Friends news: Life Hacks from Jonathan Wegener

Published 9 months ago • 5 min read

Hello Reader, from your friend Nick, author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party (paperback or Audible).

I'm in Singapore now and going to Phoenix, Arizona next week. Tell me if you're in town or have friends there. I will invite y'all to my meetups. It will be fun.

In this issue: how to save money on flights, wearing AirPods to sleep, a unique use case for AirTags, great website to help you make and give better presentations, Jonathan's 19 Things Home Gear List, more life hacks, and a list of tech gadgets. Plus a hot tip about the 2 different types of popcorn.

Why you’re getting this: I'm Nick Gray and this is my Friends Newsletter. I send this every month to interesting people I’ve connected with and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can un-subscríbe any time and I won't be mad. I won't even be notified!

Singapore & Phoenix, AZ

Singapore: I just landed in Singapore! It is amazing. I'm hosting a meetup this Saturday afternoon, August 5th, around the Orchard neighborhood. Email me back if you want to say Hi or know someone who lives in Singapore! I promise it will be fun and interesting.

Phoenix, Arizona: I'll be in the Phoenix area next week for a little book tour between Scottsdale and Tempe. Hosting a few private events on the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. Tell me if you're in town and I can try to invite you to one! Or we'll do a meetup one morning or afternoon.

Life Hacks from Jonathan Wegener

My friend Jonathan Wegener (Twitter & Instagram) is such a good curator, life hacker, and tech nerd.

He used to work at Snapchat and previously invented this app called Timehop.

I asked him if he'd be willing to share some of his life hacks in my newsletter. Here are a few that he sent me.

🎫 A nerdy thing I did: put AirTags on visitor parking passes

I attached AirTags to our visitor street parking passes with this two sided gorilla tape. Now when we host dinner parties and friends steal them, it’s easy to track the parking passes down!

🎧 Pro tip: Sleeping

I love sleeping with AirPods Pros playing white noise. Especially handy in noisy environments!

✈️ Life Hack: Google Flights

On Google Flights, most people “track flights” they want to purchase. Instead, I use it to track flights I’ve ALREADY purchased. Then if the price falls, you can get a rebate for the price difference.

Usually getting the lower price is as easy as doing “change flights” on their website and then just picking the same exact flight from the list. I've saved thousands of dollars doing this.

🧐 Life hack: Gmail search weekly reminder

I have a weekly reminder to run this search in Gmail:

in:sent :older_than:4d :newer_than:11d

Then I poke anyone who hasn’t responded to me and needs poking! Same with iMessages, I re-read all messages until it shifts from “Friday” to a date and then poke people.

👨‍🏫 Life tip: Flaticon for presentations

Making presentation slides can be hard for many people. They start by filling them with tons of text to write out ideas. Don’t do this! Presentations are a visual medium so think visually:

The Flaticon is an AWESOME source of single color images that are neutral enough to all work nicely together.

So begin by going to and making slides that are JUST one Icon per slide. No text. Use the notes section to capture what you want to say on top of each image. Then add headlines. That’s it. One headline + an icon or two per slide.

Your audience will thank you when they get to focus on what you’re SAYING — and having that reinforced by images (versus trying to read a million words and trying to listen at the same time). If your presentation is a fun one, use giphy animations or funny dall-e generated images for even more impact.

🙋‍♀️ Life Hack: Search Engines

Most people probably already know this, but if not: add "reddit" to search queries to get authentic human results untainted by SEO. For example, if I wanted to find a good coffee shop in LA, I'd search on Google for "reddit best coffee shop LA." I do this almost every time I’m looking for opinions or trusted info now.

💰 Life Hack: Cheapest product on Amazon

Find the cheapest product on Amazon. Ever find yourself looking for a small random item…But Amazon is showing you a bunch of boogie 10 pack options?

Try this: do your search, then tap FILTER and turn on “prime” then “customer reviews: 4 stars and up”. And then Sort: price low to high”

You’ll be amazed. For example I needed razor blades and found them for $2!! With free shipping!

💡 Life Hack: LED strips

These led strips are amazing and look like one continuous line of light versus individual led dots. I’ve installed them under all my kitchen shelves and it makes the home look like a million bucks combined with a strip controller to make it Alexa/Siri/Google voice powered AND dimmable.

🎧 Wriggle - Mr Jukes Edit (Spotify)

Funky remix song of Willy Wonka, I think?

Flight Hacking

Jonathan recently gave a presentation to some friends about flight hacking where the title was "Using and abusing the rules to your maximum advantage."

Nick's note: I need more friends who give presentations at social events!

In the presentation he covered:

  • Same day flight changes
  • Price tracking
  • Combining them

He talked a lot about how to use same day switches or free same day switches to your advantage, especially for last minute bookings.

Email me back if you want a PDF of his presentation. I will sent it to you as a file attachment. It is 20 pages and very easy to read. You'll see how he used Google Flights to save $1,100 on a recent trip to Sydney, Australia. Nothing for sale here and advanced flight nerds probably already know this stuff - I just don't want to post it online.

Two types of Popcorn

Jonathan also told me: "Something I learned recently: There are two types of popcorn, normal and mushroom. Mushrooms have a totally different popped shape, giving it more surface area to make things like caramel corn."

More gadgets: Flosser, MacBook Charger, etc

If you want EVEN MORE of Jonathan's best stuff, I put 19 of his favorite home gear and gadgets onto this blog post on my site:

Jonathan’s Home Gear List 2023

Here are some of the items:

  1. A better MacBook Charger
  2. Magnetic Laptop Phone Holder
  3. Popsocket Phone Wallet
  4. AirTag Hidden Bicycle Mount
  5. Uplight Wall Sconce

.... plus 14 more. Read his favorite gadgets and tech gear on my personal blog here.

The End

Thanks for reading my Friends Newsletter.

And thanks to Jonathan for sharing his tips! Check him out on Twitter & Instagram.

Also: Singapore and Phoenix people, email me! Or intro me to your friends there I can invite them to my meetup.

Have a great rest of your week.

🤠 Nick Gray

p.s. Here's the About Me on my website if you forgot who I am. We met [HOWWEMET GOES HERE].

An investor, entrepreneur, and author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. I started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Join 20,000 CEOs, investors, and founders and receive business tips, productivity tools, and other resources from me.

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