Coffee, to-do lists, travel, etc…

Written by Parker Gates
Posted April 1, 2015

Occasionally people hit us up to see what we’re currently using, reading, or just enjoying. What might be having an impact in our lives and our work. This list may be slightly skewed to traveling designers but I think anyone could enjoy the products or services.

So, here you go…a few things that I’m really digging right now are:

Headspace. Meditation app that provides guided mindfulness meditations. Seriously has enhanced my practice! It didn’t make the top of my list by accident.

99U. The conference, the magazine, the site, their Twitter feed, and their books. They curate 99% of what I consume these days. Awesome stuff!

Moleskines. Hard, soft, tan, grey, black, etc. We use em to capture, doodle, write, plan, etc. We silkscreen our logo’s on em. Personally, I’m a grid guy.

Behance Dot Grid Book. My current favorite writing/doodling medium. dotgrid

Coffee: Well, this really deserves more attention than it’s about to get but currently I’m loving the Hayes Valley Espresso Roast from Blue Bottle and Counter Culture’s Big Trouble. I rock both of these on my Rocket Giotto Espresso Machine. Best way to start any day.

Tea: I’m a late comer to tea but am learning a lot and enjoying some great brews! Lately I’ve been really into 2 teas from Red Blossom. The Organic Emperor Pu-erh and the Gunpowder Green. Both are super tasty and make me feel like a million bucks! I’ve also been drinking lots of Ginger Turmeric Tea from Rishi at night. It’s been my go-to decaf tea lately.

TeuxDeux: To-do app made by the amazing Tina Roth Eisenberg. Simple, clean, multi-platform, and inexpensive.

Monocle by Native Union: We bought this dude after trying several conference call devices that left us feeling underwhelmed. Hook this little device up to your iPhone or Android and get great quality audio and a mic that sends clear voices to the other side.monocle

Timbuk2 Command Backpack: OK, I’m a bag whore. I’ve got a problem alright. In spite of my illness this bag is currently my all-time favorite travel bag. All my work gear and 2-3 days worth of clothes can fit in here nicely. Lots of great compartments for all the gadgetry that comes with work travel. Great clean look and made from 100% recycles material. It’s also TSA compliant.

AAdvantage Program: I know everyone has a loyalty program, but this one has served me pretty well since I started traveling heavily for work and leisure about 5 years ago. I earn and use miles for personal travel and earn a bunch of those with the AA Visa. I get upgraded frequently and love the ability to choose good seats when I don’t get upgraded. Makes a big difference when you spend too much time sitting on planes. I’ll also say that if you fly more than 4 times a year you should be TSA-Pre. There’s no reason to take your shoes off anymore.

Macbook Air: I’m typing on this thing right now and I like it. Again, for travelers it’s super light and tight. I was a Windows guy for a long time but I can’t imagine ever going back after seeing how easy Apple products are to use and how much more dependable they are. Nuff said.

Streaming Services: We use both Spotify and Pandora when working all over the world as well as in the studio. I pay for both services and they serve their purpose. A must-have for folks leading workshops and design sprints where good jams are essential.

Would love to hear what you’d add to this list!

Reply with your favs.



  • Clay

    The Inner Balance HRV app is a nice addition to a meditation practiec. Especially if you like to quantify, because numbers don’t lie.

    Breakaway Matcha poivides a transcendent experience with it’s slow release caffeine and high L-theanine.. As a bonus brain wakie-wakie blend a little MCT oil in. Next level for sure.

  • Jamillah

    Thank you Parker for sharing. I can’t wait to test a couple. Jhj