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Zach Dyson’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 do you do?

Hey there! My name is Zach Dyson. I’m a freelance Graphic Designer from Melbourne, Australia. 

In my spare time I am an avid photographer (using a Canon 5D Mark II) and soon-to-be podcast host alongside my mate, Kyle Pasalskyj. We’re very close to launching “It’s a Parade” in the coming months. Our show is based on tech, design, photography and everything else that we love.

What is your current setup?

Zach Dyson's desk

I run my life off of a Mid-2012, 15″ MacBook Pro with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, personally kitted out with 8GB of RAM and a 120GB Samsung SSD. Even though it is now 3 years old, it still runs like a dream and can handle any task I throw at it.

I spend most of my time freelancing within agencies/companies, but when I do work from home, I have my Macbook Pro connected to a 27” Apple Thunderbolt Display. I have a love/hate relationship with the Apple Magic Mouse, but it remains my first choice, as well as the full-sized Apple Keyboard.

I’ve recently moved into a new apartment, so I’ve had to downgrade to a smaller IKEA desk and standard office chair. This meant I had to be a little more choosey about what sits on it. While hooked up to the Thunderbolt Display, my MacBook is housed neatly in a Twelve South BookArc. Also sitting on my desk is my Spicers Paper kit and a 2TB Seagate (current) backup drive. The desk drawers are filled to the brim with various notepads, cameras, old iPods, headphones, USB’s, sketchpads, and stationery.

Zach Dyson's desk

Where can we find your OS X wallpaper?

My wallpaper is a snowy view of Hohenshwangau, Germany taken by Melbourne-based photographer (and my best mate) Kyle Pasalskyj. It can be found on his website.

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

As a designer, I couldn’t live without the Adobe Creative Cloud — most of all Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and After Effects. I do all of my 3D graphics in Maxon Cinema 4D. I use Wave to invoice clients and keep track of my business spendings. I use Fantastical 2, Wunderlist, and Evernote to keep track of my life. I tweet using the official Twitter app

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Ideally, I would be working from the same space everyday, so I couldn’t go with a 5K iMac. But, since I am on the move the majority of the time, a 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina would be perfect for me. I will be looking to upgrade over the next few months.

What iPhone do you have?

I have an iPhone 6 Plus 128GB in Space Grey. 

Zach Dyson's iPhone

Where can we find your wallpaper online?

My wallpaper was taken by me. It’s of the sunrise while on a camping trip in the high country of Victoria.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

Fantastical 2 — Having to deal with many different calendars between work, home, and life in general, Fantastical lets you glance at your upcoming days/weeks as well as enter events quicker with natural language. Not to mention the beautiful user interface of the app.

Overcast — I love my podcasts. Overcast is by far the best podcast app for iOS (in my opinion). 

Reeder 2 — My reader app of choice for Feedly. My only real reason for this is because of its clean UI/UX.

Evernote — I use Evernote to document and manage my notes, copywriting, and to-do’s. Right now I’m answering these questions in Evernote for Mac OS. The seamless syncing between devices and clean user interface makes it the centre of my digital life-documentation and management.

Spark — After having a lot of issues with Apple’s native Mail app, I’ve jumped from app to app trying to find the perfect email client app. After trying Gmail, Outlook, and Mailbox previously, I’ve settled on Spark. It works beautifully with my Apple Watch.

Instapaper — This has come in handy so many times. Either I’ll see an article that I don’t have time to read until later that night, or the online article is littered with frustrating banner ads and pop-ups and close to unreadable. Instapaper allows me to save articles for later as well as viewing them in the app’s beautifully clean design.

I also can’t forget certain apps that I do use a lot, but may not be the most exciting apps out there: Tweetbot, Instagram, Facebook, CommBank (manage my banking), Sonos (control my home sound system), Wunderlist (I know, it’s not OmniFocus, but it does the job I need it to), Google Maps (to navigate… obviously). And as of a early July, Apple Music

Which app could you not live without?

Without question, the answer is 1Password. In addition to my dreadful memory, I also have an abundance of different passwords that I have created over the years. I can’t imagine my digital life without it.

There are more Sweet Setup interviews right here.