I recently read a book by a man chronicling his experience sending a thank you note to someone every day for a year — it was A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life, written by John Kralik and published by Hyperion in 2011.
It’s an interesting read; if you want to check it out, click the image above, or here.
This book was still pretty fresh in my mind a few weeks ago when I had to deal with a company’s customer service division to resolve an issue for me.
I started thinking about how they’ll really only hear from people when there’s a problem.
Which is understandable, but having a lot of experience handling clients’ problems myself throughout the years, I know how it feels to not hear enough good feedback. When things are not ideal — you’ll hear it. But when they’re great?
At times it can be a little discouraging to only hear the negative side of things, despite everything you’re doing right. So in the spirit of that book, as well as the Thanksgiving season we’re in, lately I’ve been trying to contact companies whose products I love, to let them know they’re appreciated. I also want to help spread the word about them, since I think what they offer is so…well, cool!
I should add that I also do this with individuals, but in this post I’ll just cover a few businesses, primarily because I think they offer products you may enjoy as well or which may give you some gift ideas for the holidays this year!
And no, I am not being paid or compensated in any way for this; I know one or two of you are wondering about that. 🙂
So, here are 3 of my “favorite things” — to quote Oprah and the famous song from Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music — which I truly appreciate!
I love this company’s “Flip Note” line; I have so many of them that it could be considered
an addiction a collection!
These are so handy; while I know many people jot things down using their phones, you can’t deny the merits of old-fashioned pen and paper in a pinch, like when your phone battery is low for example. And these beat generic notepads, which usually get damaged pretty quickly in a purse or bag; Flip Notes, on the other hand, have metal cases that stay shut. That’s because each one comes with a pen (how convenient is that?) which is stored on the case itself (yet even more convenient); when you slide it into place, it locks the notepad shut. That way, you don’t have to worry about the pages getting ruined or torn.
The Flip Notes come in so many cute designs and options, like the “Stacy Argyle” one I have (pictured above); they also have a few options “for men” (which I found amusing).
A couple of times when I found myself in an unofficial meeting without my planner or laptop on me, I was able to use a Flip Notes pad and not worry that it looked unprofessional or that my notes would get lost or messed up, the way I’d feel with a loose sheet of paper or a notepad like this with no protective cover. Plus then I’d have had to look for a pen — but with Flip Notes? They’re small enough that I always have one in my bag, which means I always have pen and paper on me, and in good condition! (I feel like I’m reciting copy for a commercial. Oh well, I love these notepads and am not afraid to say it!)
You can easily find Wellspring Flip Notes, as well as additional pens and paper for them, on the Wellspring website or on Amazon; I use the latter option myself, since I do a lot of my shopping that way. (Amazon is another
addiction habit of mine, but we won’t get into that right now.)
So, take a look at what they offer if you think these could be useful to you or anyone you know. I’ve given many as gifts and stocking-stuffers, and everyone seemed to truly like them. In fact, a couple of people I know carry theirs on a daily basis, like I do.
I should also point out that Wellspring offers many other unique products besides Flip Notes, like Auto Notes (which attach to your car’s visor), wall art and more. Although I’ve never personally used these, they look like good gift-giving options as well.
I am also obsessed with Peter Pauper Press’ line of journals. You can find these in many stores, and of course on their website above as well as on Amazon.
I still remember the first time I came across one of their journals. It was years ago, and I was browsing a bookstore — ah, the good old days, when bookstores were popular! — when I saw it.
It was a beautiful book that looked more like an ancient text one might see on display in a museum than something I could use to record my daily ramblings in.
I bought it instantly, without any of the usual “Hmm, should I?” debates in my head.
Here’s a picture of it from Amazon:
But bear in mind that online photos of it do not do it justice at all; in person, the book looks so much more beautiful, down to the embossed detailing that isn’t easy to see in a photo. I found it so lovely and well-made, in fact, that — and this is somewhat embarrassing to admit — I didn’t feel I could sully it with my writing!
Yes, I’m aware I have a problem.
Some time later, I thought to look the journal up online and was thrilled to find it. I bought a second one, just so I wouldn’t feel so bad messing one of them up. That’s when I discovered all their other beautiful designs and products.
Today, I have quite a collection of them, and at least now I’m more willing to write in them since I know I can easily find them online again, in addition to a wide range of new designs they release on an ongoing basis. I really appreciate how varied their designs are, ranging from being inspired by 17th-century French book binding to 19th-century Japanese art. (And yes, I have purchased both of those; the first for a friend, the second for me — in case you were curious!)
Another benefit, I find, is that writing in such an aesthetically-pleasing book inspires me to be more creative and thoughtful about what I write in it. I’m much less likely to scrawl nonsense; it’s like the book’s quality helps me think quality thoughts, if that makes any sense.
Anyway, if you’re also into beautiful books and novelty items, or if you’re looking for some gift ideas for the holidays, I urge you to check out Peter Pauper Press’ products. They sell much more than journals, including planners, cute little books, unique bookmarks and more.
OK, I swear I don’t only buy and consume notebooks of various types — although the writer in me does love writing supplies. 🙂
No, I am also a fan of Sparkling ICE, a line of zero-calorie, “naturally flavored sparkling mountain spring water” beverages that have added vitamins and antioxidants:
These are great! I especially recommend these if ever you’re in the mood for a less-than-healthy soda; I have that tendency now and then but want to avoid soda. Luckily, I’m more than satisfied drinking these instead.
I must be honest about the fact that I haven’t tried all the various flavors they offer, so I can’t vouch for every single option; at first, I’d only tried their apple one, which was pretty good. One day, though, my store was out of apple, so I tried their pomegranate blueberry drink — and I was hooked. I’ve felt no need to explore further ever since. I love this flavor combination, representing a mix I won’t usually find and enjoy too often otherwise.
On a side note, while I do eat blueberries often, I rarely bother with pomegranates even though I know I should; the seeds are so good for you! Luckily, this drink contains real pomegranate juice, as opposed to artificial pomegranate flavoring like so many other products would do. A prime example that always bugs me are the pumpkin drinks out there, most of which have no real pumpkin in them. Why?!
If you’d like to try Sparkling ICE, you should be able to find it in your local supermarket or drugstore; if you need help, check out this link on the Sparkling ICE website for where to find it by you. Once you know which stores carry it, look for it in the bottled water aisle; at least that’s where I typically find it.
You can also order it online via Amazon; I recently ordered it from there myself when my local stores were out of the pomegranate flavor I must have to live prefer!
I feel good having told these companies how I feel about their products, as well as sharing these recommendations with you. I hope this post helps you find a nice treat for yourself or someone else, and that it also helps these businesses; I get so disappointed when a product I love disappears, so here’s hoping these remain successful enough to stick around for a long time!