You guys know me, already making my “end of year” lists. One I do every year (and usually write up) is my Game Changers list. For this decidedly odd year, here are mine:
Indianapolis Public Library’s Libby app — Yes, I am terribly late to the party when it comes to Indianapolis Public Library, but this year, I discovered researching books online via IPL’s website and audio books via the Libby-Overdrive app. Libby lets you check out audio books, stream them, place holds, and place bookmarks all from your phone or tablet, which leads me to …
Audio Books: Like everyone, I’ve listened to them while driving, but I love podcasts, too. This year, I pared my podcast list back and decided to use that time to catch up on my reading. I finally read Middlemarch (via audio) as my big “summer read” and I had a blast with Kevin Kwan’s books. Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Pete Buttigieg’s Shortest Way Home were great for multitasking and soaking in some leadership lessons. Libby even lets you bookmark passages to later reference.
Spotify — Custom lists, suggested playlists, mixes of playlists and daily podcasts. Every morning, Spotify served up my Morning Commute playlist (as if) with daily news, podcasts and songs. (And for a small charge per month, you can customize things even more.) It was a lifesaver for days when I needed a news break.
Induction burner for canning. I’d had one for a year, in its box and unused. A friend told me she used hers for canning so I gave it a try, and wow, what a game changer! Boiling a stockpot of water in 20 minutes meant I could can a few jars at time which is why I have so many pickles in the pantry.
Fermentation Jar Tops: These little magic jobbers are pretty great for fermented foods. I made my own kraut successfully and you could use them for pickles, kimchi or any other fermented goodies you like. They fit a standard sized wide-mouth jar and keep a watertight seal letting air burble out.
Magic Eraser: Whoever thought white tile and white grout for a kitchen floor was insane. It took a couple of hours on my hands and knees, but the grime is gone. See also, cleaning Tik-tok.
Face oil: Sounds weird. Totally works. My favorite brand was Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Glow with Turmeric. Mixed with a little moisturizer, it was a key part of my morning “going to work” routine. (Which involved commuting downstairs to get coffee, then back up to my office.)
Learning to edit pics: Thanks, Becky! Your tips on making food photos look great changed my IG game!
Zoom: Say what you will, it was a game changer for this year. Have an old tablet hanging around after an upgrade? Yeah, me too. It made a perfect stand alone Zoom device. Kind of a practical upcycled game changer. Paired with an adjustable cradle, it was perfect.
Ring Light: Speaking of Zooms, etc. Thanks to Room Rater, we are all a lot more conscious of a good Zoom background (with the right lighting!) A simple ring light you can put behind your tablet or computer web cam is amazing! Not to mention it’s a game changer for those of us who have to do photography at home.
Darning: OK, this is a little skill I’m pleased I learned. After a few YouTube videos, I learned to darn my socks. Yes, of course, I could get new ones (and still might!) But, hey, when we were all locked down, there was something very self-sufficient about making do. (And a huge shoutout to my friend Meganne who sent me an antique darning mushroom.)
It was a crazy year, so tell me what were your game changers?