Every week we try to post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.
Who are you and what do you do?
What is your current setup?
My Current setup is a 27″ 2.7Ghz i5 Mid 2011 iMac. Until very recently, I used it with an additional 28″ monitor. The second monitor was on the fritz and just died, so I’m using a 22-inch HP in its place for now.
I use a Logitech Y-U0004 keyboard, which is flat and chicklet-ey, but taller than an Apple keyboard. I like it; the letters have worn off on the A and S, probably from gaming, but it’s worn in well and works better for me for typing than a deep throw clicky keyboard because I type so fast (in short bursts, while breaking news) – I need to slide my fingers over the keyboard.
I have an Apple Magic Mouse for pointing and a Logitech weighted, wired G5 mouse for gaming. I use 25.9 grams of weights in it for the right amount of slide on my desktop. I’m currently using a set of Logitech THX certified speakers, but am only using 3.1 channels of the set. Most of my gaming is done with headphones. I have 4 daisy-chained external FireWire 800 drives, 2 for media and 2 for Time Machine backups. I keep a separate PC under my desk for gaming, but it hasn’t been updated in a couple of years as I typically play older games.
I also have a 32GB T-Mobile iPad Air, a 13″ i7 MacBook Air, and a 32GB AT&T iPhone 5S. Those are mostly used for work while I travel, but also for reading and texting on messaging networks with friends and sources.
What software do you use and for what do you use it?
I use fairly little specialized software. Most of my day is spent in Chrome using associated web tools. I do use Reflector and GifBrewery to create animated gifs of iOS apps. Reflector records Airplay signals to the Mac and GifBrewery turns them into animated pictures I can use in my articles. Tweetbot is always open and streaming to the right of my main monitor, and I place two Chrome windows side by side, one to write in and the other to reference. Most of my writing is done in-browser, though I do use TextEdit to bash out longer pieces and as scratch paper for notes. I typically have a half-dozen text documents open and jump between those at any given time as I get tidbits for stories. The other monitor is used for communications tools like iMessage.
I also like a little tool called DeskConnect that allows me to toss files back and forth between the Mac and iOS devices because Apple hasn’t enabled AirDrop for those scenarios — which I find silly. On the desktop, just about the only other pieces of software I use regularly are Skype, Dropbox for files, Fantastical for calendars, Rdio for music, and Convo for our team back-end conversations. I use almost no productivity software or special tools — I like to keep things simple as the more you have, the more time you have to spend learning and maintaining it. I prefer to put every ounce of my effort and time while at my desk into my work.
On iOS, I use Instagram, the Kindle app, Foursquare, Snapseed, Convo, Gmail, Tweetbot, Line, Facebook Messenger and Hangouts regularly. My go-to note taking app is Notefile, which also has an OS X counterpart. It’s the best, and syncs via iCloud or a proprietary service if you’d rather. If I have a spare thought, it goes in there. I’ve begun using Telegram, an encrypted SMS alternative, recently to chat with sources. Other than Rdio, ESPN Fantasy Football and Audible, most other apps on my phone are used fairly infrequently. I’m always trying new things, either betas or things that pop up in my feed, so there’s about a hundred and fifty I’m not mentioning here.
How would your ideal setup look and function?
I don’t have any major complaints about my setup, but one day I would like to place my TV above my desk, rather than on another wall. This would allow me to watch streaming broadcasts and report on them more easily. A standing desk is something I’ve been toying with as well. When Apple releases a Thunderbolt display, I will probably buy two of those and a Mac Pro to keep me set for the next 5 years or so.
There are more Sweet Setup interviews right here.