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Kevin Taylor’s Mac and iOS 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 Kevin Taylor, and I am an assistant professor in the Religion & Practical Theology Department of Pfeiffer University (east of Charlotte, NC) where I teach undergraduate and graduate classes. I co-host the Theology Cast podcast (available on iTunes and SoundCloud) with my friend, Ryan Reeves. I have written two academic books on theology and tragedy, and I blog occasionally at www.kevintaylor.me.

What is your current setup?

Kevin Taylor's desk

I have an early 2015 MacBook Pro 13″ Retina, with 8 GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. I use an Apple Thunderbolt Display, a Twelve South BookArc for MacBook, the newest Apple Magic Keyboard (I love the small travel distance on this keyboard), and the Apple Magic Mouse 2.

Kevin Taylor's desk

I also use the swanky Jarvis bamboo standing desk recommended by The Wirecutter. I use a Blue Yeti on a shock mount and boom arm for recording my podcast, Theology Cast, and for online lectures.

I use a ScanSnap S1500M for for archiving, and the Harman Kardon Soundsticks III for some occasional rocking out.

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

I use many of the Mac favorites: OmniFocus for GTD productivity, TextExpander, and 1Password.

For my institution’s learning management system, Firefox is recommended, and I’ve re-discovered its reliability and general un-funkiness. Fantastical makes calendaring a lot less painful, but Apple’s Calendar application is pretty great too.

I use OmniOutliner for lecture and class outlines, and for sermon outlines.

- I live in
    -   and love,
- outlines.

Scrivener is great for writing projects. It is beautiful, powerful, and un-crashable. I have an 80,000 word writing project in it, and it purrs.

Bookends is terrific for managing academic papers, research, and PDFs, and it produces footnotes and a bibliography for academic writing.

Highlights is great for reading academic papers. Feedbin is terrific for managing my RSS subscriptions; the website is so good in layout and usability that I’ve never felt the need for a Mac RSS reader application.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Dual retina screens on an arm mount would be a lot of fun, and an ethernet connection in my home office would add stability, but other than that I’m pretty happy with my current setup.

What iPhone do you have?

Kevin Taylor's iPhone

I have the iPhone 6s Plus. I love the immersive screen size, amazing camera, and powerful battery. I can’t imagine going back to the smaller-sized iPhones.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

OmniFocus and Fantastical are so helpful for productivity.

Streaks is a pretty nifty app that encourages you to make good habits. It’s amazing how motivating “don’t break the streak” and “log it” can be, and they have a great Apple Watch complication too.

I use TeeVee to track my television shows, where I am in a season, or when a new episode is available.

YNAB is great for tracking expenses. Sonos is just awesome. (Why doesn’t Apple buy them?).

Facebook Messenger is a rock solid way to communicate with people, and it syncs flawlessly among devices (and stickers are much easier to see than small emojis!). The NY Times app is also great, and OverCast, Audible, and Reeder (paired with Feedbin) are all irreplaceable. The confetti in Pedometer++ and Activity++ make me happy, and they are great on the Apple Watch as well.

Which app could you not live without?

Messages would take the cake here, but Find My Friends is pretty indispensable too.

Which iPad do you have?

Kevin Taylor's iPad

I have the iPad Air 2, 64 GB.

How are you using your iPad on a daily basis?

I use my iPad for class lecture notes (OmniOutliner), taking attendance (Attendance 2.0 app), and recording class lectures (Just Press Record).

I occasionally guest preach, and I discretely use an iPad with OmniOutliner for my sermons. I also use it for reading books, Netflix, and the occasional game.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

OmniOutliner and Attendance 2.0.

Which app could you not live without?

OmniFocus. (And Netflix!)

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