Kurt Van de Poel’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 Kurt Van de Poel, and I’m a teacher by day. I teach electromechanical engineering in a secondary school, and my pupils are 17-18 years old. I teach them how to build safe machines, how to draw electrical schematics, and how to program the PLC’s that control these machines.

What is your current setup?

Kurt Van de Poel's desk

I have a 2017 13″ MacBook Pro with 2.3 GHz, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD. At home I connect it to a Dell 24” Ultrasharp U2417H monitor and place my laptop on a Spinido Top Stand to have a dual screen setup. I also have an Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and an Apple Magic Trackpad connected when I work on the big screen.

Where can we find your macOS wallpaper?

I’m using the standard wallpaper from macOS Mojave.

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

  • Spark is my favorite email client. I first discovered and installed it on iOS and I find it such a blast to work with that I didn’t hesitate when it was available for Mac.
  • Fantastical is my calendar app of choice. I find it much, much better than the one that comes with macOS. It suits my workflow much better. I also like the layout and colors better.
  • Bear is my note taking app. Just like Spark, I first had it installed on my iPhone, but later installed it on my Mac and never looked back at Apple’s Notes. I really fell in love with Bear on my iPhone. It’s just stunning and a breeze to work with. There’s absolutely nothing I would wish for or change.
  • Pages for my course handouts. It is so much better than Word. When I’m obligated to work in Word, I get frustrated after just a couple of minutes working with it, but I’ve never had that happen with Pages.
  • Keynote for my presentations. Same story as with Word, so much more enjoyable to work with than Powerpoint.
  • PDF Expert for reading and annotating PDFs. My pupils send me some of their projects in PDF, and I read and correct them in PDF Expert.
  • MindNode for the occasional mind map. I try to teach my pupils at the beginning of a new project to organize and empty their brain in a mind map. When they see it visualized, they can better understand what has to be done and how to start the project.
  • Pixelmator Pro for all my photo retouching, removing the background for my course notes, and creating presentations.
  • Sketch for drawing simple overviews of the machines in my exercises, machine layouts, etc.
  • Tweetbot is my Twitter client of choice. I absolutely hate the Twitter web client. If Twitter chooses to ban all third-party clients one day, that will be the day I stop using Twitter.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I can’t think of anything I’m missing at the moment. My setup is pretty ideal for me.


What iPhone do you have?

Kurt Van de Poel's iPhone

I currently use an iPhone 6s 64GB in Space Gray.

Where can we find your wallpaper online?

It’s a wallpaper I made myself. The logo is from a techno-club I visit regularly, club Ampere. When you are in Antwerp, you should definitely pay them a visit.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

Tweetbot for my Twitter needs, Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp to stay connected with my friends, and Reeder to keep up with everything related to Apple and technology.

Which app could you not live without?

That would be a tight fight between 1Password and Fantastical. Both are such great tools — 1Password even more so on iOS 12 with the AutoFill Passwords feature. It’s incredibly useful.


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