I'm obsessed with these tools
A mid-year list of products I use every day. Plan Your Next #117
👋 Good morning from Los Angeles! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #117 of Plan Your Next. A Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.
For those who are new here, this post is a bit of an outlier to the standard newsletter format.
But, I’ll be back next week with a regular post.
This week I wanted to share a few things I’ve been obsessed with recently.
The best notebook
If I had a dream client, I would love to build the brand and site for the Mnemosyne notebook. The Maruman Mnemosyne A5 unruled landscape-oriented (Hello southpaws) notebook with smooth paper that accepts any type of ink. There are several formats, but I enjoy a blank page in a smaller A5 format. (5.8” x 8.25”)
The best pencil you can buy
The Blackwing matte Pencil is one of the smoothest lead pencils you’ll find. It’s also painfully beautiful. (Except for the anxiety bite marks you’ll inevitably leave if you’re like me)
The best standalone eraser
No eraser exists on the end of a pencil that is worth your time. Prove me wrong. But in the meantime, stop using an all-in-one pencil eraser. Buy this instead and keep it near your desk. Plus, they’re just fun to use.
The best pen
We all need a good pen. But there’s the ink, and then there’s the pen itself. Personally, I love the ink in Muji gel pens, but I hate holding the plastic pen. It’s too skinny and flimsy. Studio Neat’s custom Mark One comes as close to a perfect pen as I can find. I have a limited edition orange pen, but you can find a few colorways on their site.
The best paper to-do list
In general, I’d recommend a digital to-do list. But, I augment that system with a manual to-do list called Analog from Ugmonk. What I actually love most is the simple stand, propping it up in front of me all day. But everything about it is high-quality, from the paper stock to the wooden stand. It’s gorgeous, and the system is well thought through.
The best show I watched this year
Earlier this year I sat outside by our fire pit, and my friend Jason asked, “Have you seen the show Dropout?” I had not, but I gobbled up the Hulu show as fast as possible. Amanda Seyfriend is uncanny, and I don’t think I’ve been hooked as quickly as I was for a show like this.
The best washable face mask
Admittedly I’m still wearing a mask inside most places—especially because we have a 15-month-old—but this is well designed and comfortable. The best part is the lanyard, so I just hang it around my neck most of the time.
The best water bottle
I had to replace my water bottle recently and went with an insulated one from Purist Collective. The matte black feel, with the twist-off lid, sold me. The scope lid looks interesting, but I haven’t tried it.
The best body wash
I haven’t wavered in about 10 years, but I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap (plus loofah) non-stop. I usually prefer the eucalyptus or peppermint, but you really can’t go wrong.
The best Pomodoro timer
I keep a cheap and simple 30-min Pomodoro hourglass timer at my desk, and it’s a convenient way to signal that it’s time to work.
👨💻 Software I use daily
Here’s a quick hit list of things I can’t live without right now.
Figma: Everyone should know how to use this. Stop using Canva and use Figma.
Notion: I do most of my planning here, and
Roam: I journal and take notes on everything I read within Roam. I hate the UI, but it works and brings about some of the ideas that persistently seem lost.
Webflow: I use this for all of my sites. I’m constantly writing and publishing directly from Webflow.
Twitter: I spend way too much time on this app, but it’s where I’ve made countless friendships.
What are you using that you’re obsessed with? I’d love to know!
👋 See you next Sunday
As always, my calendar is open to chat about your next adventure, crazy idea, or if you’re feeling creatively stuck.
My goal is to level up the visual vocabulary in the world through my writing, teaching, and design. If you want to support my journey, the best ways are to:
Sign up for the 80/20 design challenge
Become a sponsor of this newsletter (Starting at $50—Please reach out)
Discover your own unique style by joining my live workshop
Have a great week,
p.s. Words are just words, but if these words made you feel something, would you let me know by tapping on the heart below?