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Favorites of 2018

Hope your 2018 has been great.

Mine had some ups and downs… but I’m really excited for 2019!

In 2 weeks, I’ll share how we plan for our businesses in 2019. Plus my personal goals.

For now, I want to share my favorite things this year. And I want learn from you what you liked most…


Power of Full Engagement: One of my favorite books ever. It’s not about your time, it’s about your energy. I read my favorite books again this year. Why not keep doing what works? The main things discussed in this book are how to maximize your energy and optimize recovery.

Outwitting the Devil. I found this book on a reddit list of the most underrated books you haven’t read. This turned out to be PHENOMENAL. It’s not about manifesting, but solid advice about creating plans, avoiding “drifting”, and achieving your own success.

Rise and Kill First: I’m shocked this book was released. It shares unbelievable stories about Israel secret intelligence and perseverance.

Evicted: One of Bill Gates’ favorite books this year. Surprising insights into the lives of people who were evicted. I make a lot of assumptions about these people. Turns out I was wrong WHY they get evicted.

My new book — Things Rich People Won’t Tell You. I’ve been working hard on this. It’s coming soon, keep an eye on your inbox…


Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling: I found this when reading about Mac Miller. He quoted the show about Gary saying, “Just be Gary!” It’s a bit dark of a documentary, and you may not have heard of Gary as a comedian. I took a lot out of the show, and liked the parts about how he used his work to learn more about himself.

City of Gold: I’ve been a lot in LA this year, and Jonathan Gold is THE food critic of the city. He passed away unfortunately but his insights are very fun to watch.

Pressure Cooker: Tim Ferriss mentioned this one to me in passing. I love movies like this and the chess one where it shows kids achieving despite challenging circumstances.


Joe Lamont running his $2 billion secret software empire: Click here to read this awesome article. I am not encouraging everything he does, but I appreciate people who are thinking differently.


Mac Miller – Swimming (Spotify link): I cried a lot about Mac this year. I felt like I personally should have helped him in a weird way. This album is insane. Listen to it a few times from beginning to end. His progression as an artist is inspiring, and I’m bummed he couldn’t create more magic in the world.

Meek Mill – Championships (Spotify link): If going to jail would produce albums like this, then I’m off to commit a crime. He came back swinging bigger than ever! The rawness of the tracks and the smoothness of the beats are very impressive.

Self-care items

Neutrogena sunscreen face sticks: I use these everyday. If you care about not looking wrinkly I found these sticks are the easiest way to put lotion / sunblock on my face.

Youtheory collagen: As I’m getting older I want to keep my youthful skin. Ha. Anyways, my friends at AppSumo recommend this, and I “think” it’s working in keeping my skin less wrinkled.

Natural Vitality magnesium: I got my blood tested to see if I was low in anything. I’m low in almost everything, jk. But supposedly most of us are low in magnesium, and it helps put us to sleep. Even if it’s placebo, I enjoy taking it as a positive habit to say it’s bedtime (and this will help you sleep better).

Best items under $50

Mesh Bag: This is very helpful for holding dirty clothes, things that are wet, or for washing my boxing wraps.

Dual Charger:  Very handy when traveling, or at home for slim fitting and able to charge 2 devices at once.

Mattress pad cover: I’ve been traveling a lot, and this is a great hack to make any bed WAY more comfortable for a very low price. Throw on top. Done.

Layla pillows: You spend 30% of your WHOLE life sleeping, why not make it as a great as possible? I’ve tried a lot of pillows and these are my new favorite. H/t Dave Hauser on these.

Phone car holder: Makes life SO much easier when you get a rental car. I gift these to a lot of my friends who hold their phones when they drive.

Auxiliary retractable cables: I LOVE these cables. I carry this in my travel bag, and they come in handy so often in rental cars and rental houses.

What have been your favorite things in 2018?

Leave a comment and I’ll buy 1 person 1 of my favorite items of the year. 😉

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100 responses to “Favorites of 2018”

Mike Doyle
January 18, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Just ordered the Layla pillow.

David S Hestrin
January 7, 2019 at 2:56 am

Thanks! I will buy some nice things here now thanks to ya Noah! Someday, I will offer you a taco you won’t refuse.

Josh Waggoner
January 3, 2019 at 9:35 am

Great list! Check out Mac Miller’s Tiny Desk Concert from NPR.

The Drive: Peter Attia
Let’s Know Things: Colin Wright
Unattended Consequences: Patrick Rothfuss (author of Name of The Wind [my fav series]) + Max Temkin (cards against humanity)

The Midnight
Jon Bellion

Solve for Happy: Mo Gawdat
It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work: Jason Fried + DHH
Almost Everything — Thoughts on Hope: Anne Lamott

Shaqir Hussyin
December 27, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Apple Airpods – best $150 spent by my wife.

Jason Kidwell
December 23, 2018 at 7:07 am

Wow! Watching Pressure Cooker movie and instantly more motivated to succeed. Most do not have the opportunities most have!! Terrific suggestion, Tacohead

Noah Kagan
December 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Thanks JK. Glad you enjoyed it amigo 🙂

Jason Kidwell
December 23, 2018 at 7:00 am

City of Gold documentary is Real Gold

Melissa T Mosley
December 22, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Great list! That car phone holder would have been a great thing for the person who just crashed into my car to have. Watch the road not your phone!

December 22, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Great book selection Noah! I have a Evernote list of recommended books.

My word for 2019 is PARTICIPATE. Which is yours?

Have a great day Noah!

aaron pinkham
December 22, 2018 at 1:49 am

Hey Noah,

Cheers for the recommends!

I read hillbilly elegy and evicted one after the other last summer here in NZ.

Both really good, but so bleak:(

The charger looks cool, so simple!

December 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Purple Mattress – My wife hates it but it’s improved my sleep 150%. Thats my tip. Thanks for sharing Noah!

December 21, 2018 at 10:30 am

Hey Noah! I really enjoyed the last 4 (?) episodes about your ayahuasca experience. Listening to it was so much fun. 2018 for me was a year of personal discovery, I started to see a therapist and lots of stuff came out during the sessions…and I’m so into subconscious and how much is in there that we don’t even know, some deep emotions, behavioral patterns and just the way we live and see the world. My fav books this year: Toxic Parents by Susan Forward, The Drama of the Gifted Child and For Your Own Good by Alice Miller (the last one is particularly powerful as you can see why Hitler became who he was and where all this drama is rooted) and Women who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Thanks again for everything you do and share, hope 2019 will bring new discoveries and experiences! Sveta

Noah Kagan
December 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm


That’s awesome you had a lot of growth this year. Thanks for the book suggestions.

I am glad you liked the episodes.

Make 2019 epic 🙂

Kyle Reed
December 21, 2018 at 8:57 am

Favorite things this year:

Book – The way of the superior man
Great book that is very practical but also thinks in ways I have not heard.

Documentary: More of a series, but Shot in the Dark on Netflix was very fascinating. Tells the story of guys who capture footage of overnight stories in LA for news stations. First episode was capturing and was crazy.

Best item under $50:
-Aeropress (coffee while I am traveling)
-Syba Sonic Headphone Amplifier ($46) run my speakers through it and love having it.

Bears Den (perfect for working and focus)

Noah Kagan
December 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for the doc suggest amigo, checking it out!

Wendy Reese Hartmann
December 21, 2018 at 7:27 am

It’s pretty tough to choose just one but I’d say Eureka Springs, AR. We move here this year and most days are a lot like a cross between Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Ozark and A River Runs Through It. I also fell in love with Crystal Bridges and Walton Family Foundation (tough thing because I still have mixed feelings about WalMart) both have brought invaluable gifts to Northwest Arkansas. Books: Wisdom Walking by Gil Stafford, This Is Marketing by Seth Godin, I Wonder As I Wander by Langston Hughes, and Travels With Charley in Search of America ( this one per Tim Ferris’s and particularly relevant some 60 years later). Music is impossible but huge shout out to WFUV in NYC (I am a meme bee who supports because they have an app and introduce me to amazing music). Stuff: Butcher Box and a fuzzy exercise ball cover from Dreamweavers in Eureka Springs. It adds another dimension for instability on the ball which I use of my office chair but it’s pretty and the texture is sensual and calming- a bonus for upleveling creativity while decreasing stress.

December 20, 2018 at 9:29 pm

Love the book recommendations.

This might be NSFW…but one of my best buys this year was an enema kit from Amazon. It’s under $50 and has countless health benefits (just Google it Noah, I dare you!).

Noah Kagan
December 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

haha. I hate this suggestion but I kinda like this at the same time.

Thanks BM!

Daniel Zahler
December 20, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Pressure Cooker is great – directed by my friend Jennifer Grausman!

Noah Kagan
December 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm

So cool DZ. Loved the video.

December 20, 2018 at 8:12 pm

Since I was laid off earlier this year and have yet to secure full time employment, I enjoyed reconnecting with things I already have! I got back trying to learn guitar, broke out my drum set and started messing with that again, learned more about my camera and still working on taking better pictures, and reading free Kindle books…just finished Bitter Brew. My scanner has also been one of my favorite things, for my mom’s Christmas present I am digitizing and (somewhat) organizing all the family pictures! I hope you have a great 2019!

Ryan Mammina
December 20, 2018 at 4:45 pm

Napolean Hill – same guy who wrote Think and Grow Rich – was a notorious scammer. I still like his books though

Noah Kagan
December 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

I saw that article and maybe he was or wasn’t….

BUT you can still learn from peeps and I did a lot through outwitting the devil book.

Charles Bohannan
December 20, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Thanks Noah for this list. I don’t take time to read other people’s blogs much but I decided this one was a good investment of time.

My product recommendation of the year is a “Field Notes” notebook. It’s basically a tiny, tan-colored softcover notebook that fits into any pocket, ready to capture your passing business ideas, observation and schemes. (Amazon: Field Notes Original Kraft Notebook 3-Pack)

I like Field Notes because I’ve been traveling the world this year and I decided to ditch the pomp and circumstance of my more serious and much heavier black hardcover Moleskine notebook. HUGE weight and space saver, I tell you.

I’ve gotten Field Notes wet a few times, kinda stained but not ruined the writing, and thankfully didn’t break down the paper. I think there are fancier waterproof options out there but for now I’m pretty happy. There’s also a printed 5-in. ruler on the inside back cover that has come in real handy for measuring things abroad when you’re fed up with the metric system.

Bonus pairing item: Uni-Ball Jetstream Retractable Ball Point Pens, 0.7mm, Black Ink.

December 20, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Mac Miller, Thanks for the recommendation Noah, I entertained guests with this tonight. I enjoyed the gently lulling creaps over you, until you find yourself tap you feet and grooving. Cheers have a restful holiday. Lee

Noah Kagan
December 23, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Completely! This last album was insane.

It keeps getting better the more times I listen to it.

Ankesh Kothari
December 20, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Buying the Aseema baby carrier has been the best purchase this year! Looking forward to your book Noah!

December 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Power of Full Engagement is a favorite here too!

My 2018 faves include the Insight Timer app (free) where I’m on a 250 day streak of meditating. Works offline too which is great for travel.

Best book was Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Most used purchase was a $200 Epson V600 scanner which let me digitize over 4,000 family photos in just a couple months. Great quality and can do 4 or 8 at once, depending on size. Now that everything is digital I’m trying to catch up on the past and albums full of family memories.

Sean Weas
December 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Sounds kind of pedestrian, but my two favorite things I purchased this year, that really paid off, were Apple AirPods and an Audible subscription.

I walk my dog religiously (at least 3 times a day) and the simplicity of the AirPods in conjunction with my phone + Audible has been incredible.

As some one who aspires to read more, but never seems to find quiet time to read, this was an easy way to ‘read’ while also keeping up my health and making my pup happier. Triple win.

Kamber Sokulsky
December 20, 2018 at 11:42 am

Hi Noah. I didn’t even know who you are when we met recently in November (in Austin, at a ‘sound healing ceremony’ at my friend’s house. I think you know what I’m talking about.) I liked your energy the moment we met. Strangely, I felt like I have known you a 100 years (but seriously, had NO idea who you are.) After looking you up, I think you are one of the most fascinating people I know. It is (maybe?) bizarre as I have been looking more into utilizing my writing skills and developing those into ways for me to make a different type of living than I have in the past. (For the record, I do NOT believe in coincidences!) and was actually asking for guidance IN the ceremony I speak of. Hmmmmm……? I would love to have that book “Outwitting the Devil”. j Pretty sure Santa isn’t bringing it, so would be happy if YOU decided to send it! I think I truly need it. I probably need it more than tacos. (and though I live in CO now, I AM from Austin, so we BOTH know what THAT means!) Plus, it was just recently my birthday, so what better reason to send me a book? Plus, I also outran the Devil this last year (cancer) and realized I have so much more to live for in life. I have been a visual artist/ blacksmith/ sculptor for many years now, but am changing the direction of my life. I am going back to writing and need some real solid inspiration! If you are ever in Boulder/Denver area, I won’t take you out for tacos, but I WILL make you the best tacos of your life! (I also used to be a personal chef, and MY tacos RULE over everyone elses’ in THIS state, anyway). So if that doesn’t bribe you…. er… I mean “convince” you that I am to be the “chosen” one, hey, what can I say? Cheers! Kamber P.S. Love your blog! You crack me up!

david kelly
December 20, 2018 at 11:10 am

Hi, all! A few of you have asked about how to get Noah’s new book. We’ve closed pre-orders, but we’ll let you know when it’s available again… 🙂

-David at Team Dork

Jake Bernstein
December 20, 2018 at 11:08 am

Your new book sounds interesting. Any place I can find more details?

December 20, 2018 at 11:04 am

Burning Patchouli and orange essential oil. A spiritualist recommended it. It helps me with confidence. Especially, when I’m focused on hitting a goal.

Jason Levi
December 20, 2018 at 10:44 am

Good stuff, Noah! I’m going to make my own list to share on social for my friends but here’s a sample, no links cause that feels spammy but everything’s on amazon (duh)

Therapeutica cervical pillow – $95- I almost had neck surgery because of pain/bulging discs last year and I think this pillow had a lot to do with my recovery enough to skip the scalpel. It’s funky looking, expensive, and takes a while to get used to but pain is gone and I’ve never slept better.

That collagen looks like a hair gel container, are you sure you’re not eating hair gel again? I second the importance of putting sunscreen on your face every day, I use an Aveeno lotion with it every day (it rubs the lotion on its skin…)

Playstation VR / Aim controller / Firewall: Zero hour: about $280 all together but you can find everything used for less. I know putting a game on a list is trivial but if I’m making a list of things that make me consistently go “woahhhh” this VR stuff is AMAZING, and the hardware is ALMOST good. I think the next gen of this gear is going to be insane and have practical uses outside of gaming.

Magnetic car vent-mount for phone– absolute life saver in rentals as you mentioned

Book: Tony Robbins –Unshakable – It’s also a “things rich white people won’t tell you about your retirement account.” Things like for every 1% of fees you pay reduces your retirement savings by a DECADE.

Book: Scott Adams –How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big — It’s about the process and what you learned while failing that’s important. And combining skill sets. I didn’t dig the last 1/3 of the book where he plays nutritionist but you can always skip that.
Scott’s writing style is SO good and easy to read, I breezed through this because I couldn’t put it down.

Now I’m gonna make the rest of my list to share with my friends on social- great idea. Take care bro!

Noah Kagan
December 25, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Great to see your name amigo. Pick 1 of the items amigo and I’ll order it for you 🙂

Happy Holidays!

December 20, 2018 at 10:43 am

Hey Noah, I bought Atomic Habits on the back of your recommendations. Glad I did, it’s a real life changer! Still amazed how it didn’t make the book list ? Happy New Year buddy!

david kelly
December 20, 2018 at 10:31 am

What’s up, Philip! Pre-orders are now closed. Hang tight, they’ll open again. 😉 -David at Team Dork.

December 20, 2018 at 10:27 am

Glad you caught on to Evicted. One powerful story after another on the housing mess for lower income people.

December 20, 2018 at 10:06 am

Wow … I also bought a Down mattress topper and pillows (Parachute). They have been amazing and helped me sleep so much better! I bought a phone holder too and started keeping the phone in Drive Mode to eliminate distractions.

My Favorite Things of 2018

1. Philz Coffee – Silken Splendor, found this at my local grocery store and immediately declared it the best cup of coffee I have ever had.

2. Switched from Android back to Apple to take back some privacy … also started using a handful of alternative paid cloud services that use end-to-end encryption to keep data safe and secure. I’m starting to get used to using Duck Duck Go …

3. Dosist Pens – Voted by Time Magazine as one of the Top 25 Inventions. I’m a light weight when it comes to smoking weed and honestly do not like to get “high”. However, “micro dosing” is something I have gotten behind … these pens give a measured amount of your chosen blend. “Calm”, is almost all CBD with just a touch of THC. It will slow you down and help you focus without the side effect of being intoxicated. “Relief” will help you go to sleep on those nights that your mind just won’t stop going full speed.

Looking forward to your new book!

December 20, 2018 at 9:53 am

My favorite thing this year was my son coming out of the hospital completely healthy, after spending 40 days there fighting a serious disease…

December 20, 2018 at 9:30 am

I am intrigued by the dual charger.. neat!

December 20, 2018 at 9:26 am

The movie Bohemian Rhapsody

Joy Curry
December 20, 2018 at 9:21 am

Love the movie trailers..added them to my movie list. A few of the books are also must reads. thanks for sharing! Your shares are infrequent but worth reading. I desire to receive a gift from you! 🙂 For real.

December 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

Hey, the stuff you recommend are really cool, some things I never thought about but make so much sense. My favorite on the list are the mattress pad cover (ingenious, brilliant), dual charger (really, whyever not?) Books, movies and music I’ll be checking them out.

Jack Morrissette
December 20, 2018 at 9:15 am

I love how diverse this list is! Mac Miller to Jonathon Gold and beyond. Hence the reason why this is one of the very few email list I stay subscribed too as you always offer content that is anything but predictable!

December 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

I really like the book recommendations. If I can make on e back it is: It might cover some of the same ground as Rise And Kill First.

December 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

Glad you put Mac’s album on there. If you haven’t already check out his “Spotify Singles” he recorded over the summer. It’s just him and a piano, really beautifully done.

todd averyhart
December 20, 2018 at 9:02 am

Greetings! 2018 was a blur. Onward and Upward. Here are a few favorites for me in 2018 in no particular order:
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. I know, I know I’m late. Better than never.
Heinens Chicken Noodle Soup. If you are ever in Cleveland Ohio (be nice) go by the local grocery chain and pick up a container. Not certain if crack is an ingredient but I am addicted.
Self Help:
Meditation. In my personal quest to be my best friend, this oldie but goodie brings another level of peace and calm.
Park Legend by Salazar Skurlock. Skurlock a.k.a. Big B is an underground veteran in the music game. His new release of fan favorites gave me life. While I have always been a fan, the latest project reminded me of why I fell in love with hip hop. Pittsburgh, Texas, I salute you!
Protandim Nrf2 Supplements. Heard of oxidative stress? Well this little gem works from within your body to help fight free radicals and protect against oxidative stress. Only supplement known to reduce cellular stress by an average of 40% in 30 days.
LICK: A Very Adult Coloring Book. The title pretty much sums it up. Coloring has always been therapeutic for me yet this is a different level. I was gifted by a friend and enjoy so much I’ve purchased an additional 10 as stocking stuffers. The author actually used real models and turned them into illustrations. Doooope.
I could go on but don’t want to be labeled a “comment hog.” Blessings to All. Hugs!

December 20, 2018 at 9:01 am

Bombas running socks! I saw them advertised in my Facebook feed forever. They are a little pricey, so I was not sure… But several friends told me they love them. When I read that they had a washer guarantee, I was hooked! If one of your socks gets lost in the laundry, they will send you a new pair!

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