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Kelly Tomlinson’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.

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

Who are you and what to you do?

I’m Kelly Tomlinson, a designer hailing from Phoenix hanging out in Kansas City the past few years. My main gig is as an experience designer at Cremalab, and sometimes I dabble in some freelance work. My other main focus is helping run Coffee & Design, a not-for-profit organization set out to connect, inspire, and grow design professionals. I’ve also organized a few Startup Weekends, and was Chapter Director of Startup Grind in Kansas City. I launched Wazoo! last year and still work with children’s museums on shaping that experience. And also, I go to brunch a lot and watch too much Netflix.

What is your current Mac setup?

Kelly Tomlinson's Mac setup

I’m currently using a 13” retina MacBookPro, and I’m one of those weird people that puts the dock on the side — though I mostly use Spotlight and the app switcher to navigate.


Editor’s note: We think Kelly’s dock position is the opposite of weird.

Don’t judge my desktop clutter on the right — it’s all those files and screenshots that I never know where to store, so I just leave them. Everything in the dock is pretty much always open. The ones you might not know are Inboard (seriously my favorite inspiration collecting app) and Alternote (clean note taking app that integrates with Evernote but without the clutter).
Oh, and the gorgeous background is from Ugmonk.

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

I use Sketch more than anything. Since I’m primarily designing interfaces, I pretty much live in it. And, of course, Sketch Mirror just makes designing for mobile that much better. I switched over in 2013 somewhere around when Adobe dropped support for Fireworks. I had a bit of a learning curve, but got into it pretty quickly, and when Sketch 3 came out it really sealed the deal. It’s buggy and “Sketch is being sketch” frequently comes out of my mouth (paired with some curses, no doubt), but I have never looked back. If I’m doing logo, icon, or basic print design, then I’m in Illustrator. Photo manipulations bring me to Photoshop, print pieces take me to InDesign… well, you get the idea.

What’s your current iPhone and/or iPad, and what apps are you using?

Kelly's iPhone setup

White/Silver iPhone 6 — though I thoroughly regret switching to white. My iPad is a black iPad Air that I admittedly don’t actually use much. I really had to downsize my apps when I got the 6 due to capacity, so my 6 is primarily heavy use apps and I still keep my 5 for inspiration apps and running. Continuity and syncing is probably one of my favorite things, so there’s definitely a lot of crossover with my desktop and iOS apps which are all my heavy usage.
Music: rdio
Calendar: Sunrise
Email: Mailbox
Communications: iMessages, Slack, Hangouts
Misc: Remote, Headspace, Clear, Nike+ Running, and Jotana (amazing to just quickly send stuff to Asana).

Also, I’m a sticky notes girl. I make lists all the time on them and stick them everywhere. Nothing beats seeing it right there or physically crossing things off.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Device-wise, I couldn’t really ask for anything more. I’d max out the capacity and strength of everything, but I definitely can’t complain about a 13” MacBook Pro Retina, iPhone 6, & iPad Air. But alright, if I could ask, I’d ask Apple to get on with releasing a Retina Thunderbolt display already.

There are more Sweet Setup interviews right here.