Office

My office space is fairly minimalistic. I find that I work much better when I don’t have a bunch of junk covering my desk, and clean it out regularly.

I have a white electric standing desk from Autonomous.ai, which I use in the standing position twice a day (once first thing in the morning and again after my lunch break).

I sit in a Herman Miller Aeron, which I upgraded to after years of sitting in a £100 Amazon chair. They’re expensive, but you can pick up a refurb for a reasonable price and it’s without doubt one of the best purchases I’ve made. A good chair is the best investment you can make if you’re sat at a desk for more than an hour or two each day.

Computers

I use a 2018 Mac Mini as my primary computer. It’s a 6-core i7 with 16 GB RAM. The GPU is rubbish but most of the work I do is CPU-bound, and it really excels.

The 13” MacBook Pro I had last year was sold on eBay for a staggering £850. It really goes to show just how good those 2014-2015 MacBook Pros really were.

I use an Apple Magic keyboard which has just about the right amount of noise and travel. Sitting next to that is a Logitech MX Master 2S, which seems to have become somewhat of a cliché (though it’s probably just because it’s really good).

The Mac Mini is hooked up to a 27” 4K Dell Monitor, which is gorgeous if a little expensive. The tiny bezels make up for the ghastly stand, which I’ve replaced with a cheap and popular monitor arm.

The Mac Mini is mounted underneath my desk, and hanging out the back of it is a 1 TB Samsung SSD, which is used for backups. It’s tiny and awesome.

Audio

Either side of the monitor sit Audiengine A2+ speakers on top of silicone stands. I had an Apple HomePod which was far superior at filling the room, but playback issues and the lack of desire to fully embrace the smart-home features meant the A2+ speakers were a more practical fit. The stands are absolutely necessary for directing the sound straight into my face and eating up some of the reverb.

I carry AirPods everywhere I go. They’re my favourite Apple product since the introduction of the iPhone, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to buy a new pair the instant I lost or broke these ones. When I want to shut away the world I’ll put on my Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones. They’re not the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn, but they’re my favourite noise cancelling headphones on the market right now.

Camera

I’m a big fan of the camera on my iPhone. Smartphone cameras have come a long way and the computational features are lightyears ahead of most “big” camera manufacturers. That said, no smartphone can capture the detail a proper camera can, and when I want to capture that perfect shot, I’ll reach for my Sony a6000 APC-S mirrorless. It’s considered a beginners camera, which suits me. I’ll usually reserve this camera for portraits and landscapes.

Stationary

I enjoy using pens, pencils and paper. Whilst almost everything I capture is digital, there’s just something calm and (dare I say it) profound about writing words on physical paper. If I’m working on something particularly complex, I’ll always reach for pen & paper before copying final notes to the computer.

I write most words with the Uni Mechanical Pencil, and I sometimes reach for the Fisher Space Bullet Pen.

My notebook of choice is the Rhodia A5 Dot Grid with Orange cover.

I don’t care too much about keeping the notes I create on paper. The notebook is poorly organised and full of doodles. It’s part of a process that helps me retain information, more than an important record of notes. I’m no good at journaling, either.

Software

Hardware has definitely been the topic of change since last year, so this section won’t be all that fascinating.

Desktop

The software I use on my Mac is relatively boring. I use browser email clients because I still haven’t found one I like, and I’m still using VSCode for most project work and Vim for one-off scripts.

I use Things 3 heavily to organise my life. I have a handful of projects and use it as a daily todo list. I keep Apple Reminders around only for a grocery list I share with my wife.

I did however switch my work web browser from Chrome to Firefox. I’m feeling good about my continued effort to remove all things Google from my life. I continue to use Safari for personal web browsing and the transparent syncing between my Apple devices.

Mobile

The screenshots below really demonstrate how I organise my phone (and to a large degree, my priorities).

I have a solid black background and use the Home Screen Icon Creator shortcut to insert empty icons at the top and bottom of the display, avoiding space that requires my thumb to stretch or bend into uncomfortable positions. It also forces me into significantly limiting the number of apps I use the most.

The first page should be quite self-explanatory. The second includes everything else. Apps that aren’t filed into a folder are used often but don’t quite deserve first-page status. Usually the apps at the bottom of this page are ones I’m trialing, like Apple Arcade games.

Baby Tracker is, you guessed it, used for tracking baby things. My wife and I were pretty religious about tracking nappies and feeds when my daughter was born, and we kinda just stuck with it. Seeing all of that data across a graph is really interesting, but I suppose we’ll get bored and stop tracking things soon.

Daylio describes itself as a daily journaling app, although I’m only using it for mood tracking (more on that in a future post).

I intentionally don’t have any social media apps presented directly on these pages. I don’t have the Facebook app installed at all, and seldom use Instagram or Twitter. When I do tweet, I use Tweetbot because it has a sensible timeline view and avoids adverts. The lack of notifications is also something I consider a useful feature.

This website

I wrote last year that this website was hosted on GitHub pages. I’ve moved it to Netlify since because it’s basically better in every measurable way. I also mentioned that I might open source it, but I lied.