Marty Day’s Mac, iOS, and Watch 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 am Marty Day. I’m a jack of many trades. By day, I am an Integrations Engineer for Partnerize (an affiliate marketing software company), and then in the evenings, I have three additional gigs. I serve as on-stage co-host and a behind-the-scenes producer for Super Art Fight, the Greatest Live Art Competition in the Known Universe; I’m a co-host of The Rough House Podcast, one of many podcasts covering the sport of kings, professional wrestling, as part of the RELM Network; and in addition to that, I blog regularly at blast-o-rama., my online home for the past ten years where I share links, news stories, and other internet ephemera that grab my eye.
What is your current setup?
I am rocking a well-loved MacBook Air (Early 2015, 13-inch model). That’s, coincidentally, the same laptop I use for work. Hence, two laptops in my setup photo.
I have it set up on a Rain Design mStand Laptop Stand in Space Gray, and it’s connected to a Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac and Logitech M705 Wireless Marathon Mouse.
I used to only have a laptop on the desk, but after having some issues with my wrists over the past few years (they weren’t kidding when they said your body starts to go at 30!), I’m trying to be a little more mindful of the tools I use.
I’ve considered adding a secondary screen, but many times, I find that when I set up a second screen, that monitor is less active for me – more a place to keep static things like an email inbox or something similar.
Maybe I’ll change. We’ll see.
Where can we find your macOS wallpaper?
Typically, I use the same — or similar — wallpapers across my devices, and as an avid movie nerd, they usually correlate to the movie I’ve most enjoyed recently, to that which I’m most excited about currently.
In turn, you’ll see my dude Miles Morales, as appearing in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse across all my devices.
I nabbed this wallpaper over at HDQWalls, one of many sites/subreddits/etc. I check regularly to freshen up the look and feel of my devices.
What software do you use and for what do you use it?
Hoo-boy. Here goes.
- Safari is my primary browser, though I use Google Chrome at work (I’ll be honest, it just plays better with our tech). I’m desperately hoping that Chrome supports macOS Mojave’s new dark mode soon. I wonder if someone is going to make an extension for that in the meantime?
- iTunes is where all my music and movies live, especially now that I’m an Apple Music subscriber and started purchasing movies on iTunes. I do miss the social integration of Spotify, and the ability to easily share songs with friends, but as someone who has given into the Apple ecosystem, it’s really the best option. Until Spotify comes to Apple TV that is…
- Fantastical is my calendar program. I can’t get enough of the natural language parsing. It’s the absolute best.
- Things is where all of my to-dos live. I get the distinct feeling that I’m not using the app to its fullest, but I do my best to make sure all my to-dos live within there, and I try to take time each morning to diligently update my lists. With as many projects as I have, it helps to triage there.
- Bear is my preferred notes program. Love the tag system, love the ability to use Markdown, love the ability to archive notes that I don’t need to edit any more but may wish to look back upon – it’s just great.
- Airmail is where my email lives. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think it’s the greatest email program ever, but it’s the best for me. The iCloud backup of account settings/credentials, and the ease of being able to enable/disable accounts at will is pretty great. (Not all my devices need my work email on them, for example, but if I’m traveling for work, maybe I’ll want to enable work emails on my phone. Just takes a few taps and I’m golden.)
- CARROT Weather is my weather app. The look, the feel, the Dark Sky-backed data, the snark. Love it.
- Deliveries helps me keep an eye on my packages, great as an avid purchaser of prints, pins, and other cool stuff I find on Instagram.
- Slack is key to my work – both my day job, and with Super Art Fight, it’s a great way to keep conversations going between teams, though I don’t think it’s the email killer that they hope to be.
- Ulysses is the best writing app in the world. I started with my Markdown love affair with Byword, but one day, that butterfly icon grabbed my eye and I never turned back. Again, like with Things, I wonder sometimes if I’m just scratching the surface with my usage of it, but I love being able to split out libraries of content, it has great exporting features, and it’s where I write and edit everything for blast-o-rama.com and Super Art Fight’s website.
- Reeder IS the internet to me. I believe strongly about RSS being the way to get websites delivered to you, versus services like Twitter, Facebook, or even Apple News, so I spend much time devouring content in here. It always bums me out when websites kill their RSS feed (I’ll take the time to publicly shame Empire for that), so my RSS list is a little smaller than it used to be, but still keeps me updated on the latest and greatest updates from my favorite parts of the web. Since I know people have Opinions on it, my preferred RSS back-end is Feedbin. Love that mighty hamburger. Also, I hope that Reeder 4 is awesome – it’s supposed to be out by end of year, and I can’t wait for it!
- Tweetbot is my preferred Twitter client. I miss the old days of Twitter (I even met my wife on it!) before the garbage fire, and Tweetbot does the closest job of keeping it how I remember it. Alas, Twitter keeps screwing around with third-party devs, and the network itself is becoming more and more toxic, so I don’t know how much longer this will stay in the mix. Until it dies though, I will be with Tapbots.
How would your ideal setup look and function?
Honestly, I’m pretty happy with the one I have. The biggest changes I could see making in the future would be adding an external display and upgrading to a MacBook Air 2018 or MacBook Pro in the future. At the same time, while reading through things like Frederico Viticci’s iPad articles over at MacStories, I’m starting to wonder – is my next laptop an iPad Pro? (And if so, how best to podcast on it?)
What iPhone do you have?
I currently use an iPhone 8 Plus, 256GB, in Space Gray. When the time came for me to upgrade (I still upgrade on a two-year cycle), I was on the fence about being one of the “first gen” people for the iPhone X. Apple’s first-gen products typically have some flaw which hold them back. In turn, I stuck with the tried and true, although I went for the larger screen and better battery life of the Plus models. Weirdly enough, I think that taught me that I’m not really a “large phone” guy. I’ll be moving back to the “small” size on my next device.
What apps do you use the most, and why?
In addition to the ones called out in my writing above, I also use these pretty regularly on iOS:
- Drafts: This is one of those toolbox type apps that people swear by, which I am finally giving a shot. I was first drawn into this as an option to post to my social media timelines without having to interact with the standard apps themselves (doesn’t work with Facebook anymore, for good reason), but I’m avidly checking out more and more ways I can use the app. One of these days, I need to deep dive into their screencasts, but for now, it’s just – as they say – where text starts, and then I send externally to other apps.
- Instapaper: Right behind Reeder, Instapaper is where I go to catch up on the web, albeit the more lengthy bits. Usually, Instapaper is home of much of my night time reading.
- Overcast: I’m a big podcast fan, and like many other fans, I love the Smart Speed and Voice Boost options brought into the app. Works better than stock, for sure. I will say, the new update to Pocket Casts looks pretty nice, though it doesn’t seem to play well with password-protected podcasts, of which I have precisely one I listen to. (Looking at you, Wrestling Observer Radio!)
- Comixology / Marvel Unlimited: Calling out two comic reading apps here as I use them constantly to enjoy some 4-color action.
Which app could you not live without?
Gosh, I think it’d be Reeder, at least by the amount of time I spend in it.
Which iPad do you have?
I currently use a 5th Gen iPad (2017) in Space Gray with 128GB of space.
How are you using your iPad on a daily basis?
Basically, it’s my “lazy” computer. As you can see, I mirror my iPhone setup on iPad, but this allows me that extra screen space. I’m a big fan of running Reeder and Tweetbot side to side, especially during heavily Tweeted/Posted About events like Apple keynote events or San Diego Comic Con.
What apps do you use the most, and why?
My iPad setup mirrors my iPhone, so all the usual suspects apply here as well.
Which app could you not live without?
Just like my iPhone, I couldn’t make it without Reeder.
Which Apple Watch do you have?
Right now, I’m using an Apple Watch Series 1 in Space Gray.
How are you using your Apple Watch on a daily basis?
Again, I tend to match setups to what I’m using elsewhere, but I focus on the time, the weather, my rings, my next event, and (for easy use while driving), my podcasts!
Thanks so much for having me, gang!
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