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QuickNote: Work from Home? “Forest therapy” = your BFF

When you work from home and Love your work, it’s too easy to find yourself indoors for days at a time. If that statement hits a nerve (guilty!), adopt a new habit → schedule Out & About time. One word: crucial!

In another study, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol in subjects in the forest when compared to those in the city. “Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy,” they concluded.

Source: Business Insider
11 Reasons You Should Go Outside

Top 4 Mechanical Pencils: Personal Faves

TL;DR

Mechanical pencils are everywhere. Quality is not. My list of tried-&-true faves follows.

Estimated Reading Time: 1:52 min

✧︎︎︎1✧︎︎︎ Uni Kuru Toga: ever-sharp winner

The Kuru Toga’s claim to fame rests with a unique internal mechanism. Each time you lift your hand from the paper, the lead auto-rotates, resulting in a near-constant sharp point. Because I favor the ultra-rich print from 4B lead, that auto-rotation proves golden. Soft lead like the 4B would go flat in a heartbeat in other pencils.

→ Amazon, JetPens, eBay.

Several additional colors of the Kuru Toga are available. (I add scotch tape to a barrel to signify installation of 4B lead.)

Several additional colors of the Kuru Toga are available. (I add scotch tape to a barrel to signify installation of 4B lead.)

✧︎︎︎2✧︎︎︎ Zebra DelGuard ER: lead-longevity champ

Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencils

Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencils

In an ideal world, I’d write with a 0.3mm pencil without being punished throughout the writing process. Reality intrudes, witnessing broken lead tips waaaaay too frequently. This Zebra DelGuard wonder bucks the mainstream. I’m told an internal mechanism cushions the lead. Breakage may not be eliminated but it is indeed minimized. That makes this baby a keeper! I so enjoy the 0.3mm model that I later grabbed its 0.5mm sibling. Physically, this 0.5mm is more comfortable than the Kuru Toga, but the latter retains its EDC status per its sharp tip.

→ Amazon, JetPens, eBay.

✧︎︎︎3✧︎︎︎ Pentel Sharp Kerry: beauty contestant

I never expected to see the word “beautiful” within a sentence exploring mechanical pencils. Then I discovered this gem. Stylish to a delightful extreme, the pencil also feels good in hand. (I added grip cushions to the black and blue models for a dryer grip.) The eraser is a joke, a problem vexing all but the next item on this list. I’m partial to the orange and purple versions, matching same-colored Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pens.

Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencils

Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencils

I started with this baby in 2009, growing my collection through the years. I’m nerdy enough to also match each with the now-rare Sensa Cloud ink pen. The ever-sharp prowess of the Kuru Toga relegated these eye-candy gems to second-tier status. But I still enjoy them from time to time, so they remain in my “preferred” stash.

→ Amazon, eBay.

✧︎︎︎4✧︎︎︎ Pentel Twist-Erase: true eraser (!)

To my knowledge, the Twist-Erase stands alone in presenting an eraser worthy of the name. And, the eraser remains accessible at all times, i.e. no cap to remove (and lose). Turn the barrel to extend/retract the eraser, which never seems to end. IMHO, best bang for the buck per style + eraser.

→ Anywhere, including Staples.

Twist-Erase mechanical pencils. Sadly, no orange variant.

Twist-Erase mechanical pencils. Sadly, no orange variant.

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Did I miss your fave? Please, educate me in the Comments!

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QuickNote: The Best Fountain Pens for Taking Notes

Hey, any “best of pens” list including both the Pilot Vanishing Point and Platinum Preppy pulls my thumbs up 👍🏽!

Fountain pens aren’t just for practicing fancy calligraphy in a mahogany-walled office surrounded by antiques. They’re functional writing instruments …

Source: The Best Fountain Pens for Taking Notes – edjelley.com – Fountain Pen, Ink, and Stationery Reviews

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T-Mobile’s DIGITS number sharing service rolls out on May 31st

Business and personal number, ringing the same line for calls and SMS, among other handy configurations. Ahhh, competition can be sweet!

T-Mobile announced a bets test for its DIGITS service last year, and at long last the beta is over. DIGITS will roll out to all subscribers on May 31st, an… by Ryan Whitwam in Carriers, News, T-Mobile, Videos

Source: T-Mobile’s DIGITS number sharing service rolls out on May 31st

How to Embrace a Stationery Obsession with Organization

~TL;DR~

From fountain to rollerball to Frixion pens; highlighters to markers; A5 to B5 journals; A6 to flip-over pocket size notebooks; and, the BFFs of pens/mechanical pencils dubbed refills — the need for order cries out from the buried home office desk. Conjuring organizational nirvana involves (1) thinking through how you spend your time with assorted tools; and (2) devising a scheme embracing your workflow. This article details one woman’s roadmap to DeClutteredVille.

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My 4 Joyful Obsessions Powering Blow Your Mind Productivity

TL;DR

Have you noticed? Productivity intentions mimic a child immune to lectures. I can tell myself to do something; or, I can incorporate a guaranteed smile-inducer into the endeavor,  tossing resistance. Joyful obsession blossoms from a seed of delight. Like ivy vines snaking a wall, delight infects all it touches—including mundane tasks. What I love grabs/ holds/ propels me—here, in the direction of my agenda. Outside of family and cherished friends, the following details the nature, and impact, of my four primary joyful obsessions.

Estimated Reading Time: 14 minutes

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How to Create a Workspace that Motivates You

Joyful Obsessions as Key

Incorporating joyful obsessions plays to the kid within. That kid gravitates toward what he/she likes. Because assorted nods to my photography hobby and stationery nerdiness surround me, sitting at my home office desk begins, and ends, with internal smiles. That spells a relaxed spirit which, in turn, juices creativity.

A motivating work station coerces daily productivity, easing me closer to my goals. In short, it works with rather than against me. Pay attention, friends– is your work station friend or foe?