Uses

My desk setup. Bast was an add-on feature.

In addition to being a developer, I am also an artist and a writer who dabbles in nature photography. It was recently announced that working from home full time will be how we operate as a company in the future. This excites me since I've loved working remotely. Namely, I have been enjoying creating a space where I can work productively. Below is a list of how I've done this so far.

Hardware

  • MacBook Pro 2019
  • iPhone XR
  • Vortex Race V3 with Cherry MX Blues
  • LG Ultrawide Monitor (with 🍃 settings)
  • Logitech Webcam
  • Random cheap mouse and random cheap mouse pad
  • Rain Design clamshell laptop stand
  • Random desk my mom found on Facebook marketplace
  • Furniture risers to raise said random desk up to a decent height off the ground
  • Varier Move Stool
  • 3/4-sized dot notebooks (no-brand)
  • Pilot G-2 07 pens, Sharpie pens, or any thin ink/felt pen available on sale
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II

Notes: Webcam, desk, laptop stand, keyboard, and monitor were all purchased used. Though I could not find exact models to link here, I find this a great option when you don't want to have too big of an environmental impact but still feel like you're building the ideal work environment for yourself.

Productivity

Desktop/Development

  • Apple Calendar - with personal and work calendar sets to switch between
  • Notion - I just switched over to this from Bear. Currently using the free version and am liking the flexibility I have to create different kinds of notes.
  • Alfred 4 - snippets, scripts, general workflow
  • Reminders - recently changed to this; works well with Apple Calendar and it's free
  • Be Focused - simple Pomodoro timer; using the free version
  • Terminal - I used to use iTerm2, but someone gave me a hot tip
  • Spark - Email client; great for switching between work and personal emails, the latter of which is on Fastmail. Simple, clean, efficient. Integrates well with Fantastical too, and it's free.
  • Insomnia and Paw - recently purchased a license for the latter, but I very much enjoy Insomnia as well. Good for getting off the ground quickly.
  • Fork - just started using this based on a tip from a coworker. A+! Worth getting the license and supporting this dev fam.
  • Vim/VSCode - I use Vim for most things (see dotfiles link below), but VSCode has also been pretty solid when needed. Admittedly I have the Vim plugin for that, though. I'm so slow with a mouse. 🙃
  • Vivaldi - browser replacement for Chrome. It's Chromium based, though, with great privacy additions. I use this for testing applications.
  • Mozilla Firefox Developer Edition - I also use this for testing applications, when needed. This is my preferred browser, but sometimes it gets slow.
  • Safari - I am trying to switch over to this for personal stuff to further separate work from general web browsing, etc. The update to Big Sur made it really nice!
  • Choosy - Wow, so many browsers! A fellow thoughtbotter made this app and this helps me manage my browsers when I open links.

iPad

  • PDF Expert - free version; I read my textbooks on here and highlight them. It's been nice not to have these chonky bois on my lap and taking up space in my room.
  • Procreate - absolute must if you're doing digital art. This is an amazing app.
  • Concepts - free version; I used this to design blueprints for a large-scale gingerbread house that I made with my roommate. It was super useful - all I had to do was draw it on graph paper in this app and send it over via AirDrop to my roommate's laptop so he could put it into his CAD program. I've also used this for other "technical" sketches.

Art

  • Micron pens - I've been lucky that my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all do art. My grandmother gifted me some of these pens in middle school and I've kept a handful ever since.
  • Staedtler Fineliners - these work extremely well with the micron pens, but you have to let them dry (or they smudge everywhere).

Examples of micron pens and fineliners can be seen here, here, and here.

Other art stuff I use I don't necessarily condone yet. I am still testing alcohol markers, gouache, and acrylics. I usually just buy whatever sketch books are on sale. To outline things for the pens/fineliners, I use a mechanical pencil of whatever kind I can find.

Want art? Check out my Instagram or my art page. I also have a RedBubble! I also take commissions: art@cupofsquid.com


Notes: Separation between work and personal spaces is important to me. I also do not like to use any Google products, if it is in my control. My search engine is DuckDuckGo, for example. Simplicity is also important to me because I have issues focusing; hence the Pomodoro timer. Most things route through Apple Calendars with little interaction with other interfaces. Alfred cleans up a lot of the clutter and navigation issues for me, which makes me able to context switch faster when that's needed.

Want the nitty gritty? Check out my dotfiles!