Cool Stuff from Our Newsletter

Every once in a while, our employees come across “cool stuff.” We run one of our employees' discoveries in every TimePilot Times newsletter. These are our most recent items; to see "Cool Stuff" from our first 40 newsletters, click here.

To see all of our newsletters, click here.

Issue 72: AirFly Pro Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter

AirFly Pro Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter

This item will let you listen to your airline's entertainment system while using your Bluetooth headphones.

It just plugs into the entertainment system's headphone jack and transmits the audio to your Airpods or wireless headphones. It also lets you transmit audio from your phone to your car's audio system, even if the car doesn't have Bluetooth capability.

$54.99 at Amazon.

Issue 71: Herb snips

These scissors are a great way to add fresh herbs to your food.

These scissors are a great way to add fresh herbs to your food. The stainless steel blades cut herbs five times faster than regular scissors because they have five blades.

$7.86 at Amazon.

Issue 70: Wad-Free for Bed Sheets

Wad-Free keeps bed sheets from tangling in your washer or dryer.

Did you ever find your bedsheets all tangled up in your washer or balled up and still wet in your dryer? These little plastic devices keep your sheets from getting tangled and lets them dry much more quickly.

$19.99 for two at

Issue 69: Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners

Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners simplify cleanup.

Slow cookers are great timesavers--until you have to clean the pot. Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners are plastic bags that fit into the pot like a trash bag fits into a trash can. The food cooks inside the bag, leaving the crock completely clean. You can even put two bags in one pot and cook two things at once.

$3.18 for 6 on Amazon.

Issue 68: L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins

Wicked Good Moccasins do a wicked good job of keeping your feet warm.

Winter is coming, and with it, cold feet. Here's a solution: L.L. Bean's Wicked Good Moccasins. They're built to last with an incredibly warm fur lining, contoured memory foam footbed and durable outsole. Available in multiple colors, sizes and widths. Are they popular? L.L. Bean has sold more than 4 million pairs in the last five years.

Men's: $79 from L.L.Bean.

Women's: $79 from L.L.Bean.

Issue 67: Fizz Lids keep soda cans bubbling

Fizz Lids snap onto a 12-oz. drink can to keep the drink carbonated.

It’s summer, and the season for cold canned drinks. But if you pop the top and don’t finish your drink, you’ve wasted money. Fizz Lids snap onto the top of a beverage can and keep the fizz inside, so you can enjoy the rest of your drink later.

They work with 12-ounce soda, beer, water, seltzer and much more. They’re dishwasher safe and come in a pack of six in various colors. $9.99 to $11.99, depending upon the color.

Fizz Lids: Six for $9.99 to $11.99 at Amazon.

Issue 66: Bottle Bright cleans reusable water bottles and hydration packs

Just fill the bottle with hot water and drop in a tablet.

Reusable water bottles and hydration packs are great for the environment but when they get grungy they can be hard to clean. Here’s an easy way to get them back in shape: Bottle Bright bottle cleaning tablets.

Fill the bottle with hot water, drop in one of the effervescent Bottle Bright tables and watch it go to work. In 15 minutes (for lightly soiled bottles) or overnight (for really bad ones), you’ll have a clean bottle to use. No scrubbing needed.

Made in the USA.

12 tablets: $8 at Amazon.

Issue 65: 40-LED Ring Light for Video Conferences

The battery-powered ring light clips to a phone, tablet or laptop.

Working from home? Want to look like a million bucks on your Zoom conferences? This rechargeable, battery-powered LED ring light will help. It clips on to your phone, tablet or laptop and will provide plenty of light to keep you out of the shadows. The open circle in the middle is where your camera lens should be to give you the best lighting possible. It’s great for selfies, too.

It runs for two hours on a single charge and has three levels of light

Just $14.99 at Amazon

Issue 64: Royal SD360 Standing Desk

The standing desk rises from 4.2 to 19.7 inches above your desk height.

More people are working from home these days, and one of the best things you can do to prepare is to have a comfortable workspace. A desk that allows you to work sitting down or standing up can be very helpful. The least expensive way to do that is with a device that sits atop your current desk and lifts your workspace, keyboard, mouse and monitor to standing height.

This is a 36-inch-wide platform that rests on your current desk and lifts your laptop, or monitor and keyboard, to any of eight positions from 4.2 inches to 19.7 inches above desk height. It also comes with a cushioned floor mat to stand on and reduce fatigue.

$199.99 at Amazon.

Issue 63: Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

Pieces of each puzzle are cut ionto whimsical shapes.

Christmas isn’t too many weeks away, and these British-made jigsaw puzzles make a great gift. The laser-cut pieces fit perfectly and don’t bend like cardboard pieces often do. Each puzzle’s pieces are cut to match the theme of the puzzle’s subject. For instance, their Christmas puzzles have pieces that are shaped like reindeer, tree ornaments, gift packages and toy soldiers. Their themes range from reproductions of fine art to landscapes, animals and holidays. They’ll even create a custom puzzle from a photo you provide.

Writeyboards come in various sizes and give you a whiteboard on your wall.

Issue 62: Writeyboard

A Writeyboard is a plastic sheet with adhesive on the back that turns a wall into a whiteboard. It's perfect for students of any age: College students can keep their schedule on the the wall (hint: take a photo of it with your smartphone so you have it at all times!); younger students can use it for drawings or notes.

Writeyboards come in a variety of sizes starting at 2 feet by 3 feet for $25. Their largest size is 5 feet by 11 feet.

Issue 61: BCOZZY Chin-Supporting Travel Pillow

The BCOZZY Chin-Supporting Travel Pillow comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Doing any long-distance traveling this summer? There are lots of the standard U-shaped travel pillows out there and with every one, when you finally doze off, your head flops forward and you either wake up immediately or wake up later with a strained neck. BCOZZY's Chin-Supporting Travel Pillow prevents that.

It wraps under the chin to support your head while you sleep. It's also useful for people who have a hard time holding their head up or who must sleep in an upright position. The pillow comes with a strap to attach it to a carry-on bag.

Just $29.97 at Amazon.

Issue 60: Royal Micro-Cut Shredder with 80-Sheet Auto Feed

The Royal ASF80's auto sheet feeder can handle up to 80 sheets of paper at a time.

It's a new year, and that's a great time to get rid of clutter. Often that involves shredding no-longer-needed sensitive documents. That's easy with the Royal ASF80 Micro-Cut Shredder with 80-Sheet Auto Feed.

The ability to automatically shred up to 80 pages at a time is what makes this shredder really stand apart from other shredders. Just turn on the ASF80, lift the auto-feed tray, load up to 80 sheets of standard 20 lb. bond paper into the tray and walk away. The ASF80 does the rest, grabbing each individual sheet and directing it into the shredding slot to be destroyed.

A photo sensor starts the shredding process and turns off the shredder once it has completed its task. You can also shred additional sheets or credit cards through the manual shredder slot while the ASF80 is in the auto-feed cycle. In either manual or auto feed, the powerful 0.84 HP AC motor easily dices documents into tiny 4mm x 12mm unreadable pieces.

  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 19.625 x 12.75 x 8.375 inches
  • Motor: 0.84 HP
  • Slots: 1 auto feed (80 sheets max.) and one manual (credit cards or up to 8 sheets paper)
  • Shredded particle size: 4 mm x 12 mm (0.157 inches by 0.472 inches)

$129.99 with free shipping at TimePilot's new "Cool Stuff Store." Click here to visit the store.

Issue 58: Retro-Style Digital Flip Clock

The clock is powered by a single D cell battery. Turn the knob at right to adjust the time.

With its large, impossible-to-miss numbers, this is the perfect clock for anyone from children learning to tell time to people with less-than-perfect eyesight. It also makes a great conversation piece.

The 2-inch-high high-contrast numbers—black on a while background—are printed on plastic cards that flip as the minutes and hours change, just like the clocks and message boards in old-time train stations and airports.

The entire clock is 6 ½ inches high, 8 inches wide and 3 inches deep and runs for six months on a single “D” cell battery.

The clock makes a faint “click” sound when the minutes change. The housing is made of mirror-finish stainless steel and the clock tells time in AM/PM format.

$64.99 with free shipping at TimePilot's new "Cool Stuff Store." Click here to visit the store.

Issue 57: Royal DG110 Shipping/Postal Scale

The Royal DG110 Shipping/Postal Scale.

With shipping costs rising almost daily, it’s important to get an accurate weight on the items you’re sending. The Royal DG110 Shipping/Postal Scale does just that.

This compact, heavy-duty scale is perfect for homes and offices and handles packages as well as letters. Another popular use: Weigh bags before airline travel to avoid extra fees! Among its features:

  • Maximum capacity: 110 lbs. (50 kg.) in 0.2 ounce increments.
  • Remote digital readout on 36-inch cable lets you weigh oversized items easily.
  • Tare function memorizes weight of box or envelope so you can determine weight of contents.
  • Hold function displays the weight on the remote readout for up to 15 seconds.
  • Stainless steel weighing platform, 6.7 inches by 7.9 inches.
  • Metal base.
  • Powered by either 4 AAA batteries or USB. Batteries and 7-foot USB cable included.
  • Energy saving auto shut-off.
  • Size: 6.7 inches x 7.9 inches x 1.5 inches (not including remote readout).
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds.

$52.99 with free shipping at TimePilot's new "Cool Stuff Store." Click here to visit the store.

Issues 56 and 59: Royal PowerBurst Jump Starter and Flashlight

The Royal PowerBurst jump starter can start your car or charge your phone.

Car won't start? Phone out of power? It can take hours for someone to come along and give you a jump-start, even if you have the cables. Royal's PowerBurst jump starter has a powerful battery in its flashlight that can provide the power for up to 20 jump starts. It can also charge your cell phone or tablet for up to 10 hours.

Cool Store Exclusive: We're including a free zippered pouch to carry the entire system and keep your trunk neat.And we're adding free shipping!

  • The 27,750 mWh jump starter provides up to 400-amp peak power output to start cars, SUVs and trucks with up to a four-liter engine.
  • Smart circuitry in the jumper cables prevents overcharging or short circuits.
  • Charges cell phones, tablets, MP3 players and mobile devices with fast 2.1A USB output. (2 USB ports in flashlight handle)
  • Can be recharged more than 500 times.
  • Holds a charge for up to 6 months.
  • Charge-level indicator on side of flashlight.
  • Includes jump starter, AC and vehicle chargers, USB charging cable and zippered pouch.

$72.99 with free shipping at TimePilot's new "Cool Stuff Store." Click here to visit the store.

Issue 55: Windows Calculator

Windows Calculator

Most of us are using Windows 10 by now, and for those who aren't, here's a good reason to give it a shot. The calculator that comes with Windows 10 can do a lot more than just addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. It can also:

  1. Calculate the number of days between two dates.
  2. Translate many different currencies into other currencies (and if you have an internet connection, it uses live exchange rates!).
  3. Convert minutes to hours.
  4. Convert volume, length, weight and mass, temperature, speed and area from U.S. values to their metric equivalents.

To try these, just click on the menu icon at the top left corner of the calculator window. (Side note: Web designers call that menu style "the hamburger" because it resembles three stacked patties.)

Issue 54: Scratch-Off World Map

Scratch Map

Christmas gift for the family traveler? This is a map of the world with a coating over every country and U.S. state. Trace your travels by scratching off the coating when you visit a particular country or state. The coating scratches off with the edge of a coin.

It’s $26 for the standard size (23.4" H x 32.5" W) and $40 for the large version (33" H x 46.8" W).

Scratch Map at

Issue 53: Amazon Locker

Amazon Locker

You may have seen the walls of yellow lockers appearing outside gas stations, shopping centers, grocery stores and even at colleges and universities. They're a new Amazon service: Amazon Locker.

Let's say you've ordered something from Amazon, but you're afraid it might get stolen from your front porch or apartment house vestibule after delivery. Just have the package delivered to a nearby Amazon Locker. Amazon will send you a code so you can open the locker and retrieve your package.

Or let's say you want to return an Amazon purchase. You can go through the hassle of returning it by mail or delivery service, but often an easier option is to drop it off at a nearby locker. When you get to the facility, just enter the code Amazon gives you when you set up your return online and a locker will pop open. Put the package in the locker, close the door and you're done. They're open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, and there's no additional charge to use them.

Amazon Locker

Issue 52: Heavy-Duty Weego Jump Starter Battery+

The pocket-sized Weego Jump Starter Battery+ is a powerful battery that can jump-start your car, boat or motorcycle as well as recharge your smartphone, laptop or tablet.

It never hurts to have a little extra power.

The pocket-sized Weego Jump Starter Battery+ is a powerful battery that can jump-start your car, boat or motorcycle as well as recharge your smartphone, laptop or tablet. It's also got a built-in LED flashlight with strobe and SOS capabilities.

It's perfect for the car: the set comes with jumper cables, USB and phone connectors and eight popular PC-based laptop/device connectors.

Just throw it in the glove compartment and you'll be ready for emergencies—when stored it loses only 5% of its power per month.

The complete set is on sale for $99.

Heavy-Duty Weego Jump Starter Battery+

Issue 51: Dolly

Dolly Logo

Let’s say you find a beautiful piece of furniture at an estate sale 15 miles from home. The furniture is too big to fit in your car, and you’d have a hard time lifting it by yourself anyway. What do you do?

Call Dolly. It’s the “Uber” of hauling. Dolly contractors—truck owners—will go get the furniture, haul it to your house and bring it inside for a low price. You set up the appointment and pay for it in Dolly’s smartphone app. They’ll also remove junk or bring items to a donation center, and even just provide two strong people to move furniture or appliances in your house.

Here’s how it worked for some friends of TimePilot: This couple lives in Chicago and ordered a chair from a furniture store across the city. Being city dwellers, they don’t own a car or truck, and they were reluctant to pay the store the $100 delivery fee it charges. They pulled up the Dolly app on their smartphone, and in minutes had reserved two men and a truck. The Dolly men picked up the chair at the furniture store and delivered it. The whole process took less than an hour and cost $50.

Dolly is available now in four cities—Chicago, Denver, San Diego and Seattle—and their surrounding suburbs, and has more coming soon.

Issue 50: Grocery Gripps

Grocery Gripp

When you go grocery shopping, do you ever have trouble carrying all of those plastic bags? Grocery Gripps make it easy. It's a heavy-duty nylon strap with two loops that lets you carry four, six or even eight bags easily with one hand.

Just run the strap through the bag handles and lift. You can even carry them over your shoulder, Santa Claus-style. They'll carry other awkward things like dry cleaning or even beach chairs, too.

Grocery Gripps come in five colors and are $19.99 each. (If you're a veteran you get a 30% discount!)

Grocery Gripps web site.

Issue 49: Querkles Masterpieces

Querkles Masterpieces

Adult coloring books have become very popular in the last few years, and here's one of the most creative and fun ones.

Yes, Querkles is a coloring book, but New Zealand artist Thomas Pavitte has taken 20 of the world's great masterpieces and turned them into color-by-numbers artworks. Pavitte's genius idea is that he has disguised each piece of artwork with a mass of circles, so that you won't know what picture you're working on until you're well into it.

Pictures have numbers between 1 and 5, along with blank circles. You are not given the colors to use, but choose your own five colors, with 1 being the darkest and 5 the lightest.

Not big on coloring? How about dot-to-dot? Pavitte has a series of beautiful, creative dot-to-dot books, too.

Querkles Masterpieces is available on Amazon for $10.24.

Issue 48: MicFlip Reversible USB and MicroUSB Cable

When you plug a USB cable into your computer, how often do you get it right side up the first time? If you're like us, the answer is a lot less than 50%. The MicFlip solves that problem. It's a six-foot USB cable with a standard USB plug on one end and a microUSB plug on the other. The genius is that they've engineered the plugs so that whichever way you plug it in, it works. No more reaching blindly behind your computer trying to flip the plug to get it into the USB port—it just works every time.

One of our tech support specialists found it and recommends it highly.

MicFlip USB Cable on Amazon: $19.99

Issue 47: Sandstand

Sandstrand makes a day at the beach more fun.

If you've ever been to beach, you know one of the worst things is getting sand in your drink or on your food. Or you have an ice-cold can of whatever, and a minute after setting it down in the hot sand, it's warm.

Here's the solution—just in time for beach season: Sandstand.

It's a wooden tabletop platform attached to a post that keeps your drinks, food, sunglasses, etc., out of the sand.

Sandstand comes in walnut, hard maple or cherry. The top includes sunglass loops, beverage holders and a handle; on the underside are bottle openers, a threaded base for the post, and storage clips for the post when it's not being used.

It's easy to carry, simple to set up and does what it's supposed to do. Starts at $75.

Issue 46: Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is an inexpensive device that gives you a look at virtual reality.So what's all this talk about virtual reality, anyway? If you have a smartphone—iPhone or Android—and $20, you can find out. Google has designed a cardboard virtual reality viewer that folds together. (For those of us of a certain age, it's a bit like a View-Master.)

You assemble the cardboard viewer, download a VR app to your smartphone and place the phone inside the viewer.

Looking through the lenses in the viewer, it's like you're really there. You can look left, right, up and down, and see things. There are games, documentaries (the New York Times has made a bunch of them) and music apps. You can stand on the stage while the White Stripes are playing, fly over New York City, ride a roller coaster, test drive a Volvo or play a great Star Wars game. Make sure you use your headphones—sound makes it seem even more real.

For the viewer: Google Cardboard    For a list of great apps:

Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Storage Bag HolderIssue 45: Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Storage Bag Holder

Filling freezer bags is a three-handed operation. For those of us without three hands, Jokari has a solution: the Hands-Free Baggy Rack Storage Bag Holder.

You clip the top of the bag to the holder, fill the bag, then unclip and seal. Simple.

A four-pack of holders is $18.20 at

Jokari Storage Bag Holder

Lots of red: Not a great day for Chicago traffic.

Issue 44: Google Maps: Traffic

If you've got a smartphone, you probably have a map app. One of the coolest uses for the app is to check traffic when you're traveling. If you use Google Maps (the iPhone or Android app or the PC version) you can turn on traffic reports by tapping (or clicking) the menu icon in the top left corner of the screen and choosing "Traffic."

Now on your maps you'll see live reports: red where there's stopped traffic, yellow where it's slowed and icons indicating the cause: construction, accident, etc. We've found it to be amazingly accurate: Recently one of our employees was able to avoid a 5-mile highway backup in the middle of nowhere simply by looking at his phone. To turn off the traffic report, tap the menu icon again and tap "Traffic."

If you use Apple Maps, follow the instructions above to turn on traffic reports; the maps will appear a little different, but they're equally effective.

Google Maps

Chamberlain MyQ Internet Garage Door Opener Kit

Issue 43: Chamberlain MyQ Internet Garage Door Opener Kit

Did you ever drive off with your garage door open? Or after a half-hour wonder if you had closed the door? Chamberlain, a major garage door manufacturer, offers a kit that will allow you to see on your smartphone whether your garage door is open or closed. And you can close it or open it with a tap on your phone.

Many of their newer openers have this built in, but if yours doesn't, you'll need the kit. It's $93.74 at Amazon.

Chamberlain MyQ Internet Garage Door Opener Kit

Microsoft Quick Start Guides

Issue 42: Microsoft Office Quick Start Guides

Microsoft blogger Eric Ligman is giving away millions of free eBooks on Microsoft programs. Among them are quick start guides for Microsoft Word 2013, Excel 2013, Outlook 2013 and Access 2013. There are tons of other free books, too: everything from Office programs shortcuts to an intro to Windows 10 to networking to programming for Windows and Windows Phones.

Visit Ligman's blog for more.

Just want the quick start guides? Here you go:

Word 2013    Excel 2013    Outlook 2013   
Access 2013   PowerPoint 2013    Publisher 2013
Project 2013   Visio 2013

How about a quick intro to Windows 10? It's right here. tells you when your web site isn't working.

Issue 41:

Your organization's web site is pretty important, right? Is it up and running right now? Or has it been down for the last half-hour without your knowledge? is a simple, free tool that alerts you when your web site goes down. Here's how it works: Every 5 minutes, tries to access your site. If it can access the site, all's well; if not, it send you an email or text message notifying you. If your site is down, it keeps trying every 5 minutes; when it comes back up, it emails or texts you again. That's it: simple and unobtrusive. Signup is a breeze, and DownNotifier doesn't show up in your web site's hit totals.

There's also a premium version. For $14.95 per year, your site will be monitored every minute (instead of every 5) and you get more detail in your reports.

We've used it for years and like it very much.

To see "Cool Stuff" from our earlier newsletters, click here.