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Andrew Meyers’ Mac and iPhone setup

Every week we 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.

New setup interviews are posted every Monday; follow us on RSS or Twitter to stay up to date.


Who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I’m Andrew Meyers, and I’m an Assistant Director of Admissions at Hope College (my alma mater) in Holland, Michigan. Hope is a private, Christian liberal arts college of about 3,400 students. At Hope, I recruit a territory of fantastic prospects from northern Michigan, Florida, and a number of other states. I also work on our office’s email and social marketing efforts, as well as the Admissions section of Hope’s website.

At home I enjoy writing on my personal site, as well as recording a weekly podcast with a good friend and colleague.

What is your current setup?

Andrew Meyers' office setup

My main machine is a late-2013 13” Retina MacBook Pro. I have the mid-range model that shipped with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. I love, love this computer. Going from a spinning hard drive to an SSD was an unbelievable upgrade. Oh, and Retina has ruined me for any future machine.

An Apple Magic Mouse (the old AA battery eater!) rounds out my Apple setup. It seems you either love this mouse or you hate this mouse – I’m of the former camp. I like its low profile, and at this point I can’t live without the swipe gestures.

To the right of my Mac, I have a stock ViewSonic 19” monitor that was selected for me by our IT department. At times, I’ve used a laptop stand to bring my Mac screen in line with the external monitor.

I use a LaCie 1TB Rugged Thunderbolt external hard drive for local backup (+1 for this drive shipping in orange, one of Hope’s colors). I have the drive split into two partitions – one sized at 250GB for SuperDuper!, the other at 750GB for Time Machine on OS X.

For scanning I use a Doxie Go, and at home I have the newer WiFi version. Having a Doxie around means being able to keep my office essentially paperless, and I love that.

At work, I have music going pretty much all the time, and I use the original Jawbone Jambox when I want to listen without headphones. When I really want to zone in on the task at hand, I’ll pop on my old Incase Sonic over-the-ear headphones (with orange accent, of course).

Last year I added a Kindle Paperwhite (2nd-gen, 2013) to my setup, and I think it’s great for reading — particularly with the new-ish Bookerly typeface.

One device I really like is the Karma Go Mobile Hotspot (I first saw Karma when it was linked on Tools & Toys). Karma Go runs on Sprint’s LTE network, and it’s a great backup internet option for when I’m running low on LTE data with T-Mobile.

On the right side of my desk you’ll often find an Evernote Moleskine Journal or any number of Field Notes notebooks (legit and off-brand, alike). And for the pen aficionados out there, my current favorite is the Pilot Precise V5 RT.

Where can we find your OS X wallpaper?

I took this picture on an iPhone 6 while on a recruiting trip in Boyne City, Michigan. This body of water is Lake Charlevoix (“shar-luh-voy”), and the photo is unedited. The iPhones 6 take fantastic photos, especially with some nice daylight.

If you’ve never visited northern Michigan, my goodness, you are missing out! We have one beautiful state.

Download my wallpaper here.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

I’m no minimalist when it comes to my Mac’s dock. It’s chock-full of many useful apps. In no particular order:

Things by Cultured Code is my favorite app and it’s where I offload everything that’s bouncing around in my brain. Things is just complex enough to manage my workflow, but also simple enough to keep me coming back to it. I just wish Cultured Code’s pace of development were faster. Things 3, where are you?

Polymail is an email client that’s currently in alpha, and I love it. It’s the best replacement I’ve found for my beloved Sparrow.

Evernote is huge for my paperless workflow. Just about everything finds its way into Evernote, including all of my PDFs, one-off checklists, and text notes. I am concerned about the future of Evernote, however. The company has grown quite big, and I’ve noticed feature creep, particularly in the flagship Mac client. Hopefully they can turn that around and reintroduce the simplicity that made Evernote so attractive in the first place.

I use Day One as a personal journal, for capturing sermon notes at church, and for occasional thoughts about work. I also write my kids an email each month, and those emails start in Day One.

I’m writing this post in Ulysses, and I have to say, I’m really impressed. I’ve tried out a number of plain text editors, but this one seems to fit my sensibilities best.

Most of my HTML/CSS work is in coding HTML email for the Admissions Office, and Coda 2 is where I do all of that work. I’m sure I’m not even scratching the surface of what’s possible in Coda, but I really enjoy doing my limited web work there.

Ember had such promise as a sort of “private Pinterest” for storing images and screenshots for future inspiration. Unfortunately, the team at Realmac just posted that Ember 2 is on hold for the foreseeable future. This makes me sad.

Other favorites in my Dock:

  • Wren is a lightweight Twitter app that only lets you tweet, so it’s great for keeping me out of my timeline.
  • When I do want to scroll through my Twitter timeline, it’s Tweetbot 4 all the way.
  • Rdio had been my music streaming platform of choice, but I’ve been forced to move on. I’ve tried Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play Music, and I’m still not happy. Maybe Pandora will become a player in 2016.
  • Reeder is my go-to app for RSS.
  • While I’m a Creative Cloud user, I find Pixelmator much for approachable than Photoshop, at least for a novice user like me.
  • Numi is a cute little calculator app for Mac (currently in beta).

And now, a shout-out to several Mac Power Users podcast all-stars that have made their way into my workflow: TextExpander, Hazel, Bartender, and Launchbar.

In the menubar you’ll find more of the usual suspects: Dropbox, 1Password, Deliveries, Google Drive, and PopClip. I also like TripMode, an app for managing data usage when I’m tethered to my iPhone or using my Karma hotspot.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I’m grateful for what I have, and I think that’s important. However, that doesn’t mean I’m avoiding potential additions or revisions to my setup!

I do wish my external monitor had higher resolution. At 1440 x 900, it feels outdated next to my MacBook Pro’s Retina screen. Even 1080p would be an improvement. Or, maybe I should just switch to a Retina 5K iMac!

At times, I’ve used an iPad alongside my computer setup, but it’s just never taken hold like everything else I mentioned above.


What iPhone do you have?

Andrew Meyers iPhone 6s

My wife and I recently switched to T-Mobile (thanks, Bradley Chambers!), and with that I was able to upgrade to the 64GB Silver iPhone 6S.

After using a 16GB iPhone 6 for a year, I swore I’d never go with such small storage again, and this 64GB iPhone has proven me right. I was always running up against capacity on my last phone, and this limitation made me feel like something was broken.

64GB is a breath of fresh air. I have so much space for iCloud Photo Library, offline music, etc. I honestly think I’ll get more life out of the phone with this additional storage.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

I don’t use folders on my first home screen, so it’s where you’ll find all of my favorites. The list changes somewhat frequently, but right now you’ll see:

In My Dock

  • Tweetbot. Tweetbot’s been my choice for a long, long time. For me, it’s so much better than the stock Twitter client.
  • Things. I use Things Cloud to sync between iOS and OS X.
  • Spark. I’ve tried all the email clients for iOS, and Spark is my current favorite. (Sparrow, may you rest in peace.)
  • Safari. I had been using Chrome for a long time, but with iOS 9 I went back to Safari. I like that Handoff is browser agnostic, meaning that links open in Safari on my iPhone will hand off to Chrome running on my Mac.

Elsewhere

  • NeuBible. The most beautifully designed Bible reading app out there. The designers avoided all the cruft of bells and whistles in favor of a simple, gorgeous reading experience.
  • Sunrise. My calendar app of choice, although it was purchased by Microsoft and will be integrated into Outlook for iOS. I love the Basecamp integration.
  • Overcast. Marco’s attention to detail and thoughtful decisions make Overcast the best developed app on my phone.
  • Fitbit. I wear a Fitbit Charge, and I love having the app display updated stats while I run on the treadmill.
  • Two Dots. Few iOS games stick on my home screen for long, but Two Dots has had a place for quite a while now. The developers are always adding new features and in-app purchases, although I’ve found you can enjoy the game without buying anything.
  • 1Password. If you’re not using it, why?
  • EveryDollar. Our family uses this Dave Ramsey app for our monthly budget.
  • Instapaper. I’m really good at saving articles, but less successful at making time to read them.
  • Checkmark. I love this app for its context-aware and location-based reminders.
  • Basecamp 2. We use Basecamp for project management in many offices at Hope College.
  • Scanbot. There’s no better scanning app for iOS, and the Pro features are a must-have in-app purchase.
  • Notabli. This is our private social network for sharing pics and videos of our kids with the rest of our family.

Which app could you not live without?

The winner would have to be Things. Whatever your system, I think we all need a landing place for new ideas and commitments so that we can make informed decisions about what to work on next. I’m a huge GTD fan, and Things works well for me in that regard.


There are more Sweet Setup interviews right here.