The Very Useful – The 2018 Holiday Edition

Ahhh Christmas time. But what the hell do you get your brother? Your dad? Your best bud? Your Wife? Your kids?

Allow Podcast Notes to help. Without further ado, we present our favorite purchases of 2018.


  • The Oura Ring (Use the code “podcastnotes” for $50 off at checkout)

This was by far my favorite purchase of 2018. I used to suck at sleep. I hated it. 7 hours in bed was more than enough for me….so I thought. Then I heard this AMAZING podcast with Dr. Matthew Walker on Joe Rogan (check out the Podcast Notes). This was a game changer for me. I had never realized how important sleep was.

The Oura Ring is the best sleep tracker on the market. It’s a small ring, about the size of a wedding band. For a quick primer on what it can do, check out these Podcast Notes from the founder’s appearance on Bulletproof Radio. Each night, it measures the amount of deep, REM, and light sleep you get, as well as your body temperature, heart rate variability, and your resting heart rate. As a general goal, you want to obtain at least 1.5 hours of REM sleep, 1.5 hours of deep sleep, and hit your lowest resting heart rate in the first third of your sleep cycle – this is the recipe for a perfect night’s sleep.

We partnered up with the folks at Oura Ring for this one, so make sure to use the code “podcastnotes” at checkout for $50 off your ring.

It comes down to this – what gets measured gets managed. If you want to improve your sleep habits start here.

The Oura Ring is backed up at the moment. I’m not sure of their shipping times, but it’d be wise to double check with them to see if it will arrive by Christmas.

This is the best sleep mask I’ve ever come across. It’s comfortable, it’s silky, what’s not to love?

The more I read, the more I realize that sleeping in a dark room (or wearing a sleep mask)  is 100% necessary for a solid night’s sleep (data confirmed by my Oura Ring).


If you want an idea of what the future will look like when everyone has at least one wireless earbud in their ear at all times, this is your chance.

They’re super comfortable. So comfortable, that you’ll probably forget you’re wearing them.  Try going back to earbuds with wires after wearing these; you won’t be able to.

These are perfect for quickly dipping in and out of your favorite podcasts or audiobooks, without having to deal with untangling a bunch of wires and plugging in.

I wear these things for 8 hours every day. Headphones on, world out. They’re comfortable and the sound quality is perfect.

This backpack is the best everyday carry backpack I’ve found. It’s sleek, it’s sturdy, and it looks good. My favorite thing about it? It stands up straight when you set it down, without tipping over.

Keeping charging cables, headphones, pens, etc. organized has always been a pain during travel. This clever grid system has been a much welcomed addition.


“Though shall not have the upside without bearing the downside yourself. You need to own your own risk.” 

Nassim’s latest is truly unique, and if read deeply (and repeatedly) it contains many key lessons on life, and who should, or should not, be trusted. For more on Nassim, check out our notes from his discussion with Naval Ravikant at BLOCKCON 2018, as well as the Podcast Notes from his appearance on The Likeville Podcast.

Another one of my favorite reads this year. Kapil is a modern day Buddha, truly making me question everything I thought I knew about this thing called life.

For a taste of Kapil, check out the Podcast Notes from his latest appearance on The 33voices Dialogue.


God damn I love this stuff. Yes I just said that about soap. It’s all in one, and it’s organic. I use it for my hair, my face, and as body wash – I haven’t had a pimple since. If you plan on using it as shampoo, I’ve found it helpful to add some JoJoba oil (one bottle will last you for years).

I used to not care about the idea of using “organic soap”. I mean it’s soap, not something you eat. But my opinion has changed the more research I do. It matters what you rub on your body every day. Who knows what the long term effects are of using $1.25 Suave body wash 2x a day.

A quick mention from the podcast world – Dr. Bredesen recommended using a non-emollient castile soap in these Podcast Notes, like Dr. Bronner’s,  after using the sauna to prevent toxin re-penetration.

This is the perfect gift for any workout junkie. It stays in my gym bag and I use it every single time I bench.

It’s perfect for benching if you have any form of shoulder pain, as it takes the load off the shoulders and focuses it more on the chest muscles. It also adds a few extra pounds to your lift, allowing you to really nail those heavy sets. All in all, it’s a great tool to add to your benching routine.

Mark and Chris Bell, the creators, talk about it a bit in these Podcast Notes from their appearance on Joe Rogan.


I’ve found these to be far more engaging with my kids than Legos (also great). They can start to build basic things by the time they are 2-3, and my 5 year old keeps coming up with novel creations. This is about creativity and letting kids go in any direction they want. The more sets you buy, the greater the potential. This set is more than enough to get started, but smaller sizes are available too.

This is a life changer when traveling with kids. No need to truck around booster seats on planes, etc. This clever solution brings the seatbelt lower, rather than boosting the kid higher. The result is something that fits easily into your backpack.



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