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Cool Products Writing

Grammarly Review: a free writing and proofreading app

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more info.

Attention writers, students, office workers—you should download the free Grammarly app if you’re serious about improving your writing. Whether you’re typing on the computer or tweeting from your mobile device, Grammarly ensures that your work looks polished before you hit publish.

Grammarly is a free plugin for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that proofreads your writing wherever you write on the web. This includes Gmail, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, WordPress, Facebook updates, Tweets, LinkedIn, etc.

Say you’re posting your latest status update on Facebook. With Grammarly installed, you’ll see instant grammar and spelling corrections your sentences right after you type them. 

Your writing, at its best.

I always run my blog posts, novels, work emails, tweets, cover letters and resumes (Grammarly offers a resume setting for premium users) to ensure the most effective and mistake-free writing. 

My favorite Grammarly features

My favorite part of the app is the quick grammar check. Just when I think a piece is ready to publish, I run it through Grammarly only to find missed commas, slight misspellings and repeat words. Below is an example of how your piece of writing might look before and after scanning it through Grammarly. 

Not only does Grammarly pinpoint errors my eyes overlook, it also explains why it is suggesting the edit by providing brief explanations for any errors in punctuation, subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, run-on sentences, and other mistakes to improve your prose.

The auto-suggest word replacement feature is also extremely helpful. As someone who tends to repeat myself, Grammarly recommends using stronger, alternative but similar vocabulary to help me strengthen a sentence. 

If you upgrade to the premium version you get the full power of Grammarly. This includes advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure plus genre-specific writing style checks. It also comes with a plagiarism detector that checks more than 16 billion web pages to ensure your work is original!

Whether you’re a worker, student, or blogger, Grammarly meets all types of writing requirements. You can install the Grammarly app for free as an extension in Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, or on your iPhone or Android, for instant proofreading or wait to check your writing aftward with a click of a button.

There’s also a standalone native browser on Grammarly.com and a native Mac app for more focused writing.

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Cool Products Tech

Clack-clack: Go retro with the Qwerkywriter Typewriter

Clack-clack

For the nostalgic typewriter enthusiasts comes the Querkywriter keyboard that recreates the look and feel of the click-clack experience onto modern computing. If you’re a fan of Tom Hanks Hanx writer fan, then you’ll certainly want to take it a step further and use the closest to the real thing.  

As they say, the life of a computer is 3-5 years. The life of a typewriter is a century. You can also find the Qwerkywriter on my Amazon list: Tools for creators.  

Categories
Cool Products Life & Philosophy

Know Yourself prompt cards from The School of Life

More introspective goodies from the School of Life folks, led by philosopher Alain de Botton. These prompt cards remind me of those Brian Eno Oblique Strategies (Amazon) cards that help creatives get unstuck from thinking blocks. 

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Cool Products

Interesting finds / 1

Interesting finds is a weekly blog post that details some of the products (both tangible and digital) I discovered on the web and recommend that you check out. Thanks for supporting Wellsbaum.blog with these affiliate links. Learn more.

1. BRAIN KNITTED HAT UNIQUE THINKING CAP

$29.99| Amazon

Fall is around the corner. Winter is looming. What better way to protect your noggin and boost your IQ than with a woven brain hat. If you read the customer comments, it looks like it fits those with big heads the best.   

2. HARRY POTTER HOUSE TRUNK SETS

$275.00 | Amazon

I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. While I know I’m incredibly late to the best-selling book series in history, I stumbled across this tasty seven-book trunk that has me thinking about finishing the rest.    

3. HOW TO EAT IN THE WOODS 

In the quest to have a Walden moment some time in my life, it might be worth reading how one could actually survive in the woods: A Complete Guide to Foraging, Trapping, Fishing, and Finding Sustenance in the Wild. I knew Boy Scouts would’ve been critical. 

4. PET PEEK FENCE WINDOW FOR PETS 

$41.26 | Amazon

This is genius. Every pooch deserves their very own peephole for door or gate. If you live in a fenced area, I’m sure the neighbors will be cool with it.  If not, quote Milan Kundera: “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”  

5. GET SHIT DONE THERMAL CERAMIC COFFEE MUG 

$18.99 | Amazon

My mantra: Less talk, more doing.  As UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said it best: “Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses, just do the best you can do.” Snag the Get Shit Done mug if you need subtle reinforcement.

Categories
Cool Products Productivity & Work

The Bullet Journal: An analog system for a digital age

You can count me in as one of the people that succeeds from an analog to-do list. I’ve tried countless to-do apps, and none of them push me to get stuff done like the written word.

Keep yourself honest by adopting the bullet journal system, if only to remind yourself what actually deserves your attention.

How a Bullet Journal Works

Here is how it works: you take a blank notebook, any blank notebook. You can, if you wish, buy a special one, but the notebook isn’t the point – the Bullet Journal is a method, not an object. You number the pages as you go along, having set aside a few pages at the front that over time become your contents list. Then each month you handwrite a calendar called the “monthly log” followed by a “daily log” of tasks, events and notes, marked respectively by bullet points, circles and dashes. Each day you manually cross out tasks you have completed and then rewrite the undone ones for the next day.

Read How the Bullet Journal stopped me lying to myself

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Books Cool Products

Listening is the new reading

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more info.

If you’re behind on some of your reading goals for the year and want to catch up, I’d recommend checking out Amazon’s Audible program.

You get two free audiobooks as part of signing up.

I listen to audiobooks on the road, at home, and at the gym. It’s also a pleasure to take a respite from the lite bright of my phone or Kindle.

According to recent studies, people comprehend books listening just as much as they do reading them. The brain doesn’t have to do any additional decoding.

Says University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham:

“If you take the question from the perspective of cognitive psychology — that is, the mental processes involved — there is no real difference between listening to a book and reading it. So, according to that understanding of the question: No, audiobooks are not cheating.”

Of course, there’s no beating the tangible reading experience of a paperback with the sound and smell of turning fresh pages.

But listening is a viable alternative for tired eyes or anyone on the move. Here’s the list of benefits:

Audible Free Trial benefits

  • Get two free audiobooks to start — after 30 days, get 1 book each month for $14.95/month
  • Get 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases
  • Cancel anytime. Your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel.

Remember: You’re getting 2 FREE Audible books.

About: Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.