I’m fascinated with what other creators, marketers, designers, writers are using in their daily work and personal lives. You’ll always find something new and a lot of what I use on a daily basis has come from recommendations from others. Sharing is an important part of progress.
This post was originally going to be my entire tech stack from my favourite gear to apps and beyond. After completing the Hardware section and thinking about all my apps I want to mention, I decided to break the lists up into a few posts.
👨💻 Hardware (Gear)
Hardware is the physical possessions I own to get things done.
📱 Mobile Phone
Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, I have been an Apple Fanboy. I imported the original iPhone from the States to the UK months before its official UK release. It took me a week to figure out how to jailbreak it to get it to work as an actual phone. From that day I was hooked. I did once attempt to move to Android while on a trip to New York. I had a One Plus 2 (I think).
I periodically upgrade my iPhone as necessary. I am currently using the iPhone 12 Pro with 256GB of memory. With the announcement of the iPhone 14, I may be upgrading soon.
I am now on my 4th MacBook Pro. The current version being MacBook Pro – M1 Pro (14″ 2021). I would recommend the Mac Mini to anyone looking to get on MacOS with a smaller budget. Or for portability a MacBook with an M1 or M2 chip. A huge leap in performance from the intel chips.
⌨️ Keyboard & 🖱️ Mouse
Whilst I have a MacBook, when I’m in my office I have it connected to a 42″ Panasonic 4K TV. I won’t recommend the specific model as it 6 or so years old now. But I would recommend using a TV as a monitor. I’ve had this setup for well over a year and have enjoyed it beyond any setup to date.
With a desk setup, you really need a keyboard and mouse. My keyboard is the Logitech MX Keys and the mouse the Logitech MX Master 3. Both outstanding bits of kit.
I wear an Apple Watch Series 7. When I remember to charge it, I love it. The announcement of the Apple Watch Ultra (which I won’t be buying), is a good sign that the battery life on future watches will be improved. Perhaps I just need a better charging routine?
One of my favourite features is the subtle tap it gives my wrist in the morning to wake me up, much more pleasant that any alarm. Great for exercise, running, counting calories, steps, standing. Measuring heart rate, oxygen levels.
🔌 Charging & Cables
A category that is often overlooked, but so important. As we continue in this transition period to USB-C, the one cable to rule them all – I find myself with a lot of extra ‘accessories’. I made a rule a few years back to not buy any tech that didn’t have USB-C, with the obvious exception being the iPhone. I’m convinced we will see a portless iPhone in the next couple of years. Skipping USB-C entirely.
My charging brand of choice is Anker. They offer a great all-round set of solutions.
I always carry in my bag a 20,000mah PowerBank, this is good for several charges of my iPhone and other devices.
I have two USB-C charging bricks – the first being the 67w MacBook Pro charger that came with my laptop, which I only use for my laptop. Then I have a 32w Anker charger with one USB-C and one USB-A port. However this is a couple of years old now and Anker have come out with the 65W Nano II for around the same price with an additional USB-C port.
When it comes to cables, it can get a bit confusing – especially with the new(ish) USB-C format. Not all cables are created equal. There are may different versions of USB-C, including: USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 Gen 1, 3.2 Gen 1×2, 3.2 Gen 2×1, 3.2 2×2 and Thunderbolt 4. This article explains it better than ever could.
I use two levels of cable, one for MacBook and one for all my other devices. I won’t recommend the cables I currently have as new cables have since been released at similar prices.
This Thunderbolt 4 cable will work for even the most intense use cases (lightning fast file transfer, 4K/8K monitor connection etc…). For those looking for something a bit more reasonable (and longer in length) – Anker 333 USB C to USB C Charger Cable (10ft).
With the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple brought out the incredible new feature, MagSafe. A Qi Charger with magnets. The Magsafe charger on its own is great, but pair it with a dock and it is a game changer.
The day the iPhone 12 was announced I approached by product design friend about collaborating on an idea – the result was HEFT (below). This 3D Printed gem, weighs in at around 800g (it’s heavy). HEFT does an amazing job of displaying the iPhone in any orientation whilst looking perfect on a desk or bedside table. HEFT even flips upside down so you can watch videos in landscape.
Noise cancelling headphones are one of the best inventions ever! It still baffles me how well these products work. I’ve had a pair of Bose QC35s for over 5 years now. I’ve avoided testing newer headphones though, like Apple’s AirPod Max – I don’t need a new pair 😓.
I will upgrade when mine break.
I will upgrade when mine break.
I will upgrade when mine break.
I used to keep a bullet journal. I liked the physical feel of writing, but it wasn’t a practical process for me. I can type 5x my writing speed.
What I have taken from the bullet journal though is the dot grid. What a revelation finding that was. I now have three different means of writing physical notes, depending on the scenario.
This is my goto for meeting notes. The wire makes it easy to tear pages out. At £13 for a pack of 3, it isn’t cheap but also isn’t expensive. For 480 pages, you’ve got a solid notebook that will last you a long-time.
The Rhodia DotPad is an A7 80 Sheets Dot Grid notebook. I count this tiny book as part of my EDC (everyday carry) – an essential item. I rarely use it, but am always delighted to have paper when I need it. Each page is perforated at the top for easy tearing. I keep one in each of my three bags.
- Dotted Card
Imagine index cards but with dots instead of lines and about half the size. I pictured this perfect card design but it didn’t exist, so I made my own. I made several thousand of these cards and use them everyday for quick notes or ideas, todo lists, shopping lists, love messages (really) and thank you notes. I keep a stack on my desk and beside my bed. I’m considering selling them on my store (when it is live).
Finding the right pen is like getting your shoe size correct. A tiny bit snug or loose and you’re all over the place. I don’t like expensive pens because they either break or you lose them. A good pen needs several things:
- compatible with your paper
- glide over the page
- comfortable to hold and write with
- ink that dries quickly (doesn’t smudge)
- black ink (blue and red are for teachers)
- doesn’t dry out if the lid is off
My pen of choice is the Uni Pin Fine Line 0.5mm. I like to buy them in bulk and I carry one with me everywhere. If you put pens in enough places (pockets, bags, drawers, cars), you will never not have one to hand.
Having a decent camera at my disposal has given me many great opportunities both personally and for my business. I bought a Sony A6400 at the start of 2021 with a loose idea on what I would use it for. Since then I have launched a couple of YouTube channels, completed a paid video shoot with a commercial furniture company and taught myself the basics of photography. Plus I now have a really good camera for Zoom meetings! 😆
In a future post, I will breakdown all the equipment I use for making videos, recording interviews etc…
I’m still more in the physical book camp vs the digital book camp. I just like the feel and smell of a book. I also like to be able to see how far through a book I am. I read the occasional book on Kindle, mainly if it is considerably cheaper, or if I want to start reading it now. The benefits of a Kindle far outweigh the silly reasons for not using one (see above), but sometimes we are just silly.
A Kindle can store thousands of books in the same weight of about 1/2 a normal book. You can highlight and take notes on a Kindle to review at a later date. There is a built-in dictionary for when you definitely don’t know what that word means. Want to read in the middle of the night when your significant other is asleep, Kindle has a light. You don’t need to wait for Amazon to ship your book out or go to the store to buy it. Kindle books are almost always cheaper (inc. 2nd hand copies).
But still, I prefer a good paperback.
I actually like to make sure I have at least one book on the go on Kindle, in case of emergency (reading in the middle of the night).
There are a few types of books that are terrible on Kindle – Recipe books, reference books and books with tonnes of pictures.
I don’t know what model Kindle I have, it is many years old. You just need the latest cheapest one with a light. But don’t get the one with ads!