Favorite Things

Some might consider this a “Using” page, a “Recommendations page” or something equivalent. Simply put, it’s a list of the tools and things I find incredibly useful and intriguing. Most of them are things I either use on a daily basis or couldn’t get along without. They’re things I love and have no reservations in recommending others use.

Some are underappreciated, unknown, and deserve wider adoption. I hope you find the list useful and may find your next favorite thing while browsing them.


Samsung Galaxy 6
Kindle Paperwhite e-reader – I use only for reading, highlighting, and notetaking
Kindle Fire 7″ HD used primarily with Balto Speed Reading and for Netflix
Roku – (considering upgrade to a newer Premiere+ streaming player)
Google Chromecast – fantastic for sending video from almost any device to my television

Daily Tools

Uni Kuru Toga 0.5mm mechanical pencil – beautiful, stylish, and robust
Livescribe Echo Pen 8GB
Markings journal by C.R. Gibson – 5″x8″, square ruled as a bullet journal
Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag
Zojurishi Travel Mug




LaTeX – a document preparation system
MikTeX – my specific implementation of LaTeX
WinEdt – my preferred text editor
Calibre – a spectacular database tool for storing, sorting, and maintaining e-books
OneNote – a wonderful note taking tool that’s integrated into my email, do do lists, etc.


Amazon Prime
Spotify (music streaming, discovery)

Android Apps

Balto Spped Reading – Uses rapid serial visual presentation to improve reading speed. Great for reading newspaper/magazine articles and fiction. This particular app is one of the few that can handle the DRM on Kindle books properly.
Office Lens – great for capturing documents (a digital scanner in photo format)
Feedly – a great feed reader
Woodwind.xyz – a fantastic indie feed reader which integrates with my website
Antenna Pod – my favorite new podcatcher; it does almost everything I could want including the ability to listen at higher speeds than 1x.
Nuzzel – awesome algorithmic news feeds based on my Twitter and Facebook accounts
GoodReads – how can any reader do without this?
Waze – the de rigueur traffic app for living in Los Angeles
Pushbullet – an app that mirrors my phone to my computer desktop; it allows for notifications, texts, and phone calls to pop up on my computer as well as sending data to my other connected devices.
URL forwarder

Website Tools

IndieWeb Plugin


Reading.am – marking items as “I’m reading right now” which then flows into my PressForward workflow
Spritzlet– for using rapid serial visual presentation for speed reading web articles
Huffduffer – A site for bookmarking audio for both discovery and for creating podcast feeds for easy subscription. I REALLY love Huffduffer!
Known Stream – allows for quick posts to my Known CMS installation
PressForward nominate – for bookmarking articles to read later


This page was primarily inspired by a few posts I’d written about “What I’m Using” which in turn were inspired by LifeHacker, Supersite for Windows, and The Actor’s Studio among others. I’ve recently come across some conversation on the general topic, some of which is influenced by the Now movement.

Below are some of these more recent sources:

I suspect I may still do annual(ish) posts like the others, but it seems interesting/useful to have a shorter aggregated page for readers to have a quicker list view of these items. In some sense, portions of the longer posts are now chunked out in my Now page which is updated a few times a month.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links to online stores, but my goal is truly to help others rather than make a profit. The pittance I make on the site from these links generally doesn’t even cover hosting costs. If I didn’t purchase a product with my own money, it won’t be listed here. Absolutely none of these recommendations are paid placements. Manufacturers and marketers are highly discouraged from contacting me about paid placements. Readers are encouraged and welcome to share with me what they’re using. I love recommendations for awesome things.

2 thoughts on “Favorite Things”


  • Douglas Beal
  • Douglas Beal

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