Jeffrey Shih’s 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.
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Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Jeffrey Shih, an Emergency Room Physician and lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto with a specialized interest in Emergency Ultrasound. The use of ultrasound allows me to visualize and diagnose diseases right at the bedside, thus providing a higher quality of care to my patients.
I’m also the Program Director of an Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Training Program for Emergency Physicians and recently published a book, “Ultrasound for the Win! Emergency Medicine Cases.”
What is your current setup?
Editor’s note: You can download a copy of Jeffrey’s desktop wallpaper here.
I have a 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 2.9GHz with 512 GB SSD. The USB-C ports can be inconvenient at times (so many dongles!), but the portability of this notebook is perfect for my always-on-the-go schedule.
What software do you use and for what do you use it?
- OmniFocus: The ultimate task manager. I have all my projects, deadlines, and personal life organized with this program.
- Papers: A great application to store and organize medical research papers. I have it synced with Dropbox so my library is also available on my iOS devices.
- Scrivener: The perfect tool to write research papers and blog posts. This software was also crucial to writing my book.
- Sonos + Apple Music: I often have music playing when writing or researching for a project, which I find increases my productivity. I’m a huge fan of Sonos speakers which work really well with Apple Music and synchronize seamlessly to different areas of my home.
- Blotter: Calendar app that stays on my desktop for easy reference.
How would your ideal setup look and function?
I’m pretty happy with my current setup!
What iPhone do you have?
I have an iPhone 7 Jet Black 128 GB. I find the Jet Black to be much less slippery than the others in the line and it can also be used case-free, although it tends to scratch easily.
Where can we find your wallpaper online?
I can’t recall where I got it, but it’s a throwback to the wallpaper from the original iPhone.
What apps do you use the most, and why?
- Mail: The stock mail app has made significant improvements over the past few versions of iOS, and I’m quite happy with it. As you can see though, I get a ton of emails and gave up on an “Inbox Zero” mentality a while ago. Instead I “flag” important emails that I need to follow up on or use the “peek” 3D Touch feature to quickly see if an email requires a reply or follow up.
- Slack Email can be overwhelming, and Slack has simplified communication with colleagues for me. It’s far easier to contact team members with a quick message using this app without the formality that comes with email. It’s also great for quickly polling colleagues on ideas and for planning meetings. I have two separate Slack Teams, one for the Fellowship Program, and another for a blog I write for called “Academic Life in Emergency Medicine.”
- Tweetbot: Hands down the best Twitter client for iOS. There’s been a large rise in the number of doctors that are using social media to disseminate new medical knowledge amongst our community with the #FOAMEd (Free Open Access Medical Education) movement. I’ve also just recently begun posting on Instagram (@jshihmd), so you can find me on there as well!
- Notes: I’ve officially jumped ship from Evernote and went all in with Apple Notes, which syncs seamlessly between all my devices. It’s been working well for me.
- Reeder: My RSS reader of choice. I like how customizable it is and the minimalistic interface. It’s great for catching up on the latest medical news and studies.
- 1Password: With passwords becoming more frequent and increasingly complex, who can remember them all?
- OmniFocus: Hands down the best “GTD” task manager. The hub of my work and personal life.
- Fantastical 2: I have a busy and constantly shifting schedule (I could be working a 7 AM shift one day, and an 11:30 PM night shift the following day). This necessitates having the app synced with my work calendar with alerts reminding me when I need to be in the ER for a shift or need to attend a meeting or a teaching session. I find Fantastical to be more intuitive and far superior to Apple’s stock calendar app, which now hides in a corner in a folder on my phone.
- Podcasts: Great for listening to medical podcasts on the go with the ability to automatically download new episodes.
- Apple Music: The curated playlists that automatically update on a regular basis and download to my iPhone + CarPlay is a much more pleasant commute to work in Toronto’s stop-and-go traffic.
Which app could you not live without?
OmniFocus and Slack — keeping track of a busy schedule would be nearly impossible without my iPhone, and both of these apps are crucial to organizing and keeping track of all my personal and work obligations.
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