Two cool tools
This month I discovered two of the best new tools — one high-tech, the other decidedly low-tech — that I’ve encountered in a long time. Both are pictured (sorta) over here —–>
The first is TokBox, which my brother hipped me to a couple of weeks ago. TokBox offers free, real-time videoconferencing that actually works pretty well. No software to download either. All you need is a browser, a broadband connection, and a camera (like the built-in ones that are standard on most laptops). What’s more, you can use TokBox to send video-emails — which also work decently most of the time. Those, too, are free. Free. More info here.
The second tool is Field Notes notebooks, from Draplin Design and Coudal Partners. (Full disclosure: the Coudalians are pals, but I ordered my notebooks like anyone else and I’m commenting on them without any reward or expectation thereof.) Now, I like Moleskines. In fact, I use this kind and this kind. But I’ve always thought there was something a bit, I dunno, precious or dear about them. They’re fairly expensive. And sometimes I hesitate before writing something down so as not to “waste” a page. Plus, they’re a tad bulky. I’ve taken to carrying mine in my backpack rather than in my pocket. Field Notes, though, are the most pocket-friendly notebooks I’ve used — perfectly sized for shirts, light enough for jackets, flexibly conforming for pants. To be fair, Moleskine has a somewhat similar product. But Field Notes also have a great retro look — a hip, utilitarian brown paper cover and Futura typeface throughout. Writing in them, I imagine John Steinbeck taking notes for the Federal Writers’ Project. Too bad he didn’t have TokBox, too.