- Posted by Alaia Williams
- On December 30, 2014
2014 has come to a close. What a year! I wanted to take some time to highlight a few of my favorite things of the year.
MoviePass – My latest discovery and the one I’m currently most excited about. MoviePass allows you to visit participating theaters and see a ton of movies for $30 bucks a month. I don’t know where you live, but movies here run from about $10-15 bucks a pop – so if you’re someone who sees at least two movies a month, the price is well worth it. Now that I have a pop culture podcast, it’s a good excuse to get out of the house and catch a good movie while it’s still in theaters. You can see one movie per 24 hour period. Sign up for a two week trial and see if it’s for you!
Favorite thing about it? No blackout dates. See any 2D movie you want, when you want – even opening weekend (as long as tickets are still available)
Club W – One of my goals for the year was to learn more about wine. There are very few kinds of wine I like and before I felt safe making the blanket statement “I’m not into wine,” I wanted to do some exploring. I found out about Club W and decided to give it a try. To be honest, I didn’t like most wines I tried – but I could always skip a month when I wanted to, and usually I took the wine to a party or threw some Sprite in it and turned it into a spritzer (oh-so-classy). I picked wines that *sounded* delicious, but there’s clearly still more education needed. So, still not a wine lover (just a Moscato/Stella Rosa Rosso/White Merlot lover), but it was a great way to try new things and get my feet wet in the world of wine. And I DID discover a few gems that I put in repeat orders for.
Favorite thing about it? Skipping months. I’m hardly a drinker, I don’t need 3 bottles of wine a month. It’s also great to give as a gift to wine lovers you know!
Miquelrius Organization Notebook. This one is tough to find! I had a Miquelrius notebook several years ago and loved it. I stumbled upon this version at The Container Store earlier this year and its the only place I can track it down these days. This version of the notebook has 3 removable tab pages if you want to divide up your book, a few stickers for labeling pages and tabs and a few plain white pages at the back – I went a year without using them, but when I needed to bust out a mind map or two, they came in handy. It’s got a durable cover, so I can toss it around (unintentionally of course) and it holds up really well. I’ve already made my trek to The Container Store for a fresh book for 2015. Tip: If you search for “Miquelrius” on TCS’s website, nothing comes up. Don’t ask me why. Search “organization notebook” and you’ll be in business.
Favorite thing about it? Everything.
Blinkist – If you’re like me and can’t seem to read all the (nonfiction) books you want to read fast enough, Blinkist may be for you. There are books I really want to own and spend time reading. There are others where I’m fine just pulling the nuts and bolts from them. “Blinks” are the best bite sized bits. You can get through the “blinks” of a book in about 15 minutes. Even I have time for that. They offer a 3 day trial – check it out and see if Blinks are your thing. If not, there’s always your local bookstore!
Favorite thing about it? I can access it on any device. So, whether I’m sitting at home, on a train or killing time somewhere, I can access the entire Blinkist library (on or offline). They have over 500 titles and add a few dozen new ones each month. More information about the service, as well as competitor analysis, usage recommendations and a discount offer, are available in this Blinkist review by Satori Webmaster Academy. Check it out!
Kindle Unlimited – I told you I was a reader, didn’t I? I still prefer physical books 90% of the time, but there are times I want something specific and I want it NOW. Suitcases around the world are becoming lighter as well, now that we can leave some reading material on our nightstands. If you’re like me and you’ve purchased too many Kindle books on a whim (a brand new book in less than 60 seconds while I’m laying in bed in my pajamas??!!??), Kindle Unlimited is worth checking out. While the library isn’t huge (authors have to opt in), it is growing. I mostly read business and professional books and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many I was poised to purchase that were available on Unlimited. After a 30 day trial, the service is $10 bucks a month. Worth giving it a shot to see if its worth the bucks. If you buy and read a few books a month, I’d say that it is. In addition to the nonfiction that I’m so fond of, there are also tons of kids books and popular fiction.
Favorite thing? Saving money on impulse book buying.
creativeLIVE – I didn’t actually discover creativeLIVE this year, but I did get the chance to sit in the audience for another class (Podcasting with Kris Gilbertson), purchased a few classes and really took time to dive in and explore the material. I actually discovered cL in late 2012 and sat in studio for the first time in 2013 (Networking with Porter Gale). This year, I made an effort to organize the material I’ve purchased over the years and schedule time to work through it. I also discovered some new classes this year that have been right on target with what I wanted to learn for the year. I wanted to share creativeLIVE with you because it seems like every time I mention in a group of people, at least half haven’t heard of it. When you visit their site, you can check out their upcoming list of classes. You can watch classes live and hop in the chat room (if you want) and connect with other people watching the classes. This year, cL has been fantastic with ’round the clock replays, so there’s a good chance you can catch something you missed. Most of the classes come bundled with bonus materials – so you can purchase the class you want to get access to the videos and those bonuses to use as you please. I watch move classes live than I actually purchase, but each class I’ve invested in has been well worth it. I typically watch the business classes, but there are tons of great classes on art, design, photography and more.
Favorite thing? I choose two – 1) the caliber of instructors. I’m rarely disappointed. 2) The great people I’ve connected with in the chat rooms when watching live.
Explore and enjoy! Try something new in 2015.