Deron Bos – Organizer

Deron Bos is a professional organizer, Apple tutor, and owner at Bos Organization in beautiful Culver City, California. He is also a produced and published playwright. These are his good things.

Good things to read.

Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. In graduate school I announced to a room full of creative writing students that these were among my favorite books and was met by a chorus of laughter. But these are amazing: my all time favorite fantasy is time travel and these books create a full sense of that: at the end of reading them, you’ll feel like you lived the day to day life of the King in 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Guralnick’s writing is atmospheric, incredibly detailed, intimate, and immersive storytelling. If every biography was written like these, I would read no other genres.

The Apostate and Lives of the Saints. Two of my favorite Instapaper reading experiences were these two articles by Lawrence Wright about two religions created in America. “Great, sprawling New Yorker shit” as Charlie Kaufman (the character) says in Adaptation.

Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure. Most internet traveled folks have visited the AT blog at some point, but the book is less known and that’s a shame, because it’s one of my favorite references about residential organization. His approach of decluttering and simplifying your space as a means to make it a home and a place to enjoy with family and friends is a big inspiration for my life and my work with my clients. Great combination of philosophical with clear practical steps to reclaiming your space.

Good things to watch.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I’m not an alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite Indy movie like the rest of humankind, but I’ve always liked this prequel much more than a lot of other people. Great set pieces like the raft out of the plane and the mine car chase, some vintage Harrison Ford humor, and the fact that it’s my four year old’s current favorite movie keeps it on my mind. (Parental advisors don’t fret: he skips the ripping from the heart scene.)

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: “ Alec Baldwin Just a Lazy Shiftless Bastard” I haven’t watched all of these, but this one I can’t get enough of, I’ve watched it over and over and each time I laugh my ass off and marvel at just how funny Baldwin can be. Favorite moment: the Burt Lancaster story: “I suppose you’re looking for this.”

I’m A Failed Writer and other videos by Yuvi Zalkow These were introduced to me by one of my favorite podcasts The Mac Power Users Very funny, insightful and helpful videos about getting out of your own way to get some writing done plus the tyranny of a New Yorker subscription.

Good things to use.

Scotch Tear by Hand Packing Tape. recommended by one of my organizing mentors and friends, the incomparable Fay Wolf, this stuff amazes everyone. I always make a mess of tape guns – but there’s no need for one now that God gave man the gift of this.

Rip’s Big Bowl I’ve been eating a plant based diet for a little less than a year now and this has become one of my favorite breakfast recipes.

iOS apps that have Mac companion apps and sync through Dropbox: including but not limited to 1PasswordText ExpanderDay One, and Fantastical.

Connect with Deron on Twitter, @DeronBos.

Mark and Nathalie – Engineers

Mark and Nathalie are the engineers behind Mac apps DragonDrop and Timebar – which they built together and the proceeds help pay for their wedding.  Mark writes a bit, Nathalie photographs this and that, and these are their good things.

Good things to read.

Nathalie is the major reader in this household, so we’re leaving this in her capable hands.

An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler.  Never would I have imagined a whole chapter about the humblest legume, the bean, could transfix me the way hers did. Tamar takes everyday food experiences (like salting your pasta water) and turns them into deep thoughts: “All ingredients needs salt. […] We seem, too, to fear that we are failures at being tender and springy if we need to be seasoned. It’s not so: it doesn’t reflect badly on pea or person that either needs help to be most itself.” Truth.

Foodspin, by Albert Burneko.  On the other end of the food writing spectrum, I have to give a shout-out to my food brother from another mother, Albert Burneko of Foodspin. As often as I want to lovingly stir a pot of beans and reflect on my tender self, his alternative food blog speaks to another side of my personality. (The side that wants my face karate-chopped off by a Caesar salad.)

Discworld, by Terry Pratchett.   And finally, some fiction. Terry Pratchett has created a universe of people, places, and things to entertain and delight you. After a few years of scoffing at what I thought was clearly something silly meant for bored nerds who forget books to take on the plane (seriously, how many of his books are packed on airport bookshop shelves?), I started with Guards! Guards! and have been hooked ever since. Terry Pratchett made something beautiful for the world and I encourage you to enjoy it.

Good things to watch.

Beauty Is Embarrassing.  We’re suckers for interesting documentaries. Most recently, we really enjoyed Beauty Is Embarrassing, which a documentary about the artist Wayne White. Haven’t heard of him? Surely you’ve seen his work, because he was behind the visual design of an amazing amount of pop culture — everything from Pee-wee’s Playhouse to the music video for “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s astonishing to learn that so many things we love all came from one person’s imagination. He’s still creating wonderful things, and best of all, is a humble, interesting person who inspires us to do pursue our dreams. Sappy, but true — watch this.

Columbo.  Columbo is another favorite. Peter Falk does a bang-up job of taking what could easily have lapsed into a tired old schtick in another actor’s hands (the grubby and bumbling yet remarkably perceptive detective) and wrings out pure gold. There is also a veritable who’s who of 70s/80s/90s actors co-starring as the villains — Janet Leigh, Leonard Nimo, Dick Van Dyke, even Johnny Cash. One of the early episodes was even directed by Steven Spielberg. Delightful.

How It’s Made.  OK, this is a show — stay with us here — about how everyday things are manufactured. Despite the mundanity of the subject matter, it’s actually incredibly fascinating. Do a quick search for it on YouTube if you don’t believe us — before you know it, you’ll be learning about the ins-and-outs of injection molding, electric arc welding, plastic extrusion, and rubber vulcanization.

Note: due to its soothing nature, we highly recommend watching this show right before bed.

Good things to use.

Here are two app recommendations from Mark, plus something to drink while trying them.

Aeropress.    Do you enjoy coffee? Of course you do; this is the internet, after all. We received an Aeropress as a wedding gift, and it’s completely changed my weekend coffee routine. We used to use a French press (which still a lovely way to make coffee), but the Aeropress is wonderful in all of the ways that the French press isn’t: it’s very fast, and it’s incredibly easy to clean. If you’re a barely functional zombie in the morning like I am, you will surely appreciate both of those qualities.

Oh, and it also has the classic hallmark of *not* being a fad: they’re incredibly inexpensive (around $30). Give one a whirl.

BBEdit.  BBEdit is a text editor for the Macintosh, but that understates it a bit. If you work with text much at all — and most especially if you work with text professionally — you owe it to yourself to find a powerful text editor that helps you get your job done, but stays out of your way. BBEdit really fits the bill for me.

It’s been in continuous development for more than two decades years — in fact, if it was a person, you could take it out for a drink. I use BBEdit to do my job, and it’s amazing to contemplate the fact that I was nine years old when it first came out. I fully expect to still be using it 20 years from now.

1Password.  Despite the name, this handy app is more than a password manager — I keep my life in here. It has all of my user names and passwords, sure, but it also has copies of my driver’s license, passport, SSL certificates, and much more. I can’t imagine what I would do without a safe place to keep the minutiae of my life. It’s literally the second piece of software I install on a Mac (after Dropbox, since that’s where I keep my 1Password database).

1Password is available on all of the major platforms (iOS, Mac, Windows, Android) and even has a handy HTML-based fallback in case of a dire situation. As an added bonus, the company is headquartered in Mark’s home-and-native land, and has a great blog discussing interesting security topics.

You can trust your life to this software.

Connect with Mark, @ShinyPB and Nathalie, @Anathemalie on Twitter.

Eric Dodds – The Iron Yard

Eric is a partner at The Iron Yard, a code school, incubator, and accelerator in Greenville, South Carolina – these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing. Along with being a survival story almost too incredible to be true, this book also provides some fascinating observations about leadership, picking the right team, group morale, and the unbelievable power of the will to live.

Dave Allen’s articles for the North blog.  Dave Allen is an incredible thinker and has his finger on the pulse of both technology and culture.

The Bible. The Bible has had more impact on my life than anything else I’ve read.

Good things to watch.

Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative. Having worked in both the marketing agency world and now the startup world, this video has had a significant impact on the way I work and as a result, my quality of life.

Schindler’s List. My wife and I recently re-watched this film and it’s lessons on humanity, hope, and evil are profound.

This video of people wake boarding in a cranberry bog, because it’s amazing.

Good things to use.

1Password. Purchasing 1Password is the best money I’ve ever spent on software, hands down.

Milwaukee power tools. I do a fair amount of work with my hands, and having the right tools makes all the difference in the world.

The Chrome Soyuz Backpack.  I’m a bike commuter and I travel for work a good bit. This bag has made all of my toting dreams come true.

Eric is on Twitter, @ericdodds