I have a lot of opinions about the hardware, software, and gear I use.
Here it is (my opinions… also the stuff).
13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports
12.9-inch, 2018, Wi-Fi + Cellular
My text editor of choice. After dabbling with VSCode for much of 2019, I returned to Sublime Text for its performance and battery life benefits. It’s fast and focused, and doesn’t get in my way.
A fast and feature-rich graphical interface for Git. When I abandoned VSCode, I missed its integration with Git. Luckily, Sublime Merge fits my needs even better.
My screen design tool of choice. Sketch kicked off the current epoch of 2010’s visual design tools, and in a world of subscription models and cross-platform electron online-only applications, I appreciate Sketch’s “buy it and receive a year of updates” license model, native features, and offline support.
A Sketch competitor which has taken great strides in collaboration and design system tooling. I have a love/hate relationship with cloud-based subscription software requiring an internet connection, so despite some compelling features over Sketch, I’m hesitant to fully commit to it.
A vector design tool that is a serviceable alternative to Adobe Illustrator. While it certainly doesn’t have all of the latter’s features, I can get by with it. The iPad version with Apple Pencil is particularly nice to work with, albiet a bit clunky for accurate work.
A raster image editing tool. As is the case with Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo doesn’t come close to replicating Photoshop’s feature set, but it has a very robust set of features that get the job done. It also really sings on iPad for photo manipulation and editing.
As much as I’m trying to extricate myself from Adobe’s subscription clutches, I’m stuck on Lightroom. There are other great alternatives capable of editing raw photos—Darkroom and Pixelmator Photo/Pro to name two—but because I want library organisation, cross device sync, and I want my library of raw unedited photos separated from my Apple Photo library, Lightroom CC fits the bill best.
The standard for motion graphics and visual effects. A staple since my student filmmaking days, After Effects has unexpectedly traveled from my university media days to my day job, where it comes in handy for motion graphics and some visual design work.
For the occasional video editing I still do, Final Cut Pro X is my Non Linear Editor of choice on Mac. Nothing will ever quite compare to the revelation that Sony Vegas was for me in my highschool years, though.
A beautifully designed task manager. I use Things across iPhone, iPad, and Mac to organise and manage personal tasks and projects, and manage recurring and repeat tasks.
A highly performant screen recording utility for macOS. While it doesn’t have the editing capabilities of Screenflow, Screenflick is unparallelled in terms of recording quality—with support for recording High DPI at 60fps. You need to pair it with tools like Final Cut Pro X and Adobe After Effects to get the most out of it.
A useful jot pad for transient, working notes. I used to use textedit for a similar purpose, but Tot’s 7 tab notepad design is better suited for temporary working.
A new code editor from Panic, Nova provides much of the extra fluff of tools like VS Code in a fast and fluid Mac-assed Mac app. It hasn’t dethroned Sublime Text for me, but it is certainly a compelling alternative I’m keeping an eye on.
A very handy text replacement utility, allowing you to everything from create semi-canned email responses to workflows for common tasks. I also use it to have quickly type a range of handy unicode symbols.
A handy unicode character viewer, providing quick access to a huge range of useful typographical entities. I particularly like the way it presents and explains various invisible glyphs (like en and em spaces).
A very unique application which allows you to draw plaintext diagrams and illustrations, and export the resulting text file. I don’t use it particularly often, but there’s nothing else quite like it.
A very handy screen capture and measuring tool, like a lean version of xScope.
A powerful alternative to the built-in Screenshot utility. CleanShot X provides a number of useful features—one of my favourite being capturing a window and adding a proportional frame of your desktop background, free of any other elements. It also includes scrolling screenshot capture and a more robust annotation tool.
A beautiful and distration-free plaintext Markdown editor that syncs between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. I haven’t done much writing recently, but I like to draft anything longform in iA Writer.
Davey Heuser and Curtis Hard
A well designed application to organise and access icon sets. Plays nicely with all the main design tools.
Davey Heuser and Curtis Hard
A diff and merge tool for macOS. I don’t use it so much these days now I use Sublime Merge, but sometimes you need to diff two files that aren’t in a git repo, and that still very often comes in handy there!
My media player of choice for videos unsupported by Quicktime. Performant and native, it offers plenty of configuration, and playlist support with resume functionality. Useful for queueing up those Wes Bos courses I’m still trying to complete.
A fast, fluid, and surprisingly capable non-linear video editor for iPad Pro. It lacks many of the features of desktop based non linear editors, and yet editing is so much faster, fluid, and fun for me using touch and the iPad Pro’s ProMotion display (although ergonomically uncomfortable after a short time).