My Complete Toolkit for Design and Productivity
My old apartment in District 7, Saigon, Vietnam. I’ve always been a gear head when it comes to technology 🤓One of the perks of living in the States is being able to get my hands on the latest smartphone, tablet, laptop, camera, etc. as soon as it comes out. Throughout the years I’ve accumulated quite a few things, but for the last couple of years living in Southeast Asia I’ve downsized my stuff with optimization in mind for work and travel — all the things I own at the moment including my tech gear can fit in 2 checked bags with wiggle room! As my physical toolkit shrank when it became more and more dedicated to my career, my digital toolkit started to grow ever since I became a designer. I notice I don’t always need the latest tool anymore — at least in the hardware department — to do what I do on a daily basis. Plus, it’s amazing how much resource are available on the internet nowadays I often feel like I’m being thrown in an ocean of information! It did take me some time to swim (ahem) through many of them to see what works best for me — it’s also fun testing them — so here’s what I’m using: MacBook Pro 15″ 2016 My primary workhorse for designing, writing, planning and everything in between. I use a Mac because most of the apps I work with are available exclusively on Mac, plus I really enjoy the ease of Apple ecosystem. Some even say designers like me are enslaved to Apple, which might be true. I use the MacBook when I work from home, and at work I use an iMac with an extra monitor. While a Mac Mini and an external monitor would do the job as well, by the time you max out the specs on the Mac Mini its price will be about the same as an almost-spec’d-out iMac 4K 21.5″ — and that is without a monitor. iPhone 7 Plus My primary tool for communication, from conference meetings to emails and messaging, plus for previewing mobile designs and interactions. I’m starting to notice it’s becoming kind of slow, so I’m likely to be upgrading soon. Logitech MX Master 2S Bluetooth Mouse I prefer my mouse having actual individual buttons and a real scroll wheel, plus can be paired with up to 3 devices and can actually be used across different computers at the same time making transferring files easier and seamless. Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise-Canceling Headphones A wonderful investment that keeps me focused with music and sound, and a life saver on long-distance flights. Apple Magic Keyboard To be replaced with the new Logitech MX Keys for better ergonomics. I also recommend the Microsoft Sculpt for an even smoother typing experience — I used it for about a year and loved it, but the form factor is just a little bit too clunky for me and I want something more compact. LG 27UL850-W 4K 27″ Monitor The more screen real estate the better, and the particular LG model because it matches the color on my MacBook’s screen the most and more cost-effective than the UltraFine model. I’ve found that I’m more productive when I work with 2 monitors — one for my artboard and the other for design reference screens and communication like Slack and email. Apple Magic Trackpad Mostly for when I zoom in and out on my artboard and when I surf through different websites and articles with the least amount of force needed from my hand (if that makes sense —…
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