/uses

If you're looking at this page, you probably asked me "what's that thing?" when we were on a call or presentation together.

Here's a list of all the tools I use day to day. You can click on any underlined title to get a deep dive walkthrough of how I use them
Code
VS Code
After many, many years being a vim user I switched to VS Code in 2020. The language server and available plugins make it a joy to use. I have quite a few plugins installed, but here are the ones I couldn't live without:

* Vim mode
* ErrorLens
* GitHub Actions
iTerm2
I've been using iTerm2 for so long that I've forgotten what I actually installed it for in the first place.
GitHub
Everyone needs a place to store their code. I've use Bitbucket in the past, but went all-in on GitHub with the launch of GitHub Actions. It's the primary store for all my personal and private projects, and I make sure that I have local backups with gickup
Netlify
The majority of sites that I build today use Eleventy, and are hosted by Netlify. If a site needs any interactivity, Netlify Functions provides everything that I need.
Writing
Bear
Everything I write starts in Bear. It's my inbox for anything text related.

If I need to paste something temporarily, I use Bear. If I'm making notes on a call, I use Bear.
If I'm trying to get everything out of my head in to a to-do list, I use Bear.
Ulysses
Ulysses is my go to app for long form writing. In fact, Ulysses is how I wrote Building GitHub Actions.

I have multiple projects, with collections inside each project. As an example, I have a Blog project which contains sub collections for Eleventy, Tools, Thoughts, GitHub Actions and more.

Any idea I have that might end up as a piece of content is captured in the relevant project and sits there until I'm ready to work on it.
Obsidian
I started using Obsidian at the end of 2021 after multiple failed attempts at keeping a personal knowledgebase using various tools (TiddlyWiki being the most recent).

Having a simple markdown + folder based app is working for me. I don't use a ton of extensions, and I don't use DataView for dynamic content.

I'm very much in capture mode at the moment, but am starting to see patterns emerge and clean up the content as I use it to write blog posts and talks.
MindNode
Last but not least, MindNode is my go-to app for mapping out heirarchical data.

I've used it to build org charts, test out new information architectures for docs and bring order to an unsorted brain dump of ideas by clustering them together.
Learning
Pocket
I've read over 15,000 items since October 2012 using Pocket, and it's still a core part of my learning workflow.

There's a ton of interesting content that comes through RSS, Twitter and personal recommendations, but I'm usually working on something I don't want to interrupt. Pocket allows me to save the article for later and not break my concentration.

I wrote more about my Pocket workflow here, including how I automated tagging articles to batch process them without context switching.
Reeder
I mentioned RSS above. I still subscribe to a handful of RSS feeds (mostly engineering blogs, plus the HackerNews RSS feed), and get all of my email newsletters via RSS too (using KillTheNewsletter).

Reeder allows me to scan headlines quickly and swipe left to send the link to Pocket to read later. For the newsletters, I can long press a link and add to Pocket through the iOS share sheet on mobile, or use the Reeder content menu on Desktop.

Finally, I use Reeder as my Pocket client on desktop and mobile.
Overcast
Podcasts and I have never gotten along, but this year I've been trying to diversify what I'm listening to.

Overcast is a wonderful app. My two must-have features are smart-speed (removes pauses) and the queue playlist, which lets me queue up 4-5 episodes and hide the rest so I don't get overwhelmed.
BookReader
Although I don't get along with podcasts, I love audiobooks. I think it's because they're a bit longer, so there's time to acclimitise to the narrator's voice, and the content can go a bit deeper.

I listen to non-fiction, primarily management and psychology books. However, I have been known to become absorbed in a 30+ hour series from time to time. You can see what I'm listening to on Goodreads
Kindle
Some books just aren't suited to (or aren't available in) audiobook format. For these books, I read on my Kindle Oasis and on the Kindle app on my iPhone.

I don't get time to sit and read for hours at a time, so stealing 3-4 pages whilst waiting for something else is a great way to increase how much I read.
Planning
Sunsama
Sunsama is my one-stop-shop for what I need to do each week. My day to day work is split across Todoist (personal), Jira, email (GMail), GitHub, Asana and Slack.

Keeping track of everything across all of those systems is almost impossible - something will slip through the cracks.

I can pull all of them in to a single view using Sunsama and schedule the work on my calendar around meetings. Allocating time for each item keeps me honest and has led to more realistic expectations.

Being able to aggregate all the systems and plan once per week, then use a single source of truth for the rest of the time has been game changing.
Todoist
Todoist is my personal to-do list app of choice. I've been using it for about 6 years now and whilst I've been tempted to go back to Things (my previous app), Todoist has kept me hooked.

If I need to do something, it has to be in Todoist or I'll forget. This includes recurring items (such as putting out the recycling bin), release dates for books I'm looking forward to, and day to day tasks that come up. Todoist is very much an inbox for my thoughts, and I'll periodically review and categorise things in to projects as needed.
Fantastical
Finally, Fantastical, my calendar app of choice. I use it on MacOS and iOS, and happily pay the annual subscription to support the developers. There are two big wins for me: Calendar sets and Openings (their Calendly alternative).

We use calendars a lot in my household. We have separate calendars for myself, my wife, things we're doing together, our kids, the dog, house related work (such as tradespeople), plus my work + travel (TripIt) calendars. Being able to configure groups of calendars to show on demand is great. I can use my "Work" calendar set during the week, then switch to "Family" at the weekends.

I used to be a big Calendly user for booking interviews at work and coffee catch-ups with ex-colleagues, but have switched to Openings as it's included in my subscription and supports all of my calendars, not just my work one.
Tools & Utilities
1Password
I'm a long time 1Password user, and have managed to convince all of my immediate family to use it too. Shared vaults are great for tech support, and they allow my wife and I to keep track of documents that we need.

Autocomplete works great, and it's the single source of truth for all of my software licenses and club memberships. I couldn't live without it.
Alfred
I started out using Alfred as a Spotlight replacement many years ago. Somewhere along the way I picked up a lifetime supporter license and use it every day.

Most of the time it's a quick application launcher, but I have a couple of downloaded workflows (such as the emoji picker), and some custom workflows for navigating to specific work systems quickly.

I've recently started using it's snippets capability, both for common replies and for demo purposes (with autoexpand enabled).
Hammerspoon
The swiss army knife of MacOS automation. My Hammerspoon explorations started when trying to resize a window to 1080p on an ultrawide monitor to record videos, and it expanded from there.

My most used bindings are to set the current screen to 25/33/50/100% of the current screen's width (or hold shift and use the same binding to do the same on my second screen). I've also got bindings to store references to windows and reactivate them later. This is handy when presenting to jump between windows rather than using cmd+tab and having that show on screen.

Finally, I have some utility bindings. One stops my machine from sleeping, another wraps the currently selected text in a link tag and sets the URL to whatever's on my clipboard. The last toggles my audio output to be my Airpods or my external speakers.

There's a lot more I could do with Hammerspoon, and I'm just getting started.
Streaming / Presenting
Hardware
I started building out my A/V setup when recording a screencast series back in 2015. It's received some upgrades over the years and now looks like:

* Microphone: Shure SM7B with CloudLifter and Scarlett Solo DAC. Mounted on an Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP
* Camera: Canon M200 with EF-M 15-45mm lens
* Elgato Key Light Air (x2)
* Stream Deck (x2)
Software
* OBS for scene control + green screen filters
* Screenflow for recording and editing videos
* Bartender to hide everything in my taskbar and increase continuity
Gear
Mac Studio
The most recent addition to my desk - an M1 Max Mac Studio with 2TB SSD and 64GB RAM. Bought to replace a 2018 Mac Mini, this thing handles everything I throw at it and stays cool to the touch whilst doing so.
Apple Watch
I disable notifications on most apps, so having a way to receive notifications that I do have enabled is key. The Apple Watch fulfils that need and more.

It gets used for important notifications and fitness/sleep tracking, not much more.
11" iPad Pro
I used to have the 12.9" iPad Pro which I loved, but didn't get much use out of as I was either at my desk, or it was too big to travel with. I traded it in for an 11" iPad Pro which I regularly use

I mainly use the iOS versions of the apps mentioned above (Pocket, Reeder, Ulysses, Todoist, MindNode) but also have a couple more:

* Plex for media
* Board games! Currently Wingspan, Catan HD and 7 Wonders
* Google Docs for on-the-move reviews
reMarkable 2
The reMarkable is a, well, remarkable device for thinking and note taking. I use it when I need to think and take notes and don't want to be distracted. Most of the time, I'm reading a long Google doc

It also gets a lot of use as a whiteboard whilst on calls. Whenever I need to sketch something out, I reach for the reMarkable's screen sharing ability and share the reMarkable app on my desktop. It feels liek drawing on paper, but everyone else can see my sketches in realtime.
Gaming
Nintendo Switch
Before I picked up a Switch, the last console that I owned was a Playstation 2. Going from that to the on/off experience of a switch was like night and day.

I travelled a lot for work, and the Switch allowed me to take games with me. My top 3 games: Hades, Into the Breach, and way too much time playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2.
Steam Deck
The most recent addition to my gaming setup. All the benefits of the Switch and all of the power of a gaming PC. I've played a ton of games that I never got around to playing on my desktop - mainly platformers, but also some FPS games too.

The real gamechanger for the Steam Deck is it's emulation capabilities. I'm having a great time playing through some of the games I missed first time around.
Windows Gaming PC
A relic from a time that I had fewer commitments and more time. Now, it's used to play League of Legends, and not much else.