I use this, carry that and wear them

I always loved the Lifehacker ‘How I Work’ series and the Uses This website so every few years I update my own take on the questions (partly because it occasionally inspires a few other folk to do similar things and I am always nosey!).

It is three years since I did it last so here is a little bit of an update →

Hardware 

My main work laptop now is a beast. A Dell Latitude 5540 that is just huge with a 15.6″ screen and a full sized keyboard including a number pad on the right hand side. It is taking some getting used to if I am honest – I like using Windows machines for the day job as it allows me a mental firewall between work/side hustles + play but if I’d have known the scale of this in advance I might not have gone for it. Then again with my ageing eyes the screen is a godsend and the battery life is first class so I’ll make it work.

On the side hustle + play side of things I am all in on Apple. I have an M1 Mac Mini with a Magic Keyboard and Mouse that is doing most of the heavy lifting when I’m doing anything not for the day job.

It is plugged into an ancient (well 2015) Samsung display that got dragged out of retirement when I smashed the newer, nicer Dell display I was using. This needs replacing.

Additionally I have a 2020 Macbook Air that mainly is an expensive second screen when I am watching TV or used for blogging and a 2020 iPad Air with the Pencil and Keyboard case that travels with me but isn’t used much at home.

My Google Pixelbook died at the end of last year after many years of service.

My phone is an iPhone 13 Mini that is just starting to suffer battery issues and I’m wondering if it is time to give in and get a phone with a larger screen/battery. I’m out and about a lot less these days so I can probably handle the inconvenience more than I did pre-Covid.

I have a pair of Jabra Evolve2 30s that live in my backpack alongside an Anker power bank, spare Dell power lead and various chargers.

Still use a Blue Yeti microphone and a Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam but that is a bit glitchy these days. Oh and I am trying out a Logitech M720 Triathlon mouse because I can’t get used to the Dell trackpad!

Honestly my favourite piece of ‘hardware’ at the moment is my SodaStream Terra

Software 

Nothing interesting here to be honest. As I get longer in the tooth my software choices get ever more generic. I use Google for most everything across all my ‘profiles’, on all my devices – Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites, Maps, Chrome…all in. 

The new job means time in Harvest for timesheets and forecasting, HiBob for HR, Pipedrive for CRM/opportunity tracking and a lot of Slack. Still hate Miro, Mural etc and am still moaning about them being the answer to everything but trying to suck it up a bit as I’ve lost that battle and I don’t need to be any more Abe Simpson raging at the clouds than I am anyway.

Clients are however all in on Microsoft so never far from Outlook, Teams, Office etc.

I’m using Ghost more and more including for my jobs newsletter but this blog and my upcoming jobs board are WordPress.

I’m 80% weaned off from Twitter/X now and am mainly to be found on BlueSky now.

I use Notion as little more than a link dump / Evernote replacement but I think honestly that is about it.

Stationery 

I am experimenting with a three-notebook system at the moment. All Moleskin.

A4 hardback for BIG ideas. Where I write up ideas for talks, more thinky blogposts or sketch out team designs and that sort of thing. Where I need space to think.

Standard A5 (blank pages) for everyday day note taking and reminders. Next to me on whatever desk I am working on and probably looks like serial killer scrawls to anybody but me but it works for me.

Pocket sized Cahiers for when I am at meet-ups, conferences, networking things to jot down reminders, contact details, people to follow up with. The kinds of things I used to just remember before I got old.

I use Uniball Vision Elite pens these days as much as I love Muji Gel Pens I find them a bit awkward to hold for longnow as they are too slim – that said I still usually have some nearby and in my bag alongside the inevitable Sharpies.

Everyday carry

Well it is only really two or three days now but I still maintain a standard backpack.

I have a Stubble&Co backpack with a Chillys first generation water bottle and a Repel windproof travel umbrella in the outer pockets. 

Like I mentioned above, my Jabra headset, power bank and chargers live in the bag alongside some pens, Post-its and stickers. Oh and also a couple of packs of the I Love Snacks chocolate pouches!

Uniform 

I have a pretty standard uniform these days.

To paraphrase Drake -starting from the bottom →

Footwear: My everyday trainers are either Hiaven SPZLs in black or leather Gazelles in white. Though if I am giving a talk I wear my Human Race NMD S1s as I feel like a giant in them and they improve my posture!

Trousers: I almost exclusively wear Hiut jeans (see the recent documentary). I have 10 pairs in rotation. 

Tops: For work I mainly rock a variety of Uniqlo cardigans and plain cotton t-shirts. As smart as I get is swapping a tee for a polo. Otherwise I wear Original Penguin zip up hoodies with graphic t-shirts.

Outdoors I also wear New Era caps – mainly Yankees but at the moment I mainly wear an LA Dodgers.

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