My Electronics Bag for Travel

I stumbled upon the HIGHPASS HYBRID BRIEFCASE BACKPACK in an electronics store. And was instantly impressed with the look, feel and weight (762 grams or 29 ounces).

I discarded the shoulder strap, further dropping the weight.

On the road, I frequently need to day trip with my laptop and a just a few extra items. Jacket. Snacks.

Read a review.

My Spigen MagSafe wallet

A new upgrade to my life is this lightweight minimalist wallet.

Spigen Smart Fold Magnetic Wallet Card Holder

It carries only 2 cards (driver’s licence & credit) along with some emergency cash.

I don’t attach it to a phone. Instead I keep it in a a dedicated zippered card pocket which most of my pants and shorts feature.

What I like best is using it as a phone kickstand.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My Tripods in 2022

I’ve experimented with many tripods over the past 2 years. CRITICAL gear as I mostly travel solo and want to take photos and videos of myself while adventuring.

Weight and volume are super important. I can take them all on some bikepacking trips. But for hiking, I usually only take two of the smallest. All of these tripods can hold any of my 3 small cameras.

My favourite is the Miggo Splat. Super tough. Very reliable. BUT I did manage to break one.

Even better — but not as durable — is the Fotopro uFO 2.

Like the Splat, it can wrap around fence posts, tree branches, almost anything.

Least likely to make a hiking or bikepacking trip is my Neewer 56 inches/142 centimeters tripod. It’s good — but 2.73 pounds/1.24 kilograms is often too heavy.

I’m not much of a selfie stick guy, but the new-to-me 3m / 9ft Insta360 Extended Edition Selfie Stick has me intrigued. I MIGHT even end up getting one of their expensive Action Cameras.

I’ll often take it along despite the 365gm / 12.8oz load.

I bought the lightest JOBY GorillaPod I could. Only 325 Grams. But it’s pretty flimsy for anything more than a phone camera. I’ve never had much luck with JOBY. Those arms break easily.

So far I’m really liking my new DJI Mini SE drone. Until I crash it 🤔 … drone footage can replace tripod for long establishing shots.

Shooting video of yourself when alone can be tricky. Here’s how I’m doing it, so far.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My 2022 Workflow = Notes & Notion

Cooped up in my unheated garage WORLD HEADQUARTERS, I’ve been experimenting with BETTER ways to create NOTES and TO DO lists.

When on the run with only my iPhone, I’ll use Siri or jot down a quick note from the Lock Screen.

Click PLAY or watch how to edit the Lock Screen function to your phone on YouTube.

Once in a while I’ll take a photo (or scan) with my phone and save it as a Quick Note.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

If I’m on my laptop and want to take a quick note, I’ll either use Siri — or move my cursor to the HOT CORNER of the display I’ve set up to launch the app. (That works even in full screen mode.)

OK … ALL those methods put my quick notes into a folder in the app called “Notes” via iCloud.

From there, I’ll file them into the best of the folders I’ve created. It looks like this right now.

Done. Notes will archive my brain farts.

Any of those whims that become ACTION PROJECTS I’ll move over to the NOTIONS app.

It’s much more complicated Project Management software.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My Bike Helmet Mirror

I’d always been a skeptic of helmet mirrors: Easily breakable. And WHY would I be riding in traffic?

BUT so far I’m quite happy with the EVT Safe Zone Bicycle Helmet Mirror:

  • quickly removable
  • looks very durable
  • adjustable with one hand
  • more relaxed with assurance about what’s coming up behind
  • easier to decide when to cross the road
  • 100% made in the USA

The largish mirror makes it easier to see what’s coming. But it’s nowhere near as good as a car mirror.

AND it’s quite expensive. About CAD $90.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Google Maps – LIVE view

In the tangled web of European old city cobbled streets, I used LIVE view for the first time.

A preview of the augmented reality we’ll all be using soon.

NOW … Google Maps often screws up. LIVE view often doesn’t work. But when it does, it’s a game changer for those frequently lost. Like me. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’ve also used Google Map LISTS for the first time. Very handy.

Finding BEST Flights on Google Sites

I’ve booked a number of flights lately.  #PandemicOver 😀

I ALWAYS start with Matrix Airfare Search by ITA Software  A few companies — e.g. Southwest — opted not to be included. 

Even if my date of flight is fixed, I always start with “See calendar of lowest fares”.

Clicking around, once I have the price, date, details (usually AC or WJ), I go directly to the airline website to book the flight.  One. Less. Middleman.  

I try to avoid booking on a series of airlines as — when something goes wrong — each blames you and the other airline for your woes.

Google Matrix originally let you book flights.  But the airlines complained so they dropped that feature.

If I can’t get the price promised on Matrix, I try Expedia or one of the other aggregators.  Once in a while they have a block of cheaper tickets no longer available directly from the airline. 

If that’s too confusing, here’s a comprehensive tutorial

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Recently I used another Google flight site, deciding to fly to Lisbon on November 1st from Calgary.  

From that page you can click from any country to any continent. From Canada to Europe, for example.

As usual, Air Transat was the cheapest way to get to Europe from Canada. 

Notion note taking app

I’ve always been a NOTE taker.

Always put together TO-DO lists.

Not always skilled at following through. 😶

For the past few months I’ve been trying NOTION. It’s free for basics.

More complicated than I need. But it is cool.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It does synch perfectly with iPhone. And I can use the IOS app even when out of service.

NOTION ranked #1 on this list of Best Note-Taking Apps 2021.

I’ve used different notebooks and apps over the decades. Most recently I’ve been trying to stick to the default Apple products:

  • Reminders
  • Text Edit

Love the simplicity and compatibility with the Fruit Company ecosystem of brainwashed.

I’ve yet to find a calendar I like. I’m using Google Calendar — but don’t really enjoy it. Right now I’m trying to switch to Apple Calendar, which I also don’t like.