Setup

My setup has changed pretty radically over the years. These are my current tools, and yes, this gets a bit nerdy. You’ll find older setups at the bottom of the page.

Updated May 13th, 2020.

Every Day Carry

Every Day Carry, or EDC for nerds and preppers alike, are things that are with me at all times.

  • iPhone 11 Pro (256 GB model in black, no case).
  • AirPods Pro.
  • Paper wallet with cards and some cash.
  • Keys.

EDC fans will note that there are no pocket nor tactical knives here.

Sometimes Carry

  • My iPad Pro with Pencil and Magic Keyboard, as well as chargers and cables, if I’m away overnight.
  • A flat plastic bottle from Granit.
  • B&W Px headphones, if I’m flying.

Hardware

I do a lot of different things when working. Sometimes I write (code, essays, fiction, and so on), other times it’s sketching or designing. I snap photos, and do the occasional workshop or keynote. As a result, these tools do a lot of different things.

Core Computers

  • MacBook Pro 16″ (2019) and a Magic Mouse.
  • iPad Pro 11″ (2020) with the Pencil and Magic Keyboard.

While the MacBook Pro is great for just about everything, I prefer the iPad Pro for writing, designing, sketching, note-taking… My MacBook Pro is for development primarily, and sometimes wrapping up a design. I try to stick to platform agnostic software so that I can resume work seamlessly.

I also use a Legion Y540 for Windows testing, and occasionally writing and development, depending on what’s at hand.

Photo

  • Fujifilm X-T2 for photo, with various lenses.
  • Peak Design Travel Tripod in aluminum.
  • GoPro Hero 6, for timelapse video.
  • LaCie DJI CoPilot battery and mobile backup solution.

I use Apple’s various adapters for reading stuff off SD cards. Most of the time, I’ll edit on the iPad Pro.

Writing

I prefer the iPad Pro for writing, although all three computers will get the job done. Files go in iCloud, which is indeed available for Windows, thus I can pick up where I left off should I be tied to a particular device.

Gaming

  • Lenovo Y540 (with an i5, 8 GB RAM and a 1660 Ti) with Razer Mamba mouse and Razer ManO’War headphones.
  • Nintendo Switch, with Pro Controller or 8BitDo SN30+ when docked, or Hori Split Pad Pro in handheld mode.

I also have a PlayStation 4 and a Xbox One that gets little love these days. Sometimes I play on the iPad Pro, but not enough to warrant the Apple Arcade subscription I keep paying for…

Other

  • Rega Planar 3, connected to Denon PMA1510AE receiver, with two B&W floor speakers, and a B&W subwoofer. I have a bunch of records too.
  • LG LG OLED55B6V 55” OLED TV with a corresponding soundbar, and a 4K 64 GB Apple TV for streaming (cord-cutter here).
  • Mac mini (2.3GHz Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 1.2 TB Fusion Drive), running headless, for backups.
  • Kindle Oasis for reading in the dark, and in direct sunlight for that matter.
  • Chemex (ten cup model) and/or Moccamaster for coffee, with beans grounded by the Virtuoso coffee grinder.
  • Lamy Aion fountain pen for fancy writing.
  • Various notebooks from Field Notes (I used to have subscription so there are plenty to pick from).

Software

I try to stick to platform agnostic software and services, but it’s easier said than done. MacOS and iOS are fairly good at this, but with Windows in the mix, it gets a bit messy. Not where you’d think though, the crucial work apps are all there, and those that aren’t rely on plain text so that’s not an issue either.

Making it all work

  • I use Todoist (Mac, iOS, Windows) to stay organized.
  • Telegram (Mac, iOS, Windows) is my preferred app for communicating with people, although I’ll sometimes do Skype (iOS) calls or use Signal (iOS). I use Zoom (Mac, iOS) as little as possible.
  • 1Password (Mac, iOS, Windows) keeps track of my passwords, licenses, memberships, and more.

Development

  • Visual Studio Code (Mac, Windows) is my code editor of choice for web development. I use Textastic (iOS) when developing on my iPad.
  • Fork (Mac, Windows) is my preferred git client, but I also use Working Copy (iOS) when needed.
  • ForkLift (Mac) or FileZilla (Windows) for (S)FTP.
  • I use Firefox (Mac, Windows) for web development work. The Inspect (iOS) web browser gets the job done on my iPad when needed.

Design and photography

  • Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher (Mac, iOS, Windows) are my go-to design tools. I will use Sketch (Mac) at times, but try to stay away from the Adobe suite, although they serve most of the fonts I use.
  • Darkroom (iOS) is my go-to app for editing photos, although I will sometimes use Pixelmator Pro (Mac) or Pixelmator Photo (iPad) for retouching and resizing images.
  • Photos (Mac, iOS) keeps track of my personal photos. Professional ones go in archives in pCloud, or with the client. I still have some legacy stuff in Lightroom CC (Mac, iOS, Windows).
  • I cut my videos in LumaFusion (iOS).

Writing

  • I write in Ulysses (Mac, iOS), despite the horrible business model. I also use iA Writer (Mac, iOS).
  • Freelance writing often happen in Pages (Mac, iOS).
  • My personal journal lives in Day One (Mac, iOS).

Other

  • I browse (and debug) the web on Safari (Mac, iOS), Firefox (Mac, Windows), and every other conceivable browser too for testing. At times I’ll use iCab (iOS) too, for its browser agent settings.
  • Spark (Mac, iOS) for email, Gmail (Windows) when I must.
  • Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for office stuff.
  • I use the default calendar app on Mac and iOS, and not at all on Windows.
  • Longer pieces to read go in Pocket (iOS) for later, and use Reeder (iOS) for RSS feeds, through Feedbin. I also flip through Flipboard (iOS) when I’m bored.
  • GoodNotes for Pencil note taking, other notes go in Tot (Mac, iOS) or the default Notes app.
  • Gladys (iOS) is my file drawer of choice on both my iPad and iPhone.
  • The snarky Carrot Weather app tells me how to dress every morning.
  • Parallels Access (Mac, iOS) lets me keep my backup Mac mini truly headless, without much hassle.

Services

I rely on several services, not counting the ones that are directly tied to specific apps.

  • File sync with iCloud, pCloud, and Dropbox. I back up with Backblaze, as well as physical hard drives.
  • Email via Google Apps, and Drive etc. when clients force me.
  • Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit) is still the best solution for hosted web fonts.
  • WordPress is (usually) my publishing platform of choice. I host these sites on Servebolt.
  • Browserstack keeps my testing hardware reasonable.
  • I track my billable hours with Toggl.
  • Feedbin is my RSS service of choice.
  • Buffer lets me keep a healthy distance to social media.
  • I use both Mailchimp and Buttondown for newsletters.
  • Gaming mostly happen on the Windows PC, where I rely on Xbox Game Pass, Origin, Steam, GOG etc. I do have an Apple Arcade subscription though, and the Nintendo Switch has Switch Online too.
  • I subscribe to too many streaming services. Netflix, HBO, Apple TV+, and occasionally Amazon Prime for TV.
  • Apple Music is my music streamin service of choice.

Older setups