As those who know me can attest, I'm habit-driven and obsessive when it comes to projects, activities, and the items I buy and use. I'm quick to discard things that don't serve a strong purpose in my life, and eager to share those that I love. Especially as I have traveled a lot these past couple years, I've discovered some products that minimize excess and maximize productivity and enjoyment.
Here's a list of my favorite ones, just in time for the Holidays:
MeUndies - http://getcomfy.in/gVTVa (use this link for 20% off)
The best underwear I've ever worn. About 3 years ago I bought a few different varieties of underwear, and these were my immediate favorites for look and feel. Now, I love them even more because they still look and feel like new (and I have no idea how the elastic has held up so well!). More amazing, and don't judge me, but in a pinch I can wear the same pair for 2-3 days without any threat of stink; this material is magic. They are expensive as far as underwear goes, around $20 each, but if you're buying new underwear every year or two, these are a great value.
Anker Battery Pack
You're lucky these days if your cell phone charge lasts a whole day (though my new Pixel 2 has been giving me 36 hours even with moderate use), and when you're on the road or at an event, a dying smartphone can be a huge distraction. I admittedly haven't tried other battery packs, but I love this one. Anker is a trusted brand and they make a variety of models, but this one is lightweight enough to toss in a coat pocket, and charged my last phone more than twice on a single charge. At $26, it's great insurance.
Google Fi Phone Service - https://g.co/fi/r/PNH9DY (get $20 off with this link)
Google has slowly moved into the cell phone market, and their recent release of the Pixel 2 seems to challenge Apple in most respects; I've had it for a week now and am enamored. Lesser known is Google's move into the phone service market; they launched the service in April 2015 and I've been a customer since Fall of that year. I was tired of paying $100+ / month for AT&T, while being constantly confused by strange fees, and with wi-fi becoming more prevalent, my grand-fathered unlimited data started to seem like less and less of an advantage. Google Fi (as with most Google products/services) is transparent; you pay $20 / month for unlimited calls and texts, and $10 / gb of data used - that's it! No monkey business, no hidden fees, and great international coverage and rates. They piggyback off of the towers of Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Three, and in the last 12 months I've been thrilled with my coverage all over the US.
With the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 both lacking a headphone port, this recommendation becomes less relevant, but still worth-while for many of you. I travel a lot, and have two (very old) vehicles, so I kept being without headphones when I needed them. Instead of buying a nice pair, I opted to buy three pairs of these at $8 each! The sound quality is way better than I expected (they are, after all, made by Panasonic), and they've withstood a lot of wear and tear. I keep a pair in each vehicle, and one in my laptop bag, so I'm never without. Shout-out to Micah for this recommendation almost three years ago!
Lonfrote Eye Mask
I don't sleep well in general, and the problem is exacerbated by travel. On a trip last September, my friends Jeremy and Stef were gushing about this eye mask, so I picked one up. It's been a lifesaver, and it costs less than $10! It does a better job than most at blocking out light, and the mounded shape and light weight of it make it comfortable on the face and eyes.
I posted this on Facebook in May, so I'll simply copy myself here. "I've used Old Spice Red Zone deodorant since I was 18 - I couldn't find another deodorant that worked well enough, and I've tried a LOT of them. In the past 5 years or so, I've tried to find a natural solution, to avoid aluminum-based compounds, but haven't found anything that comes remotely close to meeting my expectations (full day of coverage, not too messy, no insane smells). I bought this stuff on recommendation from a Tim Ferriss email because it was $7, and I've rarely been disappointed with a recommendation of his. I'm 10 days in, and look like a huge weirdo all the time because I keep sniffing my pits to check for smell....and can't find any. It works. Try it." [Update: I've been using it for almost 7 months now and still love it. My dad and a bunch of my friends are on-board as well!]
I've got at least 5 other products that I care passionately about, but I'll save them for a later post! Happy Holidays!