Over the years, I’ve documented bits and pieces of my kits on this website, including my diabetes travel kit, my diabetes kit for photowalks, and iPhone camera kit. I even have some kits — my basic camera kit and coffee making kit — documented on an external site dedicated to “kits”.
Aaron Parecki recently updated his “life stack” page with the tools, apps, services and other things he uses to manage his work and life. I think the idea is worth “stealing”, and given my recent attempts to re-embrace the IndieWeb principle of “owning your data,” I’ve documented my collection of things, my “kit and caboodle”1 on this page.
I use a lot of apps and services. I will only add the products and services I use and recommend2. If possible, I will also link to any reviews I have written. I add things to this page if I would personally recommend purchasing them.
My 2013 iMac has a 3.5GHz Intel “Core i7” with 32GB of RAM, a 27” HD 2560x1440 LED-backlit 16:9 widescreen IPS display, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. I have a lot of external storage, so I limited the internal solid-state storage (SSD) to 512GB. Peripheral ports include four USB 3.0 ports, dual Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n compatible), and Bluetooth 4.0. The iMac came with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a multi-touch “Magic Mouse,” but I also purchased a multi-touch “Magic Trackpad.”
I purchased the iMac primarily for use with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s an excellent performer, especially when stitching panoramas from several 24MP images.
I have an 11-Inch (Wi-Fi Only) Apple iPad Pro with 256GB of memory. I use it primarily for reading (email, news, RSS feeds, books), note-taking and quick research during meetings, writing, presenting and shopping. It is my laptop replacement. I understand and acknowledge the limitation, and I have no expectations that I will be as productive on the iPad Pro as I am on my iMac.
I use an Apple Magic Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse.
iOS and macOS
The apps listed below have iOS and macOS versions that sync between my iPhone, iPad Pro and iMac.
- 1Password is the password manager I have used on iOS and macOS for years. It syncs with macOS and iOS. I also use 1Password to store credit card numbers, insurance account information, social security numbers, etc. I trust this software.
- Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Photoshop Lightroom are the apps I use to edit and catalogue my digital images. I use both the macOS and iOS versions of these apps.
- AirMail is a mail client with support for Markdown, multiple accounts, Unified Inbox, Exchange, iCloud, Gmail, IMAP, POP3, Google Apps, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com, etc. and supports attachments from Google Drive, Dropbox, CloudApp, Box, Onedrive, Droplr, and FTP.
- Wunderlist is an excellent to-do app with projects, labels, shared lists, and anything else you can think of.
- Byword is a minimalist Markdown text editor with subtle syntax highlighting. I use it with and without MarsEdit to create my blog post. Documents can be synced via Dropbox or iCloud to iPad, iPhone, and macOS. Byword can publish to Medium, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Evernote.
- Reeder is an RSS news reader that supports Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, FeedHQ, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Inoreader, Minimal Reader, BazQux Reader, Fever, Readability and Instapaper. I use it with Feedbin and Instapaper to sync and track my news feeds.
- Tweetbot is my preferred Twitter client. It has support for multiple accounts and lists. It also has mute filters and multiple column views.
- iCloud Calendar works for me. I no longer use Google Calendar.
- Apple Maps on makes it simple to get directions and information about local points of interest, including restaurants. I no longer use Google Maps.
- AnyList is the best way to create and share grocery shopping lists with a family. When my kids or spouse make changes, they show up instantly on everyone’s iPhone, iPad or Mac.
- iCloud Drive syncs important files to my iPad, iPhone and iMac. I no longer use Dropbox or Google Drive for anything important.
- Mint is how my wife and I keep track of our finances.
- Micro.blog so I can post to WordPress directly from the iOS app for Micro.blog.
I have Type 1 diabetes and useFatSecret to help with carbohydrate counting and tracking my diet. This is valuable information for my endocrinologist and myself to review to make any necessary changes to my diabetes management.
I enjoy coffee. Over the years, I have learned various brewing techniques. I use the Press app for customisable brew timers and entering tasting and brewing notes.
When travelling, I use Foursquare to find restaurant recommendations. I also use Yelp but prefer Foursquare and the sister app Swarm to check in to locations that I think are noteworthy.
I’ve used MarsEdit for what seems like ... forever.
After over ten years of shooting with Nikon DSLRs, I dumped all my lenses and switched to Fuji. My current camera kit is minimalist - the Fujifilm X-T3, Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens and XF27mmF2.8 R WR lens. I have two 64GB ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II V90 300R memory cards set up in a backup arrangement, with every photograph captured saved on both cards.
During the COVID pandemic, I bought several 35mm film cameras but kept only two; a Minolta XD-11 and X-700. I own three Minolta lenses; MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2, MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7, and MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm f/2.8. The XD-11 and MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2 are my favourite combination. When adapted to my Fuji X-T3 and set to f/2.8, the MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 renders photographs with sweet bokeh.
I have my Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2 and Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs, which I bought years ago when I was a Nikon shooter. I swapped out the Manfrotto plate for a Hejnar Photo conversion plate that provides an ArcaSwiss style mount plate. I use a Manfrotto MTPIXI-WH PIXI Mini Tripod with a Glif iPhone mount for mobile photography. I use Gordy hand straps with all my cameras.
In 2022 we got rid of cable TV and our TiVo Bolt, but we kept our Apple TV 4k. We stream all our shows and movies via the Apple TV, connected to a Sony XBR-55X850D Smart TV and Sony HT-CT780 soundbar. In 2020 I bought two HomePod minis, a Shiit Audio Modi 3+ DAC and Shiit Audio Magni Heresy headphone amp, Schiit SYS switch, Grado SR60, and an Audio Technica AT-LP60X turntable.
- The word caboodle may be derived from the Old-English word bottel, a bunch or a bundle, as a bottel of straw. Later the word boodle may have become synonymous with the woodpile, a term used at a gaming table and signifying a quantity of money. The word kit may have originated with the military, referring to the whole of a soldier’s necessaries, the contents of his knapsack. ↩
- links on this page or review posts may link to affiliate links for the product. I make a few bucks if you purchase the product. ↩