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Products I Couldn't Live Without in 2014

Steve Schlafman
Steve Schlafman
5 min read
Products I Couldn't Live Without in 2014

Every year around the holidays, my buddy and fellow Patriots fan, Ryan Spoon, compiles a list of his favorite products. I’ve always enjoyed reading his annual post so I’ve decided to follow his lead and curate my own list. Given I review and test hundreds if not thousands of new products each year, I’m fascinated by the ones that create enough value that I come back to over and over again.  These are the apps, tools and gadgets that cut through the clutter and ultimately made my life more productive, happier and healthier in 2014.

Media Bundle

  • Overcast: The simple podcast app that I use to listen to programs like Serial, The Startup and Night Vale (link)
  • Nuzzel: My go to app to see what people in my network are reading and sharing (link)
  • Pocket: The “read it later” service that allows me to save thousands of articles so I can read them when I have free time (link)
  • theSkimm: The daily news delivered to my inbox every morning* (link)
  • Medium: The place that I go to read long form and thought provoking content (link)

Work Bundle

  • Product Hunt: The site that I visit daily to find new products (link)
  • CB Insights and Mattermark: I constantly use both of these tools to research startups and industries (link and link)
  • Refresh: This “dossier” app that helps me learn about people before I meet them for the first time (link)
  • Evernote: My notebook in the cloud that gets more valuable each year (link)
  • Sunrise: I honestly couldn’t survive without this gorgeous and simple calendar (link)
  • Launch Ticker: All the tech and media news delivered to my inbox throughout the day (link)

Gadget Bundle

  • Kindle Paperwhite: The single best reading device that I bring with me everywhere I go (link)
  • Apple TV: We became “cord cutters” in 2014 thanks to this device (link)
  • iPhone 6: No other device has brought me so much joy in my life (link)

Health & Wellness Bundle

  • Rise: The nutritionist in my pocket that has helped me lose eight pounds in six weeks (link)
  • Lift: I turn to this app daily to track my good and bad habits* (link)
  • Calm: A meditation app that helps me time and track my sessions (link)
  • Invaslign: My dentist recommended braces so I opted for the invisible alternative (link)

Games Bundle

  • Boom Beach: I wasted countless hours playing this epic combat strategy game by Supercell (link)
  • Monument Valley: This was easily the most beautiful and enjoyable game I played all year (link)
  • Threes: This indie numeric puzzle game renewed my love for math link)
  • Crossy Road: I had to delete this modern take on Frogger because I was fully addicted (link)

Mobile Service Bundle

  • Uber: In 2014 I spent more money on Uber than any other service (link)
  • Breather: I was so impressed by their “on demand private spaces” that I decided to invest* (link)
  • Shyp: Once they launched in NYC, I stopped going to the post office (link)

Personal Finance Bundle

  • Digit: This “savings robot” helped me save north of two thousand dollars without even thinking about it (link)
  • Robinhood: I started trading stocks for the first time thanks to this mobile app that offers zero commissions on transactions (link)
  • Wealthfront: I became a Wealthfront customer this year and couldn’t be happier to save for retirement (link)
  • Coinbase: My bitcoin wallet of choice in 2014 (link)

Sports Bundle

  • The Patriots: The best sports franchise looks primed to make their sixth super bowl appearance in the Brady / Belichick era (link)
  • Scorecenter: My favorite sports app to keep up with scores and news (link)
  • Play Draft: Over the last few weeks I’ve fallen in love with this weekly fantasy game that lets me challenge my friends for cash (link)
  • WEEI: Thanks to this app I’m able to listen to my favorite Boston sports talk radio shows throughout the year (link)

Social Bundle

  • Instagram: I open this app at least ten times a day (link)
  • FB Messenger: I deleted the Facebook app so Messenger became the gateway to my social graph (link)
  • Red / Green: This new app, which will have a big year in 2015, has helped me connect with friends when I’m bored (link)

Shopping Bundle

  • Amazon Prime: The best $79 that I spent all year (link)
  • Kaufman Mercantile: Much respect for this etailer that curates high quality and well designed products (link)
  • Cotopaxi: Since I’m an gear fanatic, I’ve grown to dig this new outdoor apparel brand based in Utah (link)
  • Canopy: This elegant site curates the best of Amazon (link)
  • Air Jordan’s: I bought my first pair of Air Jordan’s and I’m in love with them (link)

Visual Media Bundle

  • Giphy Chrome Extension: There’s no easier way to attach gifs to emails* (link)
  • Jib Jab Mobile: A delightful app that helps me craft hilarious and personalized animated videos (link)
  • Carousel: Thanks to Dropbox, all of my photos are now safely stored in the cloud for many years to come (link)

Food Bundle

  • Madecasse: My cupboard always has a chocolate bar from this Brooklyn-based brand (link)
  • Captain Lawernce Imperial IPA: Hands down my favorite beer (link)
  • Avocado Toast: Rucola in Brooklyn always delights me with this dish (link)
  • Turkey Leg Sandwich: The signature dish of Henry Public in Brooklyn instantly dazzles my tastebuds (link)

*Full Disclosure: RRE Ventures is an investor in theSkimm, Lift, Breather and Giphy

Steve Schlafman Twitter

Exec coach. Writer. Student of Change.