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Headspace

The Best Meditation App

Headspace

Headspace is the best meditation app for most people. It offers clean user interface that is easy to navigate and highlights a new daily meditation each day, gives you a large library of guided meditations to choose from, and feels at home on Apple devices by integrating with Apple Health and Shortcuts.
Timery

The Best Time Tracking App

Timery

Timery is best time tracking app on any platform because it gives you powerful iOS widgets and virtually limitless automation possibilities with phenomenal Shortcuts support.
Streaks

The Best Habit Tracking App for iOS

Streaks

Streaks gives you useful widgets, integration with Apple Health, phenomenal Shortcuts support, and everything you need to build good habits (or break bad ones).
iA Writer

Our favorite Markdown writing app for iOS

iA Writer

iA Writer provides the best mix of editing tools, preview features, and exporting options in an app that's very user-friendly.
Day One

The Best Journaling App for iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Day One

For a classy journaling app that works on all your devices, you can't do better than Day One.
Things

The task manager and GTD app suite for Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Things

Things is a well-designed task manager that is very powerful while also being delightful and easy to use.
Vekt

The Best Weight Tracking App for iPhone

Vekt

After all of our testing, we believe Vekt is the best weight tracking app for iPhone because of its excellent design, great input mechanism, and stellar Apple Watch implementation.
Keep It

The Best Evernote Replacement App for Long-Term Research

Keep It

Keep It is a powerful and feature-rich research app that offers feature parity between both iOS and macOS platforms.
Fantastical 3

The Best Calendar App for iPad

Fantastical 3

A calendar app with delightful design, superior natural language text entry, and support for iCloud reminders.
Lightroom for iPad

The Best App for Editing Photos on the iPad

Lightroom for iPad

For photographers on the general photography journey — from smartphone photography through to point-and-shoot, mirrorless, and DSLR photography — Adobe Lightroom for iPad is likely to be the last photo editing app you ever need.
MindNode

The Best Mind Mapping App

MindNode

MindNode is our favorite mind mapping app because it features an easy, beautiful design, solid syncing, and plenty of import and export options for your workflow.
Reeder

The Best RSS Reader for Mac

Reeder

Reeder is the best RSS client for macOS because it syncs with lots of third-party services, looks good, and makes it easy to share content with others.
Byword

Our favorite Markdown writing app for the Mac

Byword

Byword strikes the perfect balance of being simple, delightful, customizable, and powerful.
Atom

The best text editor for macOS

Atom

Atom’s price, functionality, and approachability when it comes to package management and settings make it our choice for the best text editor for macOS for most people.
TextExpander

Apps we love

TextExpander

We love TextExpander because it works across multiple platforms (including Windows), is easy to set up and use, and has a straight-forward business model.


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How Rose uses Shortcuts and App Launchers to Track Time

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iPadOS 14: The Power User Update (Kinda)

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The Eight Best Ulysses Superpowers

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Pushpin 3.1 update

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Things 3.11 Brings Big Improvements to Quick Find Feature

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A Roundup of Health Features to Check Out in iOS and watchOS

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Moving Back to Apple’s Stock Apps

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Start Your Day Automatically with Keyboard Maestro

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A Beginner’s Guide to Word on the iPad

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My iPad Writing Setup

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Justin Hamilton’s Mac and iPhone setup

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First Look: Cardhop for Mac

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Apps We Love: Affirmations

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A Beginner’s Guide to Craft: Linking

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A Look at Big Widgets and Focused Home Screens in iPadOS 15

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Automating Drafts to Create Custom Documents in Seconds

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Comparing Craft’s New Daily Note Features to NotePlan 3

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Quick Capture with Drafts

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Combat Burnout with a Productivity Journal

In our productivity flywheel, the fourth stage is to celebrate your progress. But sometimes this feels counterintuitive or inconvenient. Because when we want to be super duper productive, we often think that speed and efficiency are what matter most. Thus we get stuck in a loop of doing, doing, doing... without ever pausing to celebrate. »

Appending Captured Text in Drafts to Daily Notes in Obsidian

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How I Use Time Blocking to Increase My Efficiency

Time blocking is something that took a while to click for me. I understand the concept of dependent tasks, and time restrictions well, and once the pieces fell into place it really became a game changer for me. »

Using Craft Notes for Study and Preserving Long-Term Knowledge

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App’s We’re Trying: Food Noms

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Things 3 Introduces Full Cursor Support for iPad Users

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Kyle Bauman’s Mac, iOS, and Watch setup

Kyle Bauman is the Associate Pastor of Discipleship & Students at Bear Valley Community Church in Colleyville, TX where his main responsibility is teaching and leading ministries for middle school, high school, and college students. »

Join us Today for A Nerdy, Live, iPad-Centric Webinar (Updated)

Update: Thanks to everyone who joined us live. It was a blast. We had around 400 folks join us live for the call. We went through quite a bit of tips and tricks and also answered a whole bunch of questions around GoodNotes, iOS Shortcuts, productivity workflows, and more. During the webinar I got this […] »

GoodNotes 5.3 for iPadOS Adds Multiple Window Support, OCR Scanning, and Dark Mode

GoodNotes (our pick for The Best App for Taking Handwritten Notes) was recently updated to version 5.3. This is a pretty major update, adding support for multiple windows, OCR scanning, and Dark Mode. Here’s a breakdown of what’s new. Multiple Windows There are lots of ways you can open multiple windows in GoodNotes: With GoodNotes […] »

Creating a Custom Alfred Theme

While there are a ton of features that factor into us selecting Alfred as our favorite app launcher for the Mac, one of our more whimsical favorites is the ability to change the appearance by creating a custom theme. This is a paid feature that is part of the Alfred Powerpack, a worthwhile upgrade that […] »

Alex Tai’s Mac and iPhone setup

Alex Tai is a student at Santa Clara University where he studies Computer Engineering and collaborates with others on ideas and new technologies. »

Jeffrey Abbott’s Mac Setup

Jeffrey Abbott is the Senior Editor at The Sweet Setup, but works as a project manager by day and contributes to The Pen Addict as well. »

1Password on Your Wrist

1Password on the Apple Watch is a fantastic tool for your security toolbox – it helps ease the friction of 2-factor authentication, can be opened and updated quickly, and sometimes it’s just nice to put some text on your wrist to reference in the moment. »

Adrian Thomas’ Mac and iOS setup

Adrian Thomas is a Brit living in Munich, Germany where he works as a product manager at equinux making apps and gadgets for Mac, iOS, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. »

Dan Mitu’s iPhone setup

Dan Mitu is a philosophy and computer science student who is interested in Machine Learning and has recently started experimenting with iOS development. »

Matt Hamilton’s OS X and iOS setup

Matt is a video editor living in Austin, TX and is known for creating a feature film, "Wild In The Streets," and a short film called "Saved By The Belding," which recreates an episode of Saved By The Bell. »

The Staff Favorites

Here is a running list of our personal favorite apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The are the apps we, The Sweet Setup staff, use day in and day out for work and play. »

Chris Humphries’ sweet setup

Chris is a Digital Media Specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he works with a team to produce and deliver high-quality digital content. »

What we published this week

Lots of updates to several of our favorite apps, an excellent setup interview, plus some tips on using synced iCloud browser tabs. »

A Beginner’s Guide to Craft: Daily Notes

Once you understand the ins and outs of what makes a block a block and how to link blocks together to both create documents and link your notes, you can begin to dive further into Craft’s more specific features. This week, we’re going to discuss Craft’s new Daily Notes feature. »

Alfred Adds Universal Actions with 4.5 Update

Alfred recently got an update to version 4.5. This update is a pretty big one, adding a Powerpack feature called Universal Actions which allows you to take text, URLs, or files and perform actions on them directly using a dedicated Alfred Universal Action hotkey. »

New Course: To Obsidian and Beyond

The all-new master-course for Obsidian users (new and old alike). Finally organize your notes and ideas to make creative output easy. »

Asier G. Morato’s Mac and iOS Setup

Asier G. Morato is the co-founder of Chubby Apps — an indie app studio from the north of Spain (Europe) who believes that technology should be easy to use. We make apps with a cute design that don’t need a user manual, are fully accessible, improve people’s lives, and also respect your privacy. »

Using Templates in Obsidian

Templates in Obsidian are a great way to jumpstart creating a new note. In this post, we’re going to show you how to set up and use a couple of different types of templates in Obsidian. If you’d like to see it in action, here’s a short video from our upcoming PKM course: If you […] »

Getting Started with Obsidian URL Schemes

Obsidian is a great application for storing all my notes and documentation about things in my life. One of the things I love about it is the ability to link to notes and even have those links do things when I click them. This means that I can easily jump to a project plan document […] »

A Few of Our Favorite Obsidian Plugins

Obsidian is a phenomenal notes app, but with a few free community plugins installed, it can become pretty much whatever you want it to be. In this article, we're going to show you how to install community plugins if you're not familiar with the process and share some of our favorites. »

Syncing Digital Highlights from Readwise to Obsidian

Readwise is a (subscription-based) web service that lets you save highlighted text from digital books, web articles, and even Read-It-Later services like Instapaper and Pocket. You can review your notes and highlights inside of the Readwise service, but you can also connect your Readwise account to PKM apps like Roam and Obsidian. »

The Art of Note-Making

I've been thinking a lot about Personal Knowledge Management lately and the path information takes as it enters and exits my PKM system, and I've noticed that information tends to fall into one of three buckets »

An Introduction to Callback URLs in Obsidian

One of the things I love about Obsidian is that it offers support for callback URLs. For example, you could include a link to a specific note inside of a task in Things or a link to an email message from your Daily Notes in Obsidian. In this article, I'll show you a couple of ways you can connect things in Obsidian to other apps. »

Obsidian vs. Roam: Which PKM App is Right For You?

While there are lots of apps doing lots of interesting things with notes right now, by far the two most popular options are Roam Research and Obsidian. In this article, we're going to compare these two connected note-takers and help you choose the right one. »

Capturing Ideas on the Apple Watch with Drafts

The productivity space has been going through a bit of a revitalization recently, and maybe surprisingly, it’s note-taking apps that are causing the bulk of this excitement. Solutions are sprouting all over the place lately, with things like Roam Research, Notion, Obsidian, Bear, Craft, RemNote, Drafts, and oh yeah, Evernote, occupying a considerable amount of […] »

How I Use Roam Research for Journaling

Regardless of the tool you decide to use, journaling is a worthwhile habit to establish as we leave this year and get ready for the next one. »

What Apple’s M1 Chip Means for Creatives

iPads and iPhones have long had more power housed in their tiny, fanless bodies than most people have been able to truly grasp. In the last few years, Apple’s A-class chips in the iPad have even outpaced the chips found inside Apple’s Intel-based Macs, allowing for a glimpse into the future of what an Apple-chip-enabled Mac could do. »

Using Roam Research for GTD-Style Task Management

As a self-proclaimed productivity nut, I’ve been using some version of the Getting Things Done (or GTD) task management methodology for many years. I’ve also been experimenting recently with Roam Research, and am intrigued by the app’s ability to tie everything together. I’ve tried to do this before and it’s failed miserably, so I was […] »

How to Set Up Custom Swipe Gestures in Airmail (Video)

This is a free sample video from our new course, Calm Inbox. The course will normally sell for $99, but right now you can save 20% during launch week (just $79). The full course has over 50 videos to help you get less email and more focus. It shows you how to handle any message […] »

Apps We’re Trying: Meeter Pro

Built by a team that's spread across London, Berlin, and Zurich, Meeter was created as a direct response to the mass shift of workers to online conferencing tools. They saw a pain-point, and built an awesome tool to make the problem easier to manage. »

How I’m Using Roam Research for Bible Study

Roam is a masterful tool for creating your own rabbit holes. My biggest concern is whether the creation of these rabbit holes is creation for the sake of creation, or if an actual discovery or connection will be found as we go. Only time will tell. »

What’s Great (and Not So Great) in watchOS 7 Sleep Tracking

One of the things that was announced during this week's WWDC Keynote presentation was sleep tracking for the Apple Watch. The feature has long been rumored, and is finally making its way to the watch in watchOS 7. Let's take a look at how it works and why it's important. »

A Comparison of the New Apple Pencil Features in Apple Notes & GoodNotes

There was a ton that was announced in the WWDC keynote presentation on Monday. iOS 14, iPadOS, watchOS 7, macOS Big Sur, a bunch of privacy and Home updates, and even a big upgrade for AirPods. But one of the sections that really caught my attention was the announced improvements to the iPad with Apple Pencil. »

Brand New: Simple Habits (A TSS Course)

I’ve been a “habit nerd” for nearly 20 years. Routines have helped tremendously with my desire to keep areas of my life on track over the years. A few examples include things such as creating every day, a weekly date-night with my wife, an automatic saving and investing, consistent workouts. These certainly ebb and flow […] »

Deckset Update Allows You to Present to a Window, Perfect for Online Presentations

As much I love Keynote, I've used Deckset for a long time because it's a simple solution for throwing together quick presentations using Markdown. With Deckset, you actually edit your presentation in plain text in an app like Ulysses and Deckset applies all the styling automatically based on the styling in the currently selected theme. »

One Switch is the Menu Bar App for Quickly Toggling Tedious Settings

One Switch is one of the handiest menu bar apps I’ve come across in recent years that excels at making quick system setting changes a one-click affair, and takes it a step further by offering additional switches for connecting to your Bluetooth headphones, locking your keyboard, changing screen resolutions (for those nasty screenshots), playing music, hiding desktop icons, and more. »

How and Why to Make the Time to Think

If you've been following along, we've covered quite a bit when it comes to capturing and developing your ideas. In this post, we'll delve into why it's important to schedule thinking time for your work. »

The Best Notes App for iPad

No matter your needs, one of the following notes apps are bound to have you covered on Apple’s latest iPads. »

Mindfulness Monday: We Updated Our Best Mind Mapping App Review

I've been sharing recently about the system I use for capturing and developing ideas, and at the heart of this system is a mind mapping habit. Mind Mapping helps me develop my ideas so that I don't deal with writer's block and saves me a ton of time by making it super easy to get started whenever I sit down to write. »

Why Mind Mapping Works

How a mind map can save you time, energy, and anxiety when it comes to writing, creating, planning, and more. »

Creating Intentional Technology Habits in 2020

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we consider how to leverage our technology to create intentional habits. Last week, we published an interview with bestselling author James Clear about starting and building better habits. There’s some great insights in the interview about how habits work, and James shares some great tips about how to create them. […] »

Essential iOS Apps for Musicians

It's a fine time to be an iOS musician. There are a ton of great apps out there that can help you refine your craft and even perform live music in new and interesting ways. »

Enhance Your File Search with Alfred

Many people use Alfred to search for files on their Mac and to launch applications, but these functions barely scratch the surface of this great app! Today we show you how to make the most out of the files integration in Alfred. »

The iPhone 11 Pro Battery Case Review

Despite the massive year-over-year improvements in battery life of the latest iPhones (all three, the 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max), there are still those who somehow find a way to crush their battery on a daily or semi-daily basis. »

Apps and Gear for the Holidays

It's that time of year once again when we like to bring you a few of our top app and gear picks to help get you through the holiday season in one piece. From recipe gathering to trip planning, photo editing, and various kinds of audio distraction entertainment, this handy list has a bit of everything. »

Spark Version 2.5 for iOS Brings New Design, Dark Mode, and Customizable Email Actions

Earlier today, the Spark email mobile app got a significant update to version 2.5. The update brings a new design, support for Dark Mode, customizable email actions, and much more. New Design & Avatars Spark has always been a beautiful application, but version 2.5 features a new design which makes it even better. Messages in […] »

Revisiting the Apple Stock App Experiment

In early September, I put myself up to the task of converting all my third-party apps in these categories to Apple’s own stock apps. After a few months, it's time to check in and see what Apple apps made the cut over my favorite third-party apps. »

Set Up Your Drafts Workspaces for an Improved Writing Experience

Drafts is an excellent app for note taking and writing, and workspaces are a very powerful feature that can make it even easier to use. With the release of version 5, it became my preferred writing app for nearly everything. Workspaces are the key to that transformation. »

Dark Noise: An Delightful White Noise App for iOS

Released just over a month ago, Dark Noise is a simple yet powerful ambient noise app for iPhone and iPad created by first-time iOS developer Charlie Chapman that offers exactly what you'd expect: a collection of high-quality ambient noises (38 in all) to help you sleep, focus, or relax. »

A Beginner’s Guide to Excel on the iPad

Excel on the iPad is a competent spreadsheet application, and if your needs are simple or you just plan on making edits to spreadsheets you created on macOS or Windows, then you’ll likely really enjoy this app. »

Some of Our Favorite Tech Podcasts

We've been listening to (and making) podcasts for a long time, and there have never been so many incredible options available to podcast listeners as there are currently today — no matter your interests — which means there are a ton of great tech podcasts out there for Apple enthusiasts like us. »

Jour: A Guided Journaling App for the iPhone

Journaling is one of the best habits you can create. It allows you to distance yourself from the emotion and business of the day by reflecting on the events that happened so you can achieve clarity on the situation and see things from the proper perspective. »

Bumpr 1.2 adds Custom Browser Rules, Browser Plugins, and More

Bumpr is a Mac App Store utility that allows you to select a browser in which to open links when clicking them. It’s a handy little app that is great for anyone who occasionally has a need to open links in various browsers, and it recently received an upgrade to version 1.2 that adds several […] »

The Best Apps for Thinkers

We rely on certain apps to get us through the mess and come out the other side with a plan. In today's roundup, we've gathered together eight of our favorite apps for outlining, brainstorming, planning, capturing, and tracking it all. »

Apps for New Apple Watches

No matter how you use your Apple Watch, there’s always a better third-party app to complete the task at hand. These five Apple Watch apps will really help jump-start your new Apple Watch and get you hooked on the quality and utility of third-party apps. »

The Calmest iPhone Yet

Each of the 3 new hallmark features — Screen Time, Notifications, Do Not Disturb — have multiple things you can do with them. Let’s go through each one to see what is going to be possible, and why it’s so awesome. »

Stop Leaving Emails In Your Inbox

Whereby we take a look at how to better process email and take a look at a workflow to move necessary emails into your GTD system. »

Automations and Workflows for Things on iOS: The Complete Guide

In a significant update to Things 3, Cultured Code has added deep linking features that allow for new levels of automation and workflows for Things on iPhone and iPad. In this guide we will cover all the ways you can use these Things iOS Workflows to your advantage, plus we've got several examples and downloads for you. »

Toomas Särev’s Mac and iOS setup

Toomas Särev is a cardiologist, leader, husband, dad of 5, granddad of 2, first-degree black belt in Traditional Korean Martial Arts (Kuk Sool Won), Harley Davidson motorbike enthusiast, Apple Gadgets lover, and productivity geek. »

Anna Crotty’s Mac setup

Anna Crotty lives in San Diego and works on databases for member-supported news organizations. »

Productivity & Focus Workshop Replay

We hosted our first, live workshop for Sweet Setup readers. There were several hundred who joined us for live the workshop, and it was a blast! »

Apps we love: Transmit

Transmit is a powerful, reliable, and easy to use FTP client that is well worth purchasing if you work with file servers on a regular basis. »

Working with email URLs on macOS

Mail and Airmail both offer methods of copying individual message URLs so you can easily create references in action items, notes, and more. »

What we published, and links of note

A new pick for the best simple to-do list app for iOS and macOS, a tip on restoring files to iCloud Drive, a reader's Mac and iOS setup, and more. »

Wayne Chan’s Mac and iPhone setup

Wayne Chan is a student at Hangzhou Dianzi University in China, and he also does freelance and records a podcast with his friend occasionally. »

V.H. Belvadi’s Mac and iOS setup

V.H. Belvadi is a postgraduate student of physics studying an extremely rare breed of variable stars, and also makes photographs and directs short films in his free time. »

Gerry Hayes’ Mac and iPad Pro setup

Gerry Hayes owns Haze Guitars in Dublin, Ireland, where he builds and repairs guitars, writes books on guitar repair and maintenance, and also runs Sketchy Setups. »

Alok Singh’s Mac and iOS setup

Alok Singh is a senior at UC Berkeley where he studies Mathematics and is also interested in Computer Science, reading, and research. »

Tim Bornholdt’s Mac and iPhone setup

Tim Bornholdt is a co-founder of The Jed Mahonis Group, a mobile app development shop based in Minneapolis, MN, and also films and edits C Tolle Run, a weekly show about running and fitness hosted by Olympian athlete, Carrie Tollefson. »

Kyle Plattner’s Mac and iPhone setup

Kyle Plattner works as a developer with a team in Central Illinois developing an iPad app that maps real-time field data for farmers called FieldView Cab. »

Brandon Green’s Mac and iOS setup

Brandon Green is a product manager by day and a songwriter/producer by night, and lives in mellow (but surprisingly fun) Salem, MA »

Jeff Sheldon’s Mac and iPhone setup

Jeff Sheldon is the founder and designer of Ugmonk, a design brand that sells products like leather goods, prints, hoodies, and other sweet accessories. »

Our favorite iPad writing app

Editorial is our favorite writing app for iPad because it contains so many power-features that make us more productive and happy writers. »

Chad Landman’s Mac and iOS setup

Chad Landman is a youth minister (pastor), independent designer, and podcaster living in the middle Tennessee area with his wife and two sons. »

Steven Wooding’s Mac and iOS setup

Steven Wooding is a senior research leader at RAND Europe (Cambridge UK) and the father of two small boys and also co-directs the Policy Research In Science and Medicine unit. »

What we published, and links of note

Here are the things we published this week, as well as some great link material. You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Twitter and RSS. Also, we have a weekly email newsletter that sums up all the new and cool things published to the site. If you like to stay up-to-date via email, […] »

Christine Chan’s sweet iPhone setup

Christine Chan is a a writer and editor over at AppAdvice.com where she covers reviews and news of iOS and some Mac apps on a daily basis, and also writes her own personal blog. »

Brandon Wentland’s sweet setup

Brandon Wentland runs a 14-person digital marketing agency called Optimal, where they help brands make money online by driving lots of traffic to their sites and converting them into buyers, as well as custom website design and development. »

Conor McClure’s sweet Mac setup

Conor McClure is a student currently living in Western North Carolina, days away from finishing a degree in music business, and writes conormcclure.net, where he talks about photography and technology. »

What we published this week

The best VPN solution for OS X and iOS, a great tip for launching Flash URLs in Chrome from Safari, a standing setup, and more. »

Nik Fletcher’s sweet setup

Nik Fletcher is a part of the Realmac Software team in Brighton, England who make Clear, Ember, and more. »

Jason Snell’s sweet Mac setup

Jason Snell is the editorial director at IDG Consumer, which includes Macworld, PCWorld, TechHive, and Greenbot, and also co-hosts The Incomparable podcast. »

Shawn Blanc’s sweet Mac setup

Shawn is the editor-in-chief of The Sweet Setup and Tools & Toys. He also does a lot of writing and podcasting on his weblog, shawnblanc.net »

The sweet iPad setup of Federico Viticci

Federico is the writer behind MacStories.net, the co-host of The Prompt podcast, contributing author to The Sweet Setup, and a casual eater of pasta. »