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Jennifer Rowsell’s sweet 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?

My name is Jennifer Rowsell and I work as the Next Generations Pastor at The Journey Church. I blog very infrequently and some of my interests include music, travel, and cats.

What is your current setup?

Jennifer Rowsell's Mac setup
Editor’s note: You can find Jennifer’s wallpaper here.

I currently own a mid-2011 Macbook Air, 128GB HD and 4GB RAM. I was originally attracted to the MBA because of it’s extreme portability, however I now miss the hard drive space and horsepower of my older 15” Macbook Pro (especially when using iMovie).

My computer stays at the office 90% of the time, connected to a 500GB Maxtor external hard drive (split 30/20 for extra storage and Time Machine backup). I also have a 1TB portable HD for all of the files that wouldn’t fit after moving from a 512GB Macbook Pro.

In my desk drawer, I have a portable disc drive because my work necessitates that I can burn DVDs for kids programs (though with tech upgrades coming, I will soon be able to use USB drives instead of DVDs). Finally, for sound I have some Logitech speakers with a sub that I bought probably 10 years ago. They still work great!

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

I’m a fan of what Apple ships, especially since my whole ecosystem is Apple. So, Mail, Safari, Calendar, Contacts, iWork, iLife etc. are all very useful and I’m on them all the time.

Evernote is used for taking notes at meetings and conferences, and for saving webpages that contain great content (parent resources, free Bible study lessons, etc). I love that I can have any one of my devices with me and it all syncs. The extension for Safari is great — two clicks and an article is saved!

You Need a Budget (YNAB) is great budgeting software that also syncs across all of my devices. It has helped me keep an eye on my spending/saving, and how to adjust my budget from month to month. It’s been a life-saver.

To create the media I need for work, I use MacX Youtube Downloader and Wondershare DVD Creator. Both are simple to use and get the job done. (I’m still sad that iDVD is gone. RIP). Pixelmator has recently replaced Photoshop as my image editor of choice, because I was intrigued after it was showcased at Apple’s iPad event. And, then there’s the Twitter app so I can stay current with what’s happening. That’s about it!

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Pretty much exactly like this one, but trade out the Macbook Air for a 13” Macbook Pro with Retina Display. I need my space and speed back, and now that they’re so thin there’s really no reason not to!


What iPhone do you have?

Jennifer Rowsell's iPhone
Editor’s note: Jennifer’s wallpaper is a photo she took in Old Orchard Beach, Maine last summer.

I have a white 32GB iPhone 5.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

I’m somewhat of an Apple purist. I use Apple’s Mail app because it just works well, especially when using the Mac counterpart. I also prefer Apple Maps to Google Maps — I might be in the minority here. And Reminders is honestly just as good as any other task app I’ve tried (free or paid). I always come back to Reminders because it just works! Calendar, Notes, Safari, Remote, Photos, and Passbook all get used ALL THE TIME. I guess there’s no hope of me ever going to Android…

For productivity, my most-used apps are Evernote and Google Drive. Evernote is used for note-taking at meetings and conferences as it syncs everywhere and is easily searchable. Google Drive is where I do most of my work, so being able to access it quickly on the go is important (I can even AirPrint docs to my church’s printer).

The Services app is from Planning Centre, a tool my church uses to organize our worship services. This app gives me easy access to the service order and needed files (song charts, script downloads, etc.). You Need a Budget (YNAB) helps me track my spending beautifully.

Instagram is just a lot of fun, and all the other social media ones are sitting there for when I’m bored.

2048 is the most addicting game on the planet – DO NOT DOWNLOAD if you value your time and sleep. I also use The Weather Network’s app because there is far greater detail on our horrible winter storms than what the native weather app provides. And, the Bible app. Because, well, I’m a Pastor. We utilize the Live feature for church attendees to access our sermon outlines during the worship service.

Which app could you not live without?

Apple’s Reminders. I would forget everything.


Which iPad do you have?

Jennifer Rowsell's iPad

I have a white 32GB iPad mini with retina display (So, the second iteration).

How are you using your iPad on a daily basis?

My iPad is the computer/entertainment system of my house. My Macbook stays at work 90% of the time. I mostly use my iPad in the evenings to watch Youtube, surf Facebook/Twitter, answer some quick e-mails, or play games. I also use my iPad to preach/teach from at my work, and to read eBooks.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

You can probably guess from the previous question… YouTube is almost always going on my iPad. I really like using Flipboard for social media and news — it’s a much more unique experience then what the specific apps/websites give you. I’ve mentioned You Need a Budget (YNAB) throughout, and all 3 versions of the app work wonderfully together and each have a slightly different functionality/focus to them.

When I’m preaching, I use GoodReader – it’s great at last-minute markups or for highlighting a point you want to emphasize. And for games, well… Frozen’s Free Fall is a wintery version of Candy Crush Saga, and it’s addictive.

For reading, I rotate between iBooks/Kindle/Kobo depending on who has the books I want for the cheapest. :)

Which app could you not live without?

Probably YouTube, haha! Like I said, iPad = entertainment for me! There’s something about having video literally at your fingertips. I can usually be found watching tech reviews or Disney World vlogs.


There are more Sweet Setup interviews right here.