Posted on Fri 26 September 2014

Some of my favourite things

I've shared some of my favourite apps in the past, and recently I shared the tools I use for writing. Today I want to focus on the physical products I use all the time and would recommend.

My computer is a MacBook Air and my phone is an iPhone 5S. Apart from those, it's easy to forget about the products that make my life easier and more fun every day. Here are some of them.

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

I found out earlier this year that I can live without my Kindle when I left it behind on the Eurostar after travelling from England to France. I never recovered it from lost property in either country, so I spent the next couple of months working through some paperback books I had on my shelf.

I've since replaced my Kindle with the newer Paperwhite version, and love it just the same. The Goodreads integration is excellent (though it doesn't seem to worth smoothly on older Paperwhites, mine has been fine so far), and it's still my favourite way to read.

Ti-Click Pro

In my post about writing tools I mentioned this is my favourite pen. It's supposedly the world's most refillable pen, and does take an impressive list of refills.

The stylus on the end gets a good workout, as does the pen itself. If it could take a refill of brown ink, I'd never use another pen again.

iPad Mini

iPad Mini

I remember someone saying that the iPad is a device you find uses for once you have it. That was definitely true for me.

I've found more reasons to use my iPad Mini since I bought it, and I use it almost every day now. I often use it to play videos at lunch time, so I don't have to open them up on my computer. I sometimes use it for writing, when I want to avoid the more serious working position of writing on my Mac.

I often use it to read through my reading list or to look for interesting articles to add to my list in apps like Flipboard or Digg.

Misfit Shine

Misfit Shine and Jawbone UP

This recommendation comes with a caveat. I've tried four fitness tracker models, as well as countless apps for the same purpose, and I'm yet to find a perfect one. The closest I've come was my Fitbit Force, but I was affected by the infamous skin rash and can't wear that one anymore. I'm hanging out to see what Fitbit will announce next, as they've definitely got the lead on everyone else.

Right now I'm wearing a Jawbone UP 24, which has come a long way from the original UP. I don't like not having any kind of screen on my fitness tracker, and this is my fourth Jawbone device after every previous one broke in some way, so I wouldn't recommend them. The reason I wear it now is because we haven't finished integrating the Misfit Shine into Exist yet.

The Misfit Shine doesn't have a great clock—you can use it as a watch, but I've found it's not only slow and hard to read (it uses a pattern of lights to tell you the time), it's really unreliable. Mine will often not show the time, and later start working again.

Apart from that, the Shine is flexible—you can wear it on your wrist or clip it to your waist or ankle. You can also buy a fancy leather watchband for it or a necklace to wear it in, but just the flexibility of having a wristband and a clip is useful enough, since I can switch it to my ankle when I run on the treadmill to get a more accurate reading of my workout, and wear it on my wrist again during the day.

It's also the nicest looking tracker, and it tracks sleep automatically—no need to start or stop sleep mode. Handy for those of us who forget to do this a lot.

Thinfolio Wallet

I've been using a paper wallet for a couple of years now. I like how slim paper wallets are, and how simple. I recently switched the one I had for a ThinFolio wallet, which lets you print your own photos on it. It's pretty fun to see reminders of my trips overseas every time I look at my wallet. And it's even thinner than the one I used previously.

Bang & Olufsen Earset 3i

I replaced my cheap sport headphones with these ones on Jared's recommendation. They have a built-in microphone which includes volume controls. That was the main reason I wanted a new pair, because running outside means the surrounding noise from traffic, pedestrians, and roadworks tends to ebb and flow during my run. I've found this surprisingly useful on the treadmill, too, because running on a treadmill is much louder than walking on it to cool down.

These headphones also have a nifty setup for the earpieces: The earbud swivels so you can wear it as tightly in your ear (or not) as you like, and the over-ear piece is adjustable, too. I'm only sad the bright yellow version didn't come with a microphone, so I had to go with boring black.

At the same time, I also grabbed an Adidas miCoach armband. The one I had before wasn't durable at all, and had fallen apart really quickly. The Adidas one is non-slip and splash proof (good for a sweaty run), it fits my phone perfectly, and has a pocket for my keys (very important). So far it seems fairly durable, so I'd recommend it.

I'm not a big fan of having lots of "stuff", but I like to take notice of the things I take for granted every day, that really make my life easier.

You might also like Tools I use for writing.

P.S. I make some stuff you might like: Exist, a personal analytics app to help you understand your life, and Larder, a bookmarking app for developers.

Image credits: Bang & Olufsen

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