A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We post things we like and ignore the rest. Suggestions for tools much better than what is recommended here are always wanted.
Claudia's "I wish" list This year on my holiday wishlist are 6 objects to improve my work-life balance, which includes a new machine-washable rug for my home office and desk chair, some tools to alleviate stress and glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos — just for fun. Check it out here. — CD
Favorite peppermint tea I recently ordered a cup of peppermint tea at a restaurant, and it made all the other mint teas I’ve had in the past taste like lawn clippings. I ordered a box on Amazon. It’s called Smith Teamaker’s Peppermint Leaves No. 45. – MF
Mini Wikipedia Wikipedia is so valuable to me that I have a mini version of it on my phone so I have access to it anywhere in the world anytime. I use Kiwix, a free app for iOS and Android, that parks a 13GB file with 6.6 million Wikipedia articles – without images. (The version with images is ). With Kiwix I can get Wikipedia on a boat, in the wilderness, or anywhere beyond cell service. You’ll want to download via wifi it cause it takes a long while. – KK
Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories For the last several years, the cartoonist Seth has been designing and illustrating an annual series of beautiful little books, called Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories. This year’s series includes A Visit by Shirley Jackson, The Corner Shop by Lady Asquith, and The Dead and the Countess by Gertrude Atherton. – MF
Collaborate with scientists NASA has a page dedicated to their Citizen Science Projects where you can volunteer to help make scientific discoveries, like mapping bird diversity, cloud gazing, tracing patches of kelp, or identifying celestial objects in search of Planet Nine. Currently, there are 30 projects open to anyone in the world, and most can be done with just a cellphone or laptop. — CD
Happiness and wealth guide One of the better books of I’ve read that is crammed with very good and actionable advice for gaining happiness, success, and wealth is The Alamanack of Naval Ravikant, which is generously (a key skill!) available as a free PDF. I found myself agreeing with most of the advice. Kindle and printed book versions are sold on Amazon. – KK