I think there was a somewhat similar thread about branding that you like, but I've been thinking about specific products that have made my life better. Usually just stuff for everyday functions. These are some of the things that I've been really happy with.
Most recently, I decided to start packing a lunch again instead of relying on the hospital's cafeteria. The choices have been very poor for a while now, so I would almost always end up at the grill getting a chicken sandwich, veggie burger, or the occasional real burger. I liked the idea of the compartmentalized containers, so I decided to try out the system from easylunchboxes.com. Not so great. The lids would just sort of sit on the containers, not really sealing well. I ended up getting an entirely different lunch tote and container system:Built Neoprene Tasty Lunch ToteKinetic Go Green Premium Nano Silver 7 Piece Food Storage Container Set
I also got these reusable ice cubes, but I haven't used them yet, so I can't say whether they're the bomb or not:Icy Cools Reusable Ice Cubes
I really like the seal on the new containers, and the lunch tote looks cooler than the other ones I'd been looking at. Also stretchy enough to have a little room for accommodation. I can see the tote maybe not lasting forever if you're rough with it, but for me, I think it will be enough for a long time.
Another recent purchase was a Totes Titanium Auto-Open/Close Umbrella
. To be fair, it was replacing a pretty crappy umbrella, but I still like it a lot more. Having it open as well as collapse with the push of a button is pretty cool. Again, I don't know yet how durable it's going to be, but I'm sure it's going to be stronger than what I had.
As far as not so recent purchases, it's hard not to mention the Snow Peak Titanium Spork
. I tried every brand I could find at one point, and the Snow Peak was my favorite by a fair margin. At first the slender handle and big end threw me off, but I got used to it really quickly, and now it just feels natural.
I use this packaging tape dispenser at work, and after using cheaper ones that my parents own, I can say there's a huge difference in how well they operate:3M Scotch Gray Box Sealing Tape Dispenser (H180)
All of my retractable badge reels at work kept breaking, so I found this which was a bit sturdier:Gear-Retractor
It's been probably a couple of years by now, and it's still going strong. I got one for both my coworker and I. It's lasted for us both, and we both get our badges snagged on things fairly often in our work. You have to modify it slightly to work as a badge reel, but it's really not complicated. I'm sure it's even better for other things, since it has more than enough pull for badges.
I mentioned the Swingline Collectors Edition 747 Rio Red Business Stapler
not too long ago, and it's still going strong at work, too, with no jams yet. Cheap on Amazon.com still, cheap at Costco.
Anyway, those are some little things that have made my life better. What do you have?