Uses

Inspired by Adam Wathan, Wes Bos, Freek Murze and many others I've put together this list of hardware, software and services that I use. I'll keep this list updated as my workflow and equipment changes.

Affiliate Disclosure

Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you click them and purchase the product, I may get a little bit of commission or discount on my own account from any sales.

I have not been sponsored by anyone to share a product. If I no longer use it, I will remove it from this list. I'm not bound by affiliation to these products.

Quick Jump

Hardware

  • Apple Mac Mini (2020), M1, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD

    The Mac Mini is my every day work machine and it's amazing. When I was watching Apple introduce M1 I knew I had to upgrade immediately! I've always liked the Mini, but I'd never found them powerful enough. Previously, I had my MacBook Pro plugged in all day, every day which isn't good for the battery. I did suffer from the dreaded Bluetooth disconnectivity issues, but since switching off the 5GHz network on my WiFi Access Point, I've not experienced it since.

  • Apple Macbook Air (2020), M1, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD

    It's basically the Mini, but in a laptop form! This machine is also amazing. I use my Air when working on the sofa in an evening, but I'll also be using it when we can travel again. The smaller form factor took a bit of getting used to after having use a 15" Pro for so long, but for working away a week at a time, I can cope with it.

  • Samsung 34" Ultra-Wide Curved Monitor (Dark Silver)

    When I started working remotely full-time, I needed to purchase an external monitor. Having previously worked with two screens, I didn't want to lose real-estate but at the same time, didn't want to fill my desk with screens. This is a great screen, though it is quite deep so does eat into working space.

  • 1home Single Arm Desk Mount

    The stand that came with the Samsung screen was very deep and had to be placed into the window recess behind my desk, so I bought this to use less space and get my window blind back! It's more than capable of holding the 34" screen and gives me the option of moving my screen a bit more.

  • Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

    I've had this speaker for several years now and it's never failed me. The speaker provides more than enough quality for me to use as my only sound source. I plug this into my monitor using an AUX cable as it doesn't have speakers. The original version is now discontinued, so I've linked to the new model.

  • Logi C920 HD Webcam

    If I had one, I'd probably use a proper camera, but this Logi webcam does what I need for now. HD is pretty good and, because it's wide-angle, I can catch everything in frame.

  • Lenovo USB-C Hub

    The idea of USB-C really excites me. One port, all devices? Yes, please! Except, of course it doesn't work like that, so I have this hub to provide USB-A ports and memory card slots. It also has a HDMI port should I need to use that whilst travelling.

  • Keychron K2 Mechanical Keyboard, RGB Back-light, Aluminum Frame with Brown Switches

    This is my first and only mechanical keyboard. I can't recommend it enough if you're looking to venture into mechanical keyboards. I love the RGB backlighting! Previously, I was using the Apple Magic Keyboard in Space Gray.

  • Keychron K3 Mechanical Keyboard, RGB Back-light, Low Profile with Gateron Red Switches

    I recently bought the K3 as my wife started desk-sharing with me and hated how loud the K2 was when she was on calls. I switched to the K3 with the red switches and she's happier for it. The low-profile is also very appealing.

    I'll probably switch back to the K2 when Katie goes on maternity leave...

  • Apple Magic Trackpad 2 (Space Gray)

    I love this trackpad especially over the previous model (curse its battery usage!). I've been told that the Magic Mouse 2 is a step up, but I've never found them comfortable to use all full-time. I have had bluetooth issues, so I now leave it plugged in.

  • Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (Space Gray)

    I was using this keyboard prior to purchasing the Keychron K2 however, I still use it for editing podcasts as GarageBand shortcuts are easier to use on it.

  • Apple AirPods Pro

    I skipped the first generation of AirPods, but I use the Pros every. single. day. The sound quality is immense for such small in-ear devices. Admittedly, I've had an issue with "squealing" but Apple quickly replaced them for me.

Business

  • FreeAgent

    I switched to using FreeAgent to manage my bookkeeping and VAT returns. I'd always kept my sales and purchase invoices in Google Drive, and then exported my bank statements, but FreeAgent makes this much easier and it includes invoicing too! I could also manage PAYE and self-assessments, but my accountant handles that for me.

  • Starling Bank

    When I first started my business, I was with Natwest... I hated them. Their online banking experience was dreadful. I switched to Tide, that wasn't much better... However, Starling, a UK challenger bank, has been really great! I can enable their FreeAgent integration and have my statements automatically loaded into my account so I can do my bookkeeping. Transfers are instant and the categories make it really easy to see a breakdown of spenditure.

Development

  • Sublime Text 4 (Dev Channel)

    I've been a Sublime Text user for the last decade. I still use it daily for writing my blog and editing large files (because it's super good at it). I was once commissioned by Net Mag to write a two-page spread about Sublime.

  • PHPStorm

    Having used Sublime Text for so long, I found moving to any IDE sluggish and painful. Recently I've stuck it out with PHPStorm for big projects and I'm just about becoming happy with it.

  • TablePlus

    I'd previously been a big fan of SequelPro, but development died and so I made the switch to TablePlus. It took me a while to finally start liking it, but I absolutely love it now.

  • iTerm 2

    This terminal is just really nice and has some neat features like being able to see images inline, linking hyperlinks, pane splitting and broadcasting to all pane which is especially useful for managing multiple servers at once.

  • Tinkerwell

    I was fortunate to have an in-person demonstration of Tinkerwell with Marcel Pociot (the creator) and was blown away by it. It quickly took its place among my daily workflows for debugging Laravel Forge issues and testing code snippets quickly.

  • HELO

    I used to use services such as Mailtrap, but when Beyond Code released HELO I jumped at the chance to have all my locally tested emails arrive locally to my machine!

  • Expose

    Expose quickly replaced by Ngrok subscription. It's simple, easy to get started and best of all it's free.

  • Invoker

    Invoker lets me get high-level overviews of my applications. Invokers plugins are particulary useful too, since I'm able to run Tinkerwell within the scope of my application and manage my model's data, all from one application.

Productivity

  • Alfred

    Having always been a Spotlight (the default app) user, I'd see many tweets and blogs about how good Alfred is, but I never knew just how good it was till I downloaded it. I've been creating Workflows for everything and it's surprising just how much you come to rely on them. I purchased a Powerpack license the same day, it's that good.

  • 1Password

    1Password is the only service that I would ever trust to store my passwords and sensitive information. After years of embarrassingly using derivatives of the same password, I spent a few hours one day changing all of my passwords and adding Two Factor where possible.

  • SetApp

    I think SetApp is one of those applications that you look at and think "nah"... but after using it, you'll wonder how you did without. A lot of the applications listed on this page and some that aren't are available via SetApp. I pay just over $100 a year and get access to a bunch of software! Sometimes, I only need a particular application for a little bit of time, so it's worth the subscription cost.

  • NordVPN

    NordVPN provides a fast, reliable and secure VPN for when I'm travelling and using WiFi. I subscribed for 3 years when they had one of their cheap deals on. My iPhone always runs NordVPN as it happens to blocks ads in the game I play.

  • Trello

    In my view, Trello is both underrated and under-used, if you know what you're doing, you can make some very powerful boards. I use it for organising so much of my life, including; everything we needed for the arrival of our daughter, our wedding and my to-do lists. I subscribed to the Gold Plan so that I can use all of Butlers features (I automate a lot).

  • ImprovMX

    ImprovMX allows me to setup forwarding emails for my different domains which means I can mask my actual email address. This is really useful for things like Happy Dev or where I'm signing up to a service but want to use a custom email address for Patreon, Paypal etc.

Design

  • Sketch

    I'm far from being a designer, but when I do need to design something Sketch is the only application I'd consider using. The whole experience just makes sense to me and I love it.

  • Sip

    Sip is a super easy colour picker loaded with extra features such as history, palettes and smart formats. I don't use it frequently, but it's always good to have a colour picker to hand.

Hosting

  • DigitalOcean

    I use DigitalOcean for anything that runs PHP. They're reliable, transparent and great value for money.

  • GitHub

    All of my code is stored on GitHub and I prefer them over other Git hosts mainly because I've used it for so long. It's also the most popular choice so makes it an obvious choice when working on open source projects.

  • Netlify

    This blog is now hosted with Netlify because it's ridiculously easy to get setup with and configure Jigsaw deployments. As an extra bonus, they have a cool feature which lets you capture form data within a static website which requires just one easy change to your form.

  • Laravel Forge

    You know what makes for great products? Using them yourself. I use Forge to manage my servers and was a very happy customer prior to joining the Laravel team.

  • Hover

    All of my domains are now registered through Hover. They're sometimes more expensive than other options, but I like how easy they've made the process.

  • Fathom Analytics

    Upfront disclaimer, Fathom have kindly sponsored my lifetime account. That said, I love what they're doing with analytics and having privacy baked into the product from the start makes Fathom the best choice!

Podcasting

  • Transistor.fm

    Without Transistor, I probably wouldn't have a podcast, at least not a published one. It saves me so much time and I'm able to draft and schedule episodes very quickly. Transistor also provides a super basic, but functional website that doesn't require any maintenance from me.

  • Samson Q2U Dynamic USB Microphone, Boom Arm and Pop Filter

    I'm no audio expert, but this microphone has been really good to me and I've had no complaints about the quality of my recordings from it. I really wanted something that I could plug and play with - that's what this is.

  • Epidemic Sound

    Epidemic Sound provides all of the theme music I use in the Happy Dev podcast. At some point I would like to record my own intro and outro songs, but I haven't got around to that yet.

  • GarageBand

    I lay out my podcasts across multiple tracks and GarageBand makes it super easy to just click record, drop a guest recording on and publish. I have no use for anything more complicated, for now.