throw in black accessories (bag, jewelry) if you want to make it extra clear that you didn’t confuse navy with black and are intentionally wearing both.

  19. SoCalAtty :

    Has anyone picked up the Misfit Shine, or anything other than a Fit Bit brand?

    • IT Chick in MN :

      Late to the party, but I, my partner, and her best friend all have the Up! band by Jawbone and it’s fabulous. One of my favorite things is that it also helps track your sleep.

  20. anon for this :

    Sooo…

    I work in consulting and just found out I didn’t get my promotion. I was told I was an excellent candidate but as I had only been working for 16 months it was too soon to be sure I was ready. I got a top rating for the year.

    My whole team and project leaders are shocked and disappointed for me, and i spent 20 minutes crying in the parking lot of a bank, sitting on a curb hidden by a tree, hiding from my client and coworkers. I recognize this image is very funny.

    I would not have been nearly as upset if several high up leaders at my organization hadn’t told me they were sure my promotion was a done deal. PLEASE those of you in positions of power, don’t say things like this to people until it is actually done. It makes not getting promoted hurt so much more when expectations were built up.

    • Ugh – that sucks. About as much as being one of the only people to not get a (small) raise in the organization (1300 employees, about 10% full time including me) after being at the same salary for 2 years. And not thru any ill will or not having earned it – just being too busy to sit down and come up with a number. Or forgetful about not having finalized my paperwork. And when everyone else got an eval and bump 2 to 3 months ago, and some of them were bitching about not getting more. Oh – have I mentioned how I work with payroll and benefits.

      Le sigh.

    • If it makes you feel better, I requested to be promoted two levels this year, and for reasons I will not go into, I deserved it. However, when I received my review, I was told that I would only be promoted one level this year. In fact, my group (apologetically) did not even recommend the second promotion because they believe management would not be receptive, as I had a “slow start to the year”. What was I doing at the start of the fiscal year? I had a baby, and I went on maternity leave. (However, I met/exceeded all the annual billing requirements, etc.)

      • Out of curiosity–did you point out that you met/exceeded the reqs? I’m wondering how they would justify that the “slow start” reflected poorly on you since you made up for it and then some. Very discouraging!

    • I’m so sorry to hear this. I was in your exact same position at mid-year this year (skipped over because I had only been there 12 months, regardless of the fact that my performance was stellar and I was already performing above-level responsibilities). It is HARD to go through, so I’m sending hugs and rawrs your way.

      I finally got my long-awaited promoted a few weeks ago, but it’s still disappointing when I realize that it could have happened much sooner.

    • “PLEASE those of you in positions of power, don’t say things like this to people until it is actually done. ”

      Second this, and my empathy goes out to you as well. I also had a similar experience that was absolutely crushing–basically promised a job that ended up not existing. Sometimes I think senior people get caught up in the excitement they have for you and the rush that comes from giving good news, and lose sight of the uncertainty or the aspects that they don’t control. They also don’t have to be devastated when it doesn’t work out, so it’s not usually too big a risk for them. Honestly it was an important learning experience for me, and I bet you too will be wiser and stronger as a result, even if you’d never have wanted it this way. Hugs.

      • I think managers also promise more than they can deliver so as not to lose good people. Of course, it backfires in the end when the people they want to retain realize they can’t be trusted.

Add a comment.

Questions? Check out our commenting policy. Tech problems? Please report it to the tech team.