June 22nd, 2008
A Mini Wallet Pen
I have a mini stainless steel pen that fits nicely in my wallet (I have a Zebra one which costs about $3). My PalmPilot days probably initiated this habit. The PDA came with a stylus+pen which I used regularly (the pen, not the PDA). I no longer use a PDA, relying solely on my phone’s organiser functions, but there are many benefits to having a pen with you at all times:
- Reduce waiting time Very useful for filling in forms at the bank or contest entries at the supermarket — you don’t have to wait for the counter pens to be free or be faced with pens that run out of ink after writing the first letter.
- Make new friends There will always be someone you who’d want to borrow a pen – at a busy conference, in the plane, etc. Ran out of business cards? Just write your details on a scrap of paper and voila instant business card!
- Never lose an inspired thought The back of my receipts are filled with notes written at the point inspiration struck — ideas for design and writing, thoughts on world domination. I also write down questions to Google later when I’m at my PC.
A Measuring Tape
I also have a measuring tape in my wallet. What kind of tape fits in a wallet? The paper tape measure from Ikea! It’s free, light and can fit in most wallets (you can cut half away to fit smaller wallets). What can you do with it? Let’s see:
- Reduce disagreements and inaccuracies I find it especially useful when needing to communicate the exact size of posters with my clients when I’m called to an out-of-office location. Tip for designers – mark standard paper sizes on the tape, then you’ll never have to guesstimate how wide an A2 sheet is.
- Make new friends Everyone needs to measure something now and then right? But who’d thought of carrying a tape measure with them all the time? Sure, if you’re a real estate agent, otherwise you’re probably be the one of the few people around with a portable ruler. That may earn you a friend or two.
- Never lose the opportunity to experiment Are yard-long beans really 3-feet long? Nope. Are Subway’s Footlong sandwiches exactly 12-inches long? Sometimes. Is your definition of “1 inch” different from the hairdresser’s? Yes.
Apart from the obvious (cash, cards, etc) what interesting or useful things do you have in your wallet?