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Divider sticky notes /Decibel X/Public speaking tip



October 27 · Issue #171 · View online

A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. For a searchable archive of past issues check out

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If you’re enjoying Recomendo, check out Book Freak, which shares short pieces of advice from books once a week and What’s in my bag?— each week one interesting person shares four favorite things in their bag.

Organize your notebooks
I’m a notebook hoarder/collecter and regularly use 2-3 different notebooks a day for work, journaling, lists, brain dumps, etc. Sometimes I need to flag pages to revisit and instead of post-it notes, I’ve been using these Redi-Tag Divider Sticky Notes ($5). These are so useful for indexing your notebooks and annotating pages. I’m still spread out all over the place, but this helps me keep track of what’s important. — CD
Measuring noise with your phone
Decibel X is an app for the iPhone ($3.99 per month, also available on Android) that is a noise meter. It pretty accurately measures noise on a decibel scale. I use it to monitor the noise levels in restaurants and workplaces in an effort to increase quiet. When I am recording podcasts I use it to ensure there’s little background noise. It’s also entertaining and instructive to measure sound levels outside in nature and urban areas. — KK
The only thing you need to know about public speaking
“The only thing that truly matters in public speaking is not confidence, stage presence, or smooth talking. It’s having something worth saying.” This is from Chris Anderson’s book, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. — MF
Werewolf, intense social game
When we meet for family reunions, or gather with friends, our favorite group game is Werewolf. Classrooms and corporate retreats also play Werewolf. It’s a deduction/deception game, extremely social, that is as much fun to watch as to play, so it can involve everyone. The games are exhilarating, surprising, and addictive. The only gear you need are some cards. While you can get by with an ordinary deck of cards, a set of dedicated Werewolf cards makes it much easier. After you’ve played a number of basic games, it’s easy and fun to play with variations, which are supported by this deck of Apostrophe Werewolf cards ($11). — KK
Battery powered security light
The Lumenology Portable LED Motion Sensor Light ($30) is powered by three AA batteries. It has a light detector and motion detector, so it shines only when it detects motion at night (saving the battery charge). It comes with two different mounts: one is magnetic and the other is a flexible tripod that can work as a regular tripod or be wrapped around a pole or a branch. I used the magnetic mount on my front gate and it shines a bright, wide spot of light for 30 seconds when anyone comes to the gate. — MF
More eyeballing measurement tips
Recomendo reader Wendy shared a follow-up tip to last week’s Recomendo, she says “Another tip I read once about eyeballing measurements is to take pinches of salt and place them in your other hand till you think you have a teaspoon, then measure it against a real teaspoon. Do the pinches over and over till you get a consistent amount per teaspoon. I figured mine out so that I get ¼ teaspoon per pinch. Super handy for salting stuff, but also works with herbs. But in the case of herbs, remember how much a teaspoon looked like in your palm.” — CD
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
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