I use my phone to take photos of business cards, signs, parking spots, and so on, but I don't like to tap out notes on it unless I have to. I make too many errors. I've been carrying around a small notebook when I travel, and the one I like the best is this 3" x 5" Rite in the Rain, a pocket sized notebook with nearly waterproof pages. Each wire-O bound book has 50 double side sheets (with a grid pattern print). I use a pencil to take notes with it. Ordinary ballpoints won't work when the pages are wet, but all-weather pens do. The cover is made from durable plastic. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. The small ones cost less than $4 each.
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The older I get, the hairier I get. I combat my fast-growing ear and nose hair with a Panasonic trimmer. Amazon is selling it for $10. It is easy to clean, and runs on a AA battery. Read the rest
Buy 3 Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peelers for $6.69. Keep one and give the other 2 to friends. They'll love you forever. Once I started using this, I got rid of my other, inferior peelers. Read the rest
This Arduino clone starter kit, at $28.34 on Amazon, is a really good deal. Besides the Arduino Uno clone itself, it has a full size solderless breadboard, a servo motor, a power supply, a distance sensor, a DC motor, jumper wires, a 4-digit 7-segment display, a stepper motor, a joystick, transistors, resistors, and a lot more. It comes in a nice plastic carrying case, too. Read the rest
Available as an add-on item on Amazon, this Kuru Toga pencil has a cool feature that rotates the lead incrementally every time you press it down on paper. That way, the tip stays nicely rounded. Here's a video of the spring-loaded clutch mechanism in action:
The pencil also has a metal sleeve that protects the lead, sliding into the pencil as the lead gets shorter. The sleeve retracts completely so you can lug it in a bag without having to worry about it getting bent or breaking off. Read the rest
I already have a metal plate on the back of my phone case because I use it with my magnetic car mount, so this magnetic desk mount looks like a good way to hold my phone on my desk. If your phone doesn't come with a plate, this mount includes one. It's regularly $15, but if you use code 87HFODR4 at checkout on Amazon, it's $9. Read the rest
I've owned these safety glasses for a long time. They're like regular safety glasses, but they have magnifiers at the bottom. I've found them to be useful when I use a rotary tool, bandsaw, or drill press. I can look down and see the details, and when I back up to see the big picture, it's not blurry because the upper part is not magnified. You can get them in a variety of strengths. Read the rest
I just bought this small bluetooth speaker (3.8 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches) made by Aukey because it has good reviews and is on sale for $6.88 when you use code FORMOM22. It's regularly $16. It comes with a built-in mic so you can use it as a speakerphone, too. It comes with a micro USB to 3.5mm audio cable so you can use it without Bluetooth, too. Read the rest
Use code FORMOM32 to get this 2-port USB wall charger for $6 (regularly $8). It's not much bigger (1.4" x 1.2" x 1.2") than the standard issue Apple iPhone charger, and the prongs fold back, making it good for travel bags. I use one when I'm traveling to charge my Phone, Kindle, Apple Watch, and battery pack. Read the rest
I bought this stand for my Fender Telecaster, which has previously taken up space on a couch. The ChromaCast CC-MINIGS Universal Folding Guitar Stand with Secure Lock has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon with over 1,400 reviews. It's very sturdy and the parts that touch the guitar are nice and soft so you won't scratch your beloved instrument. Read the rest
I used eight small disc magnets in this Raspberry Pi computer case that my daughter and I designed for playing the early 1980s game Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, and I have 112 magnets left over. The pack of 120 costs $10. I don't know if they're neodymium, but they're strong for their size. I'm planning to use them, whenever feasible, as a superior substitute to screws in every 3D project I make.
If you're attending Maker Faire this year, come to our talk and say hi. I'll give you a magnet, if I remember to bring them with me.
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This 115 piece first aid kit is perfect for keeping in your car. It's small but has sterile eye wash, conforming bandages in assorted sizes and shapes, adhesive plasters, first aid tape, wound dressings, crepe bandaging, an instant ice pack, a thermal blanket, a non-adherent pad, knuckle and fingertip fabric strips, elbow and knee bandages, safety pins, gloves, tweezers and scissors, all in a long-wearing green nylon bag. You have to be a Prime member to get it at the sale price of $7. Read the rest
Nitrile gloves are a cheap way to keep your hands clean. I've used them for bike and car work, clearing rat traps, wiping cat puke, cleaning grills, and countless other tasks. Amazon has a good deal on these textured nitrile gloves: 100 for $14. Read the rest
I joined the cult of the Instant Pot a couple months ago when the plastic housing around the steam valve on my 10-year-old Fagor pressure cooker cracked. Based on recommendations from a lot of people, I bought an Instant Pot to replace it. I've been very happy with it. It's even more foolproof than the Fagor. It is a built in slow cooker, pressure cooker, and rice cooker. It also makes yogurt but I haven't tried that feature yet. I've used it to make dozens of one pot meals: curries, sweet potatoes, squash soup, zucchini soup, and so on. There are lots of cookbooks written exclusively for Instant Pot, too.
Today Amazon is selling the 3-quart Instant Pot for $56. A good deal! Read the rest
The Arduino Nano is like a miniature Arduino Duemilanove not only is it tiny, but you can stick it into a breadboard. It costs $22, which is a good price for a genuine Arduino product, but since it is open source, there are a lot of low price clones available. Here's a 3-pack on Amazon for $13. Here's a 5-pack for $19. If you only need one, you can get it for $8, which includes the cable. Read the rest
Brush pens are fun for drawing and lettering because you can vary the line thickness. And unlike a brush, which requires frequent dipping into an inkwell, a brush pen is always loaded with ink (until the barrel runs out, that it.) This Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen includes one hard tip and one soft tip for $7. Or go nuts and by a 4-pack for $10. Read the rest
These flush-cut micro soft-wire cutters are made by Hakko. I use them to cut wire, zip-ties, and stray pieces of 3D printer filament. I have one in my toolbox and another on my workbench. At $4.43 (with free shipping on Amazn prime), they are a great deal. Read the rest