I love little simple life hacks and am constantly seeking out and inventing new ones. Here are three that you can do in the next ten minutes. None of them are going to save your life, but each one will improve your daily experience for the rest of your life.
Tighten up your Keychain
A couple months ago I was at the cafe in The Standard, my old stomping ground in LA. The waitress had a retractable keycard holder, something I'd been thinking of buying for the past few weeks, but hadn't remembered to actually purchase.
"Weird question-- where did you get that retractable thing? I've really wanted one for a couple weeks."
"Oh, they give them to us at work," she paused, "you can have mine. I'll just say I lost it."
I tipped her more than the thing could possible cost, and have been living in keychain bliss ever since. Put away your #1 Mom keychain and get yourself one of these sick puppies. Attach it to your waistband, and always have easy access to your keys. When you're done unlocking the door, just let go and the key goes back into place. While you're at it, throw one of these tiny little flashlights on there, too. I use mine all the time.
Actually, while we're optimizing your hip, get one of these as well. It's a tiny awesome pen that you can attach to your belt loop or even to your retractable thing if you don't have many keys. I use mine just about every day.
Learn to Tie Your Shoes like Ian
I used to tie my shoes like a peasant, and then I stumbled on this site, which is completely dedicated to tying shoes. Only on the internet. Five years later, I've never looked back. I can tie my shoes in just a second or two, and it's so satisfying that it makes me smile pretty much every time I do it.
Banish stupid newsletters
How annoying is it when you rent a car and then for the rest of eternity, or at least until you hit the unsubscribe button, you get a weekly newsletter on the best rental rates in Kentucky? Very annoying.
Here's a trick I came up with: add a filter in your email which searches the body for the text "subscribed", "unsubscribe", and "subscription". That will match pretty much every annoying newsletter. I have mine moved to a folder called "bulk", which I check once every few days. Since it's wholly immoral to use my own trick against me, put "tynan" in the "doesn't have" box if you use gmail.
wow, I had used that same site years ago and retie all my civilian shoes in some of the fancy designs they have
all these are solid, I'd add the micro whistle... combined with LED it's crucial for hailing cabs after the club omgwtflol
I use one of those police keychain holders for your belt - they are great, your keys don't juggle or take up room in your pocket
I think you can also snag those retractable keychains at a hardware store.
I haven't tied a shoe in months. Been wearing VFF. And tonight I went out in slippers haha.
I haven't touched a key in months either. I don't really lock doors.
The single pen I own sits in my laptop bag, and I think the only time I use it is for filling out arrival/departure cards when going through customs.
Good idea with the email filter. I'm adding that one now!
Nothing like a good ol' de-cluttering to simplify life. Feels great too. Another quick tip related to your keychain: get rid of any you don't use everyday. I use to have like 10 keys on mine, now I'm down to 3. Nice post man.
A pretty weak post, all love though man :_!
The Keychain thing? Meh, I just got a carabiner.
My brother had suggested it and I've never looked back, I think the bad looks bad ass anyway :).
My phone old phone, the boulder from verizon wireless, used to have a little LED light on it, it was the best thing in the world :D!
The knot thing? Meh, I don't do the wrong one, but don't mind spending the extra 5 seconds tying my shoes :P. Lame post! There are always good ones, so I am happy to hear there is a super secret cool thing coming :)!
Email thing though.... That's actually a pretty good idea, although I'd never read that bulk folder.
My mom has one of those keychains. Not very "hip" ;). The Ian tie looks awesome, though I stopped tying my shoes years ago. Now I got them preset at the tightness I like and simply keep them tied and use them like slip ons.
Ever though of getting one of those keys that have a flashlight built right in? You can minimize your need for an extra flashlight by turning your main key into one.
Our most popular Life Nomadic article last year was our complete packing list. Since then we've learned a lot, made a lot of changes, and managed to pack a lot more into the same tiny amount of space.
There are a few areas where slight improvement could be made, which you'll hear me talk about in the video, but overall this collection of stuff represents everything a traveler needs to travel through just about anywhere on the planet, live comfortably, and keep connected.
I've consolidated most of the stuff I pack into an Amazon store, which you can access here: Life Nomadic Store. If you use that link, or the Amazon links below, I get a commission. Other good places to buy this sort of gear are ebay and outdoor shops like REI and MEC, although neither store carries most of the gear.
James Dines had a quote that said never try to cheap out on food, shoes, or financial advice. I completely agree with him on the topic of shoes. We spend most of our waking life in our shoes and they have a tremendous impact on the well being of our existence. I remember working for my Aunt for a summer, and I had terrible shoes, but didn’t really know it. I knew they were old and beat up, but I didn’t know how much pain they were causing my feet. I figured my feet hurt because I wasn’t use to working standing up. Every night I would get home and my feet would be screaming with pain, but I just figured that was normal. It wasn’t until that same Aunt convinced me to step up my shoe purchase to a $160 shoe that I truly got to see the difference that higher quality shoes make. My feet no longer hurt when I walked, and I actually started to enjoy it. As time went on, I ended up stepping my taste up another level to Alden dress shoes. I think shoes are a simple solution for creating personal well being.
A major benefit I realized when I switched over from sub $200 shoes to my expensive leather dress shoes, is that my feet no longer smelled. This was a major deal for me, because my feet could gag a maggot before. They smelled like burnt popcorn and the second I took my feet out of my shoes, the odor would hit. Which sucked cause my feet were super hot in my shoes and it felt nice to let them cool off. With my Alden’s I have yet to have that problem. I have one pair of shoes that I have owned for a year and a half, and have wore damn near everyday for the last 5 months, and absolutely no smell. There are two factors in creating an environment where your shoes don’t stink. The first part is getting new shoes, with a preference for leather lining like Alden, Allen Edmond’s or any other fine shoe maker. This limits the space that bacteria can grow inside of your shoe and makes them faster to dry out, which is also really important. The next factor is adding in new socks, and with a strong preference to Merino wool. Merino wool will keep your feet cooler, help to dissipate the moisture, and naturally repel odors. It is hard to go wrong with this combination. Recently I worked a week straight with the same socks and shoes each day, and it wasn’t until the end of the week where I found any hint of odor. The odor was only in the socks, so I gave them a wash, and they are as good as new.
The next major benefit that comes to mind with my nice dress shoes is the comfort factor. With goodyear welted shoes, your feet are sitting on a bed of cork. As you walk, your feet naturally impress into the sole, making a custom molded shoe. The benefit of this can’t be overstated. After just 2 or 3 weeks the shoes are designed to fit like a glove to your feet, and your feet only. I had a friend tell me that it took over a year for his cheap dress shoes to get comfortable, and it is now getting close to time where they need to be replaced. Whereas with my shoes, I went through a few weeks of pain, have custom molded shoes I love, which will last me for 20+ years if I treat them right.
Goodyear Welted shoes are designed so that the sole of the shoe can be replaced, so that the livelihood of the shoe is extended to 20 years if the shoes are taken care of. On one of the Alden forum’s, a man named McArthur has a pair of loafers from 1974 that he still wears, and they look better today due to the patina than the day he bought them.