The Quarterly Goodies — Hacker Credit Cards, Alpha BRAIN, Refuel Bars, and More

Every three months, I ship out a box of amazing physical products, along with two personal letters explaining everything: a physical letter and a video “letter.”  

One of the latter is above.  I do *not* plan on including these the blog, but giving an example is fun.

The theme of these quarterly mailings is obsession–I include the ideas and objects I can’t get out of my head.

Obsessions enter my life from all over the place.  Currently, my gadgets and gear recommendations are coming from Cirque du Soleil performers, chess prodigies, Fortune 500 CEOs, and military snipers.  It’s the randomness that makes it fun.

More than 1,500 people subscribe to these boxes through They are opening up 1,000 more spots for my next shipment, if of interest.

Here are the goodies from the latest:

1. Spectacle by David Rockwell with Bruce Mau ($49.95 retail, $33.94 Amazon)

2. Edible Green Tea ($25 retail)

3. LSTN Earbuds ($50 retail) Get 20% off by using the code “Quarterly” at check out!

4. AMRAP Refuel Bars ($23.95 retail, $23.90 Amazon)

5. Creative Whack Pack ($16 retail, $11.30 Amazon)

6. $20 Gift Card

7. Hacker Credit Card, Mini Work Tool ($7.95 retail, $8 Amazon)

8. Alpha BRAIN ($35 retail)

Want to get the next box? First come, first served here.


Some of the feedback so far (more here):

Joshua Millage – @jmillage – on 26 May

WOW @tferriss #TIM02 spanked #TIM01 if you keep this up – Im guessing we will be getting Ferraris in our boxes soon. THANKS!

Scott Miller – @Scotchmo – on 28 May

@tferriss Tim02 box arrived LSTN headphones sound great, and I am a headphone snob! Thanks Tim! #tim02

Will Lenzen Jr – @wlenzenjr – on 30 May

Blown away by the quality & thought put into what @tferriss included in #TIM02 of @Quarterly. Thanks Tim!

Want to explore further?  Here are the Twitter handles for all the above, in alphabetical order:

Alpha BRAIN by Onnit Labs – @Onnit


Donors Choose gift card – @DonorsChoose

Eat Green Tea – @eatgreentea

LSTN headphones – @LSTN

Mini work tool is created by BCB International – @bcbin

Spectacle, by David Rockwell and Bruce Mau – @labatrockwell@brucemaudesign

Whack Pack, creator Roger von Oech – @RogervonOech

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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69 Replies to “The Quarterly Goodies — Hacker Credit Cards, Alpha BRAIN, Refuel Bars, and More”

  1. Concerning the Alpha Brain, do you suggest a method for testing improvement via use? Some kind of benchmark we can set prior to use?

    Thanks, Tim

    1. A few options offhand:

      – For mainstream, something like

      – For a bit geekier, Google “Dual N-Back” or “Single N-Back”

      Also, here’s what Abelard Lindsay (smart guy) did with a different stack:

      1. Go to http://cambridgebrai… Sign up. Take the challenge a few times (

      2. Ok got a baseline score and have gotten familiar with the game?

      3. Take 2 (you can go up to 3 later) NOW Artichoke Extract Tablets and 1 Solaray Forskolin pill.

      4. Wait 1 hour.

      5. Play challenge again. I do consistently better on Spatial Search with this stack and do pretty well on everything else. This effect lasts for about 2 – 4 hours.


      That was from this thread somewhere:

      1. Hey Tim! Can you post the links to the NOW Artichoke Extract, and Solaray Forskolin please?

        So to verify, the ratio is 2 pills NOW Artichoke Extract to 1 Solaray Forskolin?


  2. Tim,

    When are you going to give BrainStack a try? We think you will find the stack pretty effective. Its the first to include Lion’s Mane.

  3. Wow – Received #02 last week and am blown away at the sheer value of the goodies in there. I am hoping we can buy crates of those AmWrap bars to be shipped over to Australia! 🙂 Also loving the uber cool LSTN earphones.

    1. As a fellow Aussie I too was keen to get some AMRAP bars – I contacted them and sadly they’re not shipping internationally 🙁

      1. Hey James,

        We are excited about moving into the “outback” market, however the truth is that AMRAP Nutrition is really having a hard time keeping up with the domestic (USA) demand for Refuel bars. We will be there soon, until then we thank you for your understanding.

        Have a nice date mate 🙂

        Ron Slavick


  4. Alpha Brain sounds interesting. I’m contemplating about experimenting with it. Any other recommendations for enhanced cognitive performance supplements?

  5. I’ve really enjoyed the first two shipments. Useful and interesting items. I highly recommend subscribing 🙂

    1. Best protein bars I’ve found. Enormously tasty. Bit expensive though and getting them to Canada makes it even more so :/

  6. This —

    LSTN Earbuds ($50 retail) Get $20 off by using the code “Quarterly” at check out!

    —– Was only a $10 discount.

  7. I’m a big supporter of Alpha BRAIN (as they sponsor me) and love what I get out of all the Onnit products. Glad you recommend them here, they are legit.

  8. Tim,

    I know you have traveled all over the world but in all these years of following you I never heard you visited Bolivia. If by any chance you want to come, I’d be happy to tour you around.

  9. THIS package looks really awesome and I though I could subscribe to get it. I went on quaterly and noticed we could only subscribe for the next one. Isn’t this sad? It’s like showing a kid a delicious cherry candy and asking him if he wants it. The kid desperately says “YES!!!” and then you tell him he’s gonna get one at random that will not be the one he’s shown and it will be in 2 months. That kills the mood 😉

    Is there a way we can subscribe to THIS shipment?

    Thanks Tim


  10. Tim,


    You have a grind that won’t stop and a hustle that won’t quit. I would love to read a post dedicated to your drive. How do you just crank out life all of the time?

    Lastly, here is an incredible video of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the best part is at 2:07 :

    When I think of incredible grinds, I rank you amongst the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s.

    I would love to read more about what gives you that oomph. It is amazing to me. That grind. I would love to read more about that.

  11. Got my package last week and have explored almost everything thoroughly! Love the headphones, and am now a total convert after dismissing the headphones after a few less than great experiences. The AMRAP bars tasted better than most other protein bars I have tried. The mini work tool is a gadget I have been wanting for a while so that was a nice surprise. The Book “Spectacle” has been nearly worn out after flicking through it nearly every time I walk past it while it sits on my kitchen table and my holiday planning has taken on a new level. The creative whack pack was fascinating and I shall definitely be trying to find a use for the cards. Unfortunately, due to strict drug testing at my workplace, I am not wiling to try the Alpha brain pills yet. And the Edible green tea is a little harder to swallow than I realised. But overall I loved the package. Well done Tim and many thanks

  12. As a subscriber, is there any way to retroactively get the first box? Missed it but it looked great too… looking forward to more! Thanks.

  13. Hello Tim,

    You’re one of those people who will make me move to San Francisco one day for sure! Meanwhile, if I subscribe would you ship to France

    1. Hi Sammy,

      Sarah from Quarterly Co. here. To answer your question, we do ship internationally, and there is a $15 shipping fee for international subscribers.

  14. Tim I know you are a chocophile, have you tried Taza Chocolates? They use a stone grounding technique which produces a more gritty texture that tastes awesome to me. You can also grind it up and use it for mexican hot chocolate. They have dark chocolate sampler packs consisting of cinammon, vanilla, guajillo chile, salt&pepper, orange, chipotle, ginger. Awesome stuff.

  15. Hi Tim,

    Got the quarterly package, loved the headphones. My parents say I sound like I’m on a landline, and my sound quality is great.

    I have a question about the blog: I realized I made a mistake in an earlier comment that was intended as a guide. I’d like to correct it. Is there any way for us users to modify comments?



    1. Hi Graeme,

      Thanks for the comment. Alas, I’m not aware of a WordPress plugin that allows readers to edit previous comments. If it’s a serious one, please email Donna from the “Contact” page and we’ll get you sorted.

      Enjoy the headphones!


  16. Hello Tim,

    Thanks for all the great stuff, I’ve learned a lot of things from your books.

    I have a question about Alpha BRAIN. Can you comment a bit more on your experience with this product? How much time did it elapse between taking it and feeling the effects? When do your think it is most useful (e.g. for which kind of activities would you personally use it?). Would you recommend it for mental focus?

    Cheers from a Spanish in Germany.


  17. Safe trip to Ethiopia Tim. I’m very interested in knowing what are the steps to make water possible in remote areas, if you don’t mind sharing 🙂

  18. I’ve been using the edible green tea on my eggs for two weeks, as a change up. The manufacturer seems to think I will feel more energy at the end of 30 days, so far nothing. Pretty high energy normally, though, so I will also keep tabs when I am done with it to see if I see a downside (lower energy). Eating green tea struck me as weird- so of course, I’m trying that.

    Ditto on the bars- tasty.

    Waiting until the tea is gone to play with alpha brain (too many variables).

    Probably my least favorite is Spectacle- nothing wrong with it, just doesn’t seem to resonate with me.

    I wonder if Tim has some idea’s on “adding” something about the muse biz idea’s in a mailing, and not sure how it could be done. (Wait…. take the smart pill!) That, and the fat loss idea’s, always get a lot more traffic and may boost people ordering. If ya get the 1 idea that pays 1k a month from it, the subscription pays for itself, and the other toys are a bonus. Idea’s might be a month long subscription to the app sumo courses, or a neat tool for researching idea’s, or perhaps some creativity tool to brainstorm, something like that.

    Like many subscribers, my interests fall into fitness and finances; and that is what i usually look at first in these packages. YMMV, of course……

    1. Hi Roger,

      Thanks for the comment. I don’t feel much from the green tea, but it does have a mild stimulatory effect. I take it mostly for the ORAC value and bodyfat reduction.

      I’ll chat with AppSumo and see what I can do, but for “some creativity tool to brainstorm,” the Whack Pack in the latest box is precisely for that!


  19. Gotta watch about that hacker tool if you use it to open beer bottles….can slice your fingers if you’re not careful!! Just FYI….

    1. Hi Maria,

      Sarah from Quarterly Co. here. If you sign up today, you will be receiving Tim’s third package, which ships in August.

  20. I’ve seen those tools before. Used to have a couple (kept getting taken at the airports because I leave them in my wallet and forget they are there :P)

    Get them for about $2-3 on Ebay et Al – just search around.

  21. I am thoroughly enjoying the contents of the second quarterly. The AMRAP bars were perfectly timed as I am working through “Engineering the Alpha.” The LSTN headphones have become my standard headset for phone. A much needed upgrade from the standard ones that came with it. The Whack Pack has been one of the most fun tools at brainstorming solutions to current work projects and side businesses. All in all another great quarterly shipment.

    Tim, along with the nootropics you mentioned Grape Seed Extract on the recent Random Show. Do you have a preferred supplier or brand?

  22. Tim, great stuff here. Concerning Alpha Brain — do you use it as a daily supplement, and/or do you supplement with it when you need an extra boost? Does it need to be cycled on/off?

  23. Hi Tim,

    Many thanks for including my Creative Whack Pack card deck in your recent Quarterly box. It’s been called many things over the years, but I especially love your description of it as an “ass-saver”! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed working with it to generate ideas.

    For your information, the Creative Whack Pack is also available as an iPhone/iPad app. Link:

    Best wishes to you in your work! –Roger von Oech

  24. Hey Tim, would like to send you some Chomps 100% Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks to try. They’ve become popular among Crossfitters, Paleo and Gluten Free Dieters…and they taste freakin’ amazing. Would like your feedback if you have any interest in trying them. I think they’d be a good fit for future QG boxes.

  25. Safe trip! Please keep

    us posted about your work in Ethiopia,

    I will love to hear about your experiences


  26. Hi Tim

    I have been following your blog for some time and I have noticed that you never get negative comments – is this because you are screening your comments or are you genuinely this good? Neither would surprise me but I would like an honest answer. After all, this is your blog and you are allowed to delete negative comments if they add nothing to the discussion.

    It just feels like your ideas get criticised on some other blogs/websites but never on your own, hence my question.


  27. I know you published your personal playlist(props), but here’s an interesting idea: Music selected to help you get focused and then stay focused. I’m still trying it out, and I’m not associated with the company if that’s what you’re thinking.

    Oh, and I still think someone should be able to rote memorize a deck in 60 seconds. I’m up to 11 cards, and the whole deck in an hour.

  28. Hey man, a facebook page called “Project Yourself” is using your image in their ads. Do they have your permission? I have a screen shot if you want one.

  29. Here is another reason to subscribe to Tim’s Quarterly package, you become a more generous person. Not just from the Donors Choose gift card (that plus some of my own cash went to buying owl pellets to dissect in a middle school science class), you inevitably get stuff that makes the perfect gift. Headphones (very good quality, b-t-w) went to a daughter who happen to need some, Japanese saw, drawing pencils & mini tool went to my crafty/artsy/outdoor sister and the books I already had a copy of went to others. It is amazingly nice to give stuff outside of the normal ‘suppose to’ times like birthdays & Christmas and it seems to mean more to the people who receive it.

    Also just a tip, the edible green tea gets blended into my morning green smoothie.

  30. The creative whack pack sounds a lot like a toned down version of Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies”. You should check that out for some abstract approaches.

    1. The Creative Whack Pack was originally developed in 1987-88 (since then, there have been three subsequent editions including the iPhone/iPad version ).

      There are 3 main differences between the Creative Whack Pack and Brian Eno’s cards:

      -1- each Creative Whack card has a story and/or anecdote to explain its main creativity principle;

      -2- each Creative Whack card has a drawing on it to illustrate the creativity principle; and,

      -3- there’s an overall model of the creative process that the cards support, namely, there are four card suits: Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior.

      Both products are good for stimulating your creativity!

  31. Hey Tim. First of all I have the upmost respect for you and I have been reading you blog, books for years now. On that note, I am not sure how you can back products like Alpha Brain. I have tried this product before myself and did absolutely nothing, its a well marketed placebo pill. Reviews on amazon are also horrible. Have you tried this product yourself? I would love to hear yoor reasoning behind backing them.



  32. Absolutely loved #TIM02! Brain Cancer survivor in me loves the Alpha Brain; Spectacle and I have made a “to do” list, the concept of the headphones giving back is brilliant! The made me really think more about investing in KIVA, Kickstarter and the like for projects and causes I believe in….

    Time to put my $ where my mouth is…. just cancelled my Quarterly #TIM03 order (been with you since #TIM01) and will be using that $ to GIVE BACK! Thanks for the inspiration! Not because it’s not worth it- or not great stuff- (if others of you are considering subscribing! It’s awesome!) but because it’s self indulgent and I don’t need more “stuff.” Others, do. So, I’m giving you up Tim, somehow, I think you’ll approve! ONWARD!

    First donation tonight went to:


  33. Tim, Quarterly #2 rocks again! Just missing the Alpha Brain. Doesn’t it ship to Europe? Best wishes, Martin

  34. I’ve heard so much praises about the Alpha Brain. Anyways, thank you so much for the mailings. You could also try the plastic business cards. I just got started on that for my business…

  35. Yo Tim cool post, Loving the whole concept of and I love the headphone concept and the way they are giving back! Similar to a sunglass company based out of San Diego, Solo Eyewear who use proceeds to combat preventable blindness in the developing world. Could be a sweet item to add to your next quarterly. I have no affiliation but a great company making a difference!

  36. I’d like to hear your thoughts on Alpha Brain… I’m preparing to start a 30 day case study of the product and would like to hear you discuss your experience and about its effectiveness. There seem to be mixed reviews on Amazon. But Rogan and his group seem to speak to highly of it. I am a bit skeptical of it but I am willing to try it out and report my findings.

  37. Tim how about you could make it a bit by bit subscription. Like $35 per month rather than $100 in one go? You make a tad more and it’s easier on tne pocket.