Favorite Things of 2021

Last week I took time to reflect on the many things I’m thankful for this year: my family and friends, our health, science and vaccinations that made gathering together this year possible again, a new job that’s providing me with opportunities to continue to develop and grow professionally. But for some reason, over the weekend and into this week, my mind has turned to more materialistic things. (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the dozens of emails and hundreds of Instagram ads in my feed proclaiming the BEST DEALS of the YEAR! :D) A few of my friends and I check in with each other at the end of the year to ask one another what our favorite purchases have been. Large or small, expensive or laughably cheap, what things have we invested in that have made the biggest impact in our lives? I haven’t made an exhaustive list yet, but here are four of this year’s contenders:

Spotify Premium. Listening to music has come a long way since my first iPod, and I’m so enamored with Spotify’s interface and incredible offerings that I gifted Premium subscriptions to my parents this year as well.

The Peloton app. I don’t know where I would put an ACTUAL Peloton in my apartment, but I love that I can take the app to the gym to use on the treadmills there or do a quick weight workout, yoga flow, or stretch right in my living room. This might also relate to a New Year’s resolution I’m eyeing… but it’s nice to already have the subscription ready to go.

A Nespresso Vertuo. Right before we moved, our little Nespresso Pixie started leaking after many years of valiant service. We weren’t quite ready to bite the bullet to buy a new one though, especially since our new apartment came with a fancy espresso machine the former owners carefully showed my husband how to use – and clean, and care for… But when I visited our friend and coworker Jenna Whelan earlier this year, I realized I’d been missing out. It’s impossible to overstate how easy it is to make an amazing cup of coffee with the Vertuo, and thanks to Jenna and Alex who introduced us to Rakuten (trouble!), we got an amazing deal!

Finally, I’ve been loving my new iPad, mostly using it for watching Netflix and as an intermediate-sized screen for scrolling while watching a larger screen. I spied a deal on the Apple Pencil a few weeks ago though, and it has been the biggest game changer! It’s so much fun to sketch with it, but it’s transformed my work as well. When I’m in a meeting or conducting an interview, I like to handwrite my notes. They just seem to stick in my brain better than if I’m typing, but then I have to translate all those paper notes into something actually usable. No more! The free Nebo app makes it so easy to convert my notes into text that I can drop wherever I need. I love quickly highlighting important takeaways and having it all instantly sharable. I know I’m years late to this technology, but it’s one more thing that makes me so thankful we’re living in the Inspector Gadget reality I only dreamed of when I was little.

So how about you? What are you thankful for this year? And, if you’re also inundated with promotions and thinking lots about purchases, what have been some of your favorites this year? If you use an iPad and Apple Pencil, what other apps are you loving? Message me via LinkedIn!  

-Mylene Kerschner, Research and Consulting Manager