The Tools I use

I thought it would be interesting and somewhat useful to share a list of hardware, software, apps and other tools I use on a daily basis both at work and in my personal life.

The list is up to date as of October 2018.


Hardware

I get by with a fairly lean set of hardware. I usually work at my desk at home or on the sofa so portability is key but as I dont travel much the weight of my computer is not that important.

MacBook Pro

My primary computer at home is a 15” Retina Macbook Pro. It’s the late 2013 model and is was the top spec available at the time.

  • 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB
  • 512 GB Flash Storage

I haven’t had a need to upgrade to a newer model yet as most of my work doesn’t involve any heavy processing power. I’m not a fan of the keyboard on the newer MacBooks and I’m not ready to give up MagSafe or my USB-A ports just yet.

Phone

I currenly use 64GB iPhone 6S in gold. I’ve been an iPhone user since the iPhone 4 but no so much of a devotee to upgrade each year. I usually skip the ‘S’ models but I was so happy with my previous iPhone 5 that I decided to hold onto it for a little longer.

You can get an idea of my most used apps by checking out my homescreen.

Headphones

My main set of heaphones are the Beats by Dre Solo Wireless 2 in black and red version. The sound quality is brilliant, the battery lasts several days (based on my commute) and the size/weight doesn’t weigh me down with extended use.

While they’re not fully noise cancelling, they create enough of a vacuum to shut out surrounding conversations.

Storage

At home I have a Synology DS212 NAS drive (discontinued) hooked up to my network with 2 × 3TB WD Red hard drives installed. I use it for backing up photos, sending and “receiving” large files and as a TimeMachine backup disc for my MacBook.

As for portable storage I have a couple of 1TB WD My Passport drives.

Reading

I have a Kindle Fire HDX 16GB version. I do prefer reading physical books whenever possible but the convenience of Kindle and the fact that I can keep in sync via my phone app makes it a winner. Have a look at some of my book recomendations.


Software

Text Editor

My code editor of choice is Visual Studio Code. It’s fast, available on Mac and Windows and the library of available plugins is huge.

I’m using the ‘Material Theme Darker’ theme with ‘Operator Mono’ font. It’s a beautiful combination.

Browser

Google Chrome is my browser of choice for browsing and developing. Of coure I have all other major browsers to hand for testing but the Dev Tools in Chrome are so far ahead of the curve compared to the others that I could probably never fully switch to another.

Terminal

I’m not a particularly heavy command line user but I do prefer to use iTerm2 with a slighly customised theme. You can find my profile.json file here.

Design Tools

I mainly use a combination of Sketch, Photoshop and Illustrator and export my design to InVision for prototyping.

I occasionally dabble in some photography and video editing so Lightroom and Premiere Pro are always installed on my machine too.

Slack

I love Slack. I’ve worked in companies that exclusively use Skype for internal communication (or even worse, Skype for Business) and also tried out Microsoft Teams but the features and integrations with Slack - especially as a developer who needs to share code with others in a well formatted way - makes Slack the standout tool.

Note Taking

I’ve rekindled my love for Evernote since I started digitising all my physical paperwork which I’d been hoarding over the years. I use a combination of their Scannable app and browser extensions to pretty much organise everything in my life now.

Cloud Storage

I keep all my day-to-day files and client work in a combination of Dropbox and Google Drive which are synced across all my computers. It’s not perfect but it fits in best with the way I work. I use Box for more long-term archiving and dont have the Box folder synced to my computers.

Podcasts

I really love listening to podcasts. So much so that I even started my own. This is a list of the ones I listen to most regularly.


Pretty exhaustive list eh? I hope you found some useful resources on there. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

The concept for this list came from Wes Bos and the format was inspired by Harry Roberts - you should check out their lists too.

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