General Question

zina's avatar

What is a useful, small, relatively flat and lightweight object?

Asked by zina (1661points) June 24th, 2009

Help us brainstorm:

Something functional (to just about anyone).
Small enough to fit in an envelope (so relatively flat too, but not necessarily).

Could be anything.

(Examples so far: bookmark, bird whistle, flower seed packet, photograph….)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

Lalalime's avatar

An ipod touch! YES! I also have a keychain size leatherman’s tool which I could not live without. I don’t think they make them anymore.

ragingloli's avatar

debit card

Allie's avatar

A plane ticket to someplace I really want to visit.

Edit: ...Or a condom? You know, for your sexually active friends.

Dog's avatar

@Allie Lurve- I so envy PnL right now.

Useful items, flat and lightweight.
CD’s or DVDs
Keys to a vacation rental home.

Tink's avatar

@Lalalime – Good call on the iTouch

Darwin's avatar

@Dog – I only envy her if she has successfully figured out how to sleep on a plane.

Allie's avatar

@Darwin She hasn’t.

Darwin's avatar

As to the actual question, guitar picks – they make some pretty ones these days.

nikipedia's avatar

Does it count if it’s only useful to 1/2 the population? Hair ties and jewelry come to mind, but not super popular among men.

Letters, poems, and stories all fit on single sheets of paper (or many). So do printed webcomics.

Remember CDs? You could send a mix CD, or one with some recorded podcasts. Or a DVD, come to think of it.

Tealights or other small, flat candles. Nice to have around.

You can never go wrong with candy…

Darwin's avatar

@Allie – Sorry to hear that.

Dog's avatar

@Darwin What is a little sleep deprivation at the beginning of a 5 week vacation? ;) Small price to pay for such an adventure.

f4a's avatar


Jack79's avatar

a football?

ok I assume you’re thinking of sending out advertising material? can you help us by saying what business you’re into, what’s your target market group, etc?

Judi's avatar

sheets of paper, or even toilet paper!

Dog's avatar

I have it!

How about this for useful, lightweight and flat?

Darwin's avatar

@Dog – I still recall with sadness how sleepy I was when I was at the Prado in Madrid at the beginning of a six-week stint in Spain. I saw the museum’s works, but some are as if they were part of a waking dream (and, in the case of Heironymous Bosch, a waking nightmare).

I really do prefer to skip the sleep deprivation, or at least leave it until the end of the vacation.

Dog's avatar

@Darwin I agree it is not ideal and really not the best way to start out but perhaps she took some Bonine or Dramamine and it put her out. I like to hope! PS: I see you are closing in on 10k!

Judi's avatar

As I read the other posts I realize that you may be solving a REAL problem and not just asking some strange hypothetical question. Calendars are flat. Jewelry can be flat. compact recycle totes.

Lalalime's avatar

I forgot to say another very small and useful thing. Dental Floss. Its always in my purse. I once heard a person speaking about survival gear on a CBC interview and they pointed out some of the many uses of dental floss. Its small but has a lot of potential – eg: can cut cheese with it, use it as a clothesline, tie parcels, could even tie off the cord of a baby in an unexpected delivery. I could go on and on about the uses of it. And it comes in a package that keeps it clean – not sure if its absolutely sterile but close!

Darwin's avatar

Emergency sewing kits. Inexpensive plastic poncho raincoats. Scarves. Socks, especially the really low ones. Ice scrapers. Bandaids.

ubersiren's avatar

A letter opener.

augustlan's avatar

Emery board/nail file.

AstroChuck's avatar

A sponge.
A dollar bill.
A condom.

phoenyx's avatar

razor blade

Lupin's avatar

A P-38 tool. You can open cans, pry, cut , even cut the roof off a car in an emergency. I always carry one in my wallet, @AstroChuck between the dollar bill and the condom.

SirBailey's avatar

A travel mirror.

SirBailey's avatar

(I feel like I’m playing “Family Feud”)

hearkat's avatar

I was going to say the iPhone and a Swiss Card (Swiss Army Knife tools in almost credit card sized package)

wundayatta's avatar

A letter opener. Although, I’m not sure it could open the letter from the inside. Well, there’s always a first time!

kevbo's avatar

A shim.

Supacase's avatar

A mini-protractor or 6” plastic ruler. I think they also make 4” rulers.

Judi's avatar

One of those thin tape measures.

AstroChuck's avatar

@kevbo- Good luck fitting this in an envelope.

aprilsimnel's avatar

a map
a bottle opener
a wallet calendar
a refrigerator magnet
a chamois cloth

dannyc's avatar

A magnet

fireside's avatar

A stamped envelope

AstroChuck's avatar

My ex-wife

Xtacy's avatar

@hearkat. Oh thank god. I thought I was gonna hafta mention the Swiss army knife/card.

AstroChuck's avatar

Forget my ex-wife posting. I misread the question. I thought it said flat and useless.

kevbo's avatar

@AstroChuck, ha! I just now got to see what you were talking about. The English language is so versatile.

Lupin's avatar

@zina You have to let us know what you decide. The suspense is killing me.

fireside's avatar

1GB USB Flash drive

Darwin's avatar

Trading cards.

Garebo's avatar


elijah's avatar

One of those flashlight things that is the size and shape of a credit card
a balloon (uninflated, duh)
chapstick (the slim ones)
a pen, but not a crappy regular pen. Maybe one with a highlighter on the other end or where you can switch the colors of ink. People love a fun pen.

fireside's avatar

You should seal the envelope really securely and then put a letter opener inside.

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