January 9th, 2014/Books, Gear and Reviews/By /

Books, Gear and Reviews: Ngo’s Favorite Gear Volume 1

People have enjoyed my book recommendations as of late so I thought I’d expand it to other products. I’m always on the hunt for buying cool things that make my life easier.

I think seeing how someone spends their money, shows insights into what they value and what they’re focusing on.

If you’ve bought anything useful I might be interested in checking out then please leave a comment.

The Roost Stand

The-Roost-MacBook-Stand

What: Portable Laptop Stand
Price: $80
Buy: therooststand.com
Score: 8.5/10

Whenever I go to a coffee shop, I can only work for a few hours before I have back and neck pain. You’re not meant to work hunched over a laptop.

You’re suppose to have a laptop stand that can bring the screen to eye level, but the problem is the stands on the market aren’t that portable.

Enter the roost stand. I discovered it on kickstarter a year ago and I finally have one in my hands.

Here it is in action. It was difficult to get working at first because the laptop attached to the stand via hinges.

Keep in mind you’re suppose to use an external mouse + keyboard with it. I use the apple bluetooth keyboard and an external magic trackpad. Everything’s quite portable so I have a mini office in my backpack where ever I go.

Pros: Portable, small, great construction
Cons: Pricey at $80, I think the design could be improved with how the stand holds the laptop.

The Grid Foam Roller

smrt-core-product1What: Foam Roller for self massages
Price: $36
Where: Amazon (I bought the orange color in case you care)
Score: 9/10

Here’s a basic explanation and tutorial.

Think of it as a way to give yourself a massage, and relieve muscle tightness. Before they were used mainly for athletes, but they’ve gained a lot of popularity lately for the everyday crowd.

You need a foam roller if you workout or you’re sitting at the desk all day. This helps break down scar tissue and keeps your muscles healthy.

I spend about 10 minutes a day using this in the morning. If you want a routine then there are plenty of tutorials in youtube. I’ve used cheaper foam rollers before, but I find the grid design to be beneficial

Here it is in action

Protip: Buy a lacrosse / tennis ball as well to focus on those sore spots.

Grid-it!

cocoon-grid-it-2What: Customizable Portable Organizer
Price: Varies. $15 as pictured.
Where: Amazon
Score: 9.5/10

I saw my friend Thanh rocking one of these on his Facebook and I quickly ordered one.

The picture is pretty self-explanatory. It’s just an easy way for me to hold all of my accessories in my laptop bag such as chargers, wires, mouses, external hard drive, etc.

Juggling Balls

What: Juggling balls
Price: $8
Where: Amazon
Score: dude they’re just balls

Yep, I am learning how to juggle.

One of my focuses this year is improving my brain. From various research I saw some studies on how learning juggling can actually improve gray matter. Here’s the article.

It’s not necessarily about juggling, but more about learning new complex skills. Learning new things keeps your brain healthy. This year I also have plans to learn chess online and maybe start learning how to play the piano.

I haven’t actually gotten the juggling down yet so I can’t comment on if it helps or not. However feel free to join my experiment and share your results.

Chocolate Green Superfood

AMG-93300-5

What: Supplement to get your daily vegetables intake.
Price: $20 for 1 month supply.
Where: Amazon
Score: 8/10

We all know eating vegetables is good for you, but how many of us are actually getting the proper amount each day. 

Here comes wheatgrass superfood, which is wheatgrass in powder form. Its suppose to help boost your immune system and energy levels.

I’ve had a few before and I couldn’t drink them because they tasted like shit. That’s when I discovered there’s a chocolate version!

The chocolate flavor makes the drink tolerable and I drink a glass of it each day (mixed with water)

I do feel like I have more energy whenever I take this. But I can’t guarantee that it’s not placebo working, and other factors in my life aren’t affecting my energy levels. Anyways I don’t eat enough vegetables and this helps ease my guilt.