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Rose Orchard’s Mac 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?

I am Rose Orchard. I’m a programmer by day, and a writer and podcaster in a lot of my free time. I create web-based applications from 9-5, and write at The Sweet Setup, MacStories, and on my own blog as well as create the Automators podcast the rest of the time.

What is your current setup?

Rose Orchard's desk

My current setup is a 15″ MacBook Pro, the 2017 model. I picked it because when you’re trying to work on the go there’s nothing worse than just not having enough screen space — a complaint you’ll rarely find on a 15″ screen! At home, I often dock it to two 24″ BenQ monitors, but I can also pick it up and take it to the bedroom (aka the podcasting studio) with ease. The laptop frequently stands up in a vertical stand. Mine says it’s by AppHome, but there are dozens of look-alikes on Amazon. It has a hard plastic shell on the front to allow me to cover my machine with stickers, but I can also keep those stickers when I sell the machine in the future.

Rose Orchard's office

To the side of my desk is an Ikea bookcase, which has a Philips Hue light strip running across the top. This provides me with some nice lighting in a wide range of colors. In the bookcase, I also have my gaming PC and a Raspberry Pi 3, which (among other things) runs HomeBridge. Not pictured are some recent additions – a HomePod and a Sonos One. I use these two together via AirPlay two a lot

What wallpaper do you use?

I set macOS to change my wallpaper automatically when waking from sleep – it just rotates between the default wallpapers, but they’re pretty enough. Honestly, I rarely see my background!

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

  • OmniFocus is my task manager of choice. I can use the Focus mode on the Mac to narrow things down to just what I should be doing (e.g. My work folder at work), and the custom perspectives to give me one click saved searches.
  • I use Drafts for writing nearly everything. Since it doesn’t have custom actions on the Mac, I hand off to my iPhone or iPad to do those automations.
  • I use Audio Hijack for recording audio for podcasts. This seems to be the gold standard app of the podcasting world for recording, and I love how easy it makes doing two ended recordings (so both my local audio is recorded as well as the Skype of the other person, just in case they have a problem).
  • Pixelmator is where I do any and all image editing, from quick crops to much more.
  • Deliveries is my package tracking app of choice — especially its today widget.
  • Fantastical is the best calendaring app. I love the calendar groups and the ability to switch between them.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I have a 34″ ultrawide screen monitor at work, and my boyfriend has one at home, and I really like them. I’m considering upgrading my two monitors to just the one — less cables to plug and unplug! Apart from that, I’m very happy with my setup.

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