My Favorites


I created this post as a page initially, but thought I should also go ahead and make it a post as well.  If you want to see the most recent version, you can find it here.

I often get asked questions about what I would recommend for people, or what I use, so I thought I would put this page together to help people find out more details. The format is inspired by folks over at The Setup, who follow it for their excellent Interview series

What hardware do you use?

I currently have a 2013 11″ Macbook Air that is fully loaded with 8gb RAM, and 512gb HD.  This thing runs my life, and I use it every day. My mobile needs are handled by a variety of devices, namely a iPhone 6 Plus, that is my main device when I am away from my laptop. I have it setup so that I can do 90% of my daily tasks right from there if need be. This is especially handy when I am running from meeting to meeting every day. I also have a 1st-gen iPad Air, and a 1st-gen Retina iPad Mini that I alternate between when I want a bigger screen for media consumption. Both are setup similar to my iPhone, but their usage has gone down since the Plus came into my life. I also have a Surface Pro 3 that I use for work purposes, but it pretty much never gets taken off my desk anymore. It’s a good machine, but for the way I work, it is more of an impediment than a help. And lastly, for audio consumption, I have a pair of Beats Studio headphones that I use when at my desk at work, and a pair of Motorola Bluetooth headphones that I use when I am working around the house.

And what software?

I am constantly trying new things out to see if they make life easier, but the apps I list below are the ones that are currently in use on a regular basis.

Mac

The main apps that are always open on my latop are OmniFocus, Outlook 2013 for Mac, Spotify, Skype, Airmail, Safari & Ulysses 3. If one of those apps are not open, I’ll know pretty much right away as most of my daily activities happen within them. I also use Lync, Day One, nvAlt, 1Password, Evernote & Transmit on a semi-regular basis, along with a handful of other apps for random things I need to accomplish. As far as utility apps, there are a couple that are always running: Caffeine, Bartender, Dropbox, OneDrive, BackBlaze, Keyboard Maestro, TextExpander & BetterTouchTool. These apps are always there, and always on, and are key to getting through my pile of to-do’s for the day.

iOS

IMG_0673I use a LOT of apps on my mobile devices, although the list has consolidated somewhat since iOS 8 has come out. As you can see from the screenshot of my homesceen, there is a lot of variety on there. I also have a send page that contains all of the stuff I use on a regular basis, but maybe not daily. These apps include things like WordPress, Editorial, Screens, various financial apps, cloud storage providers, and other messenging apps. A few notes about a couple of apps on my homescreen: Acompli is simply the best mail client you can get on a mobile device, especially if you use an Exchange server due to it’s native support (Microsoft just bought them, so it’ll just get better); Drafts is where all of my quick notes go; Flipboard is where most of my news comes from; Overcast is my podcast app; and finally Unread is easily my favorite RSS app. Also, I used to use Pocket for my read later service, but went back to Instapaper, and have been very happy since doing so. The experience is far more pleasant, and cleaner overall.

What would be your dream setup?

A retina version of the Macbook Air (which I have heard is coming in the near future) would be my ideal daily computer. Pairing that with a retina 27”-30” display that I can hook up to at my desk, and I would be in heaven. For everything else, I am pretty happy with where I am at. I am constantly trying new things, and looking to simplify the experience, so if you ask me this question next week, it might be different!

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