It’s easy to overanalyze the tools that we use in our daily lives, particularly in the sea of constant tech changes in which we all swim. That said, it’s worth keeping a tally of the tools in which I place the most value.


I use primarily Apple products as much as I can. While I have built PCs for myself in the past, and done enterprise-level tech support in a Windows environment, the Apple ecosystem has worked well for me for more than a decade. Recent inventions like iCloud Photo Library and Apple Music only make my predilection towards the platform grow.

  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) for writing, researching, home basing
  • iPhone X (256 GB, silver), for everything
  • iPad Pro (10.5-inch, 256 GB, gold), for increasingly more things, including reading, YouTube, writing, etc.
  • Apple TV (4K and 4th generation), for watching all of our TV
  • Apple Watch (Series 3, stainless steel), for fitness, notifications, weather, and the time (read more about my Watch as a fitness companion here)
  • Xbox One S, for Star Wars Battlefront 2

Mac Tools

These are the apps that I have open on my Mac at all times, often with many windows of each at a time.

  • Safari for research and reading
  • Twitterrific for the news on all fronts
  • OmniFocus for every kind of task list
  • iTunes for Apple Music and the music library that I started collecting in 1998
  • Messages for nearly all communication
  • Spark for email
  • Soulver for calculations
  • 1Password for storing passwords and other secure info
  • Photos for pictures
  • Atom for dabbling in programming, writing the odd script, and other odds and ends
  • Terminal for the things you can’t get done in the GUI

iPhone Tools

There are the apps that I use either every day, or at least frequently enough to mention.

  • Messages for talking to almost everyone
  • Overcast for podcasts
  • The New York Times for the news
  • Twitterrific for the zeitgeist
  • Lose It! for meal logging and fitness challenges (more brief thoughts here)
  • 1Password for logging in to things using its extension
  • Spark for email
  • Mint for money
  • Instagram for sharing
  • Day One for keeping my daily journal and other automated logging

Coffee and Fussy Water

It’s required that tech people have a preferred way to make coffee and a way to make fussy carbonated water.

  • AeroPress for brewing
  • Bodum Bistro electric burr coffee grinder for grinding beans
  • Medelco 12-cup glass stovetop kettle for lighting water on fire
  • SodaStream Penguin soda maker for fussy water