Occasionally I’ll get asked about the hardware or software I own and use. I decided to create a list of things that help me get stuff done—I’ll keep this page updated as my setup changes.
Here’s a list of hardware on or for my desk that help me get work done.
I’m contently hanging onto the early-2015 MacBook Pro—I find the Touch Bar useless, and the other improvements aren’t valuable enough to warrant an upgrade. I switch to a 13˝ from a 15˝ a few years ago and haven’t turned back—I love the size, weight and portability.
I wanted a monitor that was in between a 27˝ and 34˝ with at least 1440p resolution that didn’t break the bank, and the 32˝ Samsung WHQD LED Monitor fit the requirements and bill. Another plus is that it has a matte screen—glossy screens can be a nightmare. The max resolution is 2560x1440, so if retina/4k/5k/etc. is important to you, this isn’t the monitor for you.
I switched to a mechanical keyboard last year, and I’m glad I did. Typing on one requires less effort (especially when touch typing) and is easier on my aging wrists. I went with a WASD V2 88-Key Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry-MX Brown switches and black-on-black keys—I like the sound of mechanical switches, but anything louder than browns drive me crazy.
The Razer DeathAdder is the smoothest and most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used. I’m a firm believer in wired mice and keyboards—I find wireless mice and keyboards glitchy and inconsistent, and with how much I rely on them, I’d rather not have to worry about connectivity.
I enjoy the flexibilty of being able to sit or stand at my desk with the Jarvis Adjustable Standing Desk. Standing is a nice break from sitting all day, but it did take me a couple of weeks to get used to and comfortable standing for longer periods of time. I found standing on my hard, tile floors tough on my feet and knees, so I recommend a good-quality, anti-fatique mat, like the Ergocomfy (I own one) or the Topo by Ergo Driven.
I sat on a crappy chair for too long, and my body paid for it. I finally invested in a nice chair a few years ago—the Herman Miller Aeron with lumbar support—and my body is ever so grateful. I got a great deal on a used one in great condition from Craigslist. I have a couple of gripes about it, though—the front edge of the chair tends to dig into the back of my thighs, and I wish the position of the arm rests were more adjustable—but it’s a massive upgrade from the chair I had used.
Don’t wait as long as I did to invest in a nice chair, especially if you spend a lot of time in your chair like I do. I have my eyes on the Steelcase Gesture or Leap as a possible replacement.
The Bose QuietComfort 35s are amazing headphones. The noise cancelling is superb—it helps me stay focused in environments with a lot of background noise like flights or coffee shops. It’s also comfortable to wear—I can wear it for hours at a time, and that’s with plastic-frame glasses on. It has a 2.5mm auxiliary out, so you can use it wired to conserve battery or for better sound-quality. The only downside is you can’t disable noise cancelling when using it.
Here are some other noteworthy things on my desk:
As a designer and developer, software is essential to my daily work. I rely on a lot of different pieces of software based on what I’m doing.
I’ve tried a lot of code editors, but I always find myself going back to Sublime Text. I really want to like Atom, but it’s noticeably and annoyingly slower than Sublime.
The theme I’m using is Material Theme by Mattia Astorino—it’s really polished and clean.
Input Mono is my monospace font of choice. I used Hack for a while and Inconsolata-g before that.
Here’s a list of Sublime plugins I use and recommend::
I spend a lot of time in the command line, but nothing fancy here—I use good ol’ Terminal and Bash, and I haven’t found them lacking for anything I’ve needed.
Here’s my Bash config file, and the following are some handy command-line tools.
I use Sketch for UI design. I was a big fan of Fireworks (from the Macromedia days) and used it until 2014, the year I made the switch to Sketch. Sketch is great for designing interfaces, and I even use it for relatively simple illustrations—I find the vector tools more intuitive and easier to use than Illustrator. Unfortunately, I find the exported SVG markup messy, so I rely on Illustrator for cleaner SVG.
I often comb and cleanup SVG by hand, but Illustrator’s SVG is a lot easier to work with than Sketch’s.
Speed is key for me, and Alfred is a great tool that allows me to be more efficient with keyboard strokes. It’s great as an app launcher and file searcher alone, but the Powerpack unlocks features like text expansion and workflows, making Alfred a valuable productivity tool.
Here are other apps I use daily that don’t need lengthy explanations.
I wanted to mention some of the other things I use and like that are not limited to work-related stuff.
I love my Fujifilm X-E2S for taking photos. I used to own a DSLR but rarely carried it around because it was so bulky. The X-E2S is lightweight and compact, and because it’s also an interchangeable lens camera, it supports Fuji’s amazing line of X series lenses. I own the XF35mm F1.4 for portraits and XF18mm F2 for landscape and street photography.
After spending a lot of time searching for a backpack, I pulled the trigger on the Mission Workshop Sanction in Charcoal. I wanted something durable, compact and waterproof. It looks amazing, and the quality is top notch, but it’s pricey, and I wish it had more compartments.
I also spent a ton of time doing homework when looking for a messenger bag. I ended up going with the Ugmonk Messenger Bag and couldn’t have been more pleased with my purchase. It’s beautifully designed, durable, and functional. I published a lengthy review about it a couple of years ago—I still own it, use it, and love it.
My writing pen of choice is the uni-ball Vision Elite 0.5mm. I’ve been writing with these pens for over a decade. They feel balanced when I write and write silky smooth—I dread having to write with other pens.
My all-purpose pencil of choice is the Staedtler Mars drafting mechanical pencil. I really like the form factor, feel and weight of it when I write and draw.
If you have any further questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @jonsuh.
And oh, here are some other /uses that you may find interesting: