My Favorite Discoveries of Q4 2021
The first post in a running series where I catalog my favorite discoveries of the past quarter. Primarily apps, books, programming tools…
Last updated: Mon Jan 03 2022
I should probably start with the tool that helped me correct the title and subhead I just wrote. This app is the best tool I discovered this past quarter. I was impressed with Hemingway (what I was using before), but Grammarly blows it out of the water.
It has helped make me a better writer and understand how I sound to others. I use it almost every time I touch a keyboard, and apps that provide that type of constant utility are worth their weight in gold.
2. Moonlander Keyboard
I love ergonomics, and I love efficiency. This keyboard is the perfect combination of the two. I think that is saying a lot because I had the Kinesis Advantage 2 before the Moonlander and was plenty happy with it.
The Moonlander has a special place in my heart because I shattered my wrist and bought the keyboard to put the left half on my lap and still type. Now that I’m healed up, it is still my absolute favorite ergo product I own.
Check out my Moonlander keyboard configuration walkthrough to see how I’m using it for maximum efficiency. The best part about Moonlander is configuring each key for tap, double-tap, hold, and tap-hold key bindings. For instance, I bound holding C to “Copy” and V to “Paste.”
3. American Giant’s Greatest Hoodie Ever Made
I practically bought this hoodie out of spite. Proclaiming you make the greatest hoodie ever is a significant declaration (as well as an utterly hollow marketing tactic that absolutely worked on me).
I’m happy to say that the declaration has proven true up to this point in my life. I LOVE this hoodie. It’s comfortable, heavy, warm, soft, extremely well made-the list goes on. American Giant kicks ass. I wear their tees almost exclusively as well.
4. It Takes Two for Playstation
- Link: Playstation Store
- Referrer: A TikTok video I can’t find
I’ve been trying to get my significant other to play video games with me for a long time. Your typical shooter or strategy game is a little too stressful to consider enjoyable at 9 pm after a workday. We can’t do the proverbial Portal or Portal 2 on Playstation, so having It Takes Two has been great.
The gameplay is fun. The story is fun. The whole damn thing is fun. The best part is dying isn’t penalized; it becomes a part of experimentation and exploration that is necessary and funny. That gameplay change alone has taken off a lot of the pressure of playing and made the experience much more… fun.
5. Chakra UI
I’m cheating a little with this one. I discovered Chakra in June 2021. I have used it for every web application I have created since, including SVG Gobbler, Fomo Crypto Calculator, and my upcoming project, Cryptocons.io.
On the one hand, I am so happy to have found Chakra because I love using it. But, on the other hand, I’m peeved. I’ve been working professionally in Design Systems for a little over six years now, and Chakra is exactly what I imagined in my mind as the ideal design system implementation.
It incorporates 3rd party methodologies I have advocated for, including Styled System and Emotion. The naming conventions are consistent. The APIs balance a problematic line of exposing meaningful configuration options without being overwhelming. It’s extendable and well-typed. I love it.
6. Stitches and Radix
Stitches and Radix is my new favorite thing on the planet. Everything about it feels intuitive to use. I love Chakra, but I’ve noticed that it always looks like Chakra no matter how much I customize the theme. Stitches and Radix give me the tools to create an accessible experience with more visual affordance. It’s my new go-to when I need more control over the visual aesthetic. I’m looking forward to the product this infrastructure is being built for: Modulz.