Gadgets and Tech Gears 🛠️
I spends quite a lot of time geeking out on gadgets and tools that are perfect, reliable and aesthetic. This is a dynamic list of my favorite objects that I use in daily basis.
Last Updated Date: 10th May 2022
Every Day Carry (EDC) 🎧
- 💳 Wallet
- 🗝️ KeyChain
- 🎒 Backpacks
- 🔋 Battery Pack
- 📱 iPhone XR
- ⌚ Apple Watch
- ◼️ iPad Mini
- 🎧 AirPods Pro
- 📖 Kindle PaperWhite
- 📝 Notebook & Pen
Computer & Accessories 💻
- 💻 Macbook Pro
- ⌨️ Keyboard
- 🖱️ Mouse
- 🍓 Raspberry Pi
- 🎧 Conferencing headset
- 🖥️ Monitor
- 🔊 Amazon Echo Dot
- 🔌 Smart Plug
Mobile & Desktop Apps 📲
- 📆 Calendar Apps (Fantastical+ Calendar)
- ✅ Reminders
- 🗒️ Notes
- 📒 Notion
- 👨🏽💻 Text Editor (ST 4)
- 🔖 BookMarking (Matter 2)
- 📚 Virtual Library (Books + Calibre)
- ⚙️ Utility Apps (Boop + Numi + Cheatsheet)
- 🔄 Automation (IFTTT + Shortcuts + Alexa)
- 💳 Stocard
- 📙 Libby
- 📶 Hidden Bar (Bartender 4 Free Alternative)
- 🤝 Meeter
- 🗄️ Dropzone 4
- ✍🏼 Better Touch Tool
- 🔍 Arc Browser
Every Day Carry (EDC) 🎧
When we are talking about EDC, ExcessorizeMe is the go-to guy to inspire. Check out his videos to find out your next EDC gadgets.
Bellroy is Australian brand that makes minimal wallets and other EDC gears. The wallet is thin and fit in your pocket with no issues. Leather is genuine with RFID protection. I was using for ~4 years with no wears and tears.
Alpaka is another awesome brand that is well-known for its sling bags and messenger bags. The keychain is a good find that uses magnetic safe to secure the keys holder and you can hook into backpacks, jeans or anything.
I have 2 primary backpacks depends on the load of stuffs I want to bring in.
- The main backpack is a spacious American Tourister with tractum suspension strap that works better when it is getting heavier and good for motorcycle riding. It is nothing fancy and just durable. It is lasting for almost 6 years and going more.
- Muji Versatile Backpack is just an exact fit for 13” MacBook Pro and accessories to go around cafe’ with low profile. It is smaller than normal backpack size and if you are a guy with a huge frame, this is not a good option.
🔋 Battery Pack
I normally don’t need a portable battery packs for my devices. As for emergency, I have 2 battery bricks for my apple watch and iPhone. The power bank is compact and have thunderbolt cable designed as a strap as well. The Apple watch charger is a good find that I ordered directly from China.
📱 iPhone XR
Still, This good-old XR is running wild with no issues in battery. I don’t think there is a reason for update and it is not slowing down much. The use of old specifications (A12 Bionic and Low GPU) might the battery life slighly longer than newer model as well.
⌚ Apple Watch
I recently started using Apple Watch Series 7 for fitness solely. IMO, this is the best fitness tracker for general users. For hard-core trekkers and adventures, Garmin or Sunnto might have better options.
◼️ iPad Mini
When I purchases iPad Mini 6, it just released iPad AIr M1 with ~30 USD more. It kind of a tough decision to choose this model, however my use if more of mobility than screen space and this is my mid-tier device between phone and laptop. So far, a lot of comic and blog readings 😅.
🎧 AirPods Pro
This is the best investment on audio device I did in my life. I had OG AirPods, a bunch of audio technica over-ear headphones and still using Crosair HS70 Pro headset. The Active Noise Cancellation is the BEST and it just works perfectly in every situation. This device goes with me wherever I go.
📖 Kindle PaperWhite
After a loss of ~300-400 paperback books, I kind of give up on physical books. I upgraded to Kindle PaperWhite from old model with no backlit 2 years ago and it never disappoints me. If you love reading, this is a must-have item.
📝 Notebook & Pen
As for journalling, I uses actual book instead of digital writing apps. The book is Moleskine books (normally receives as a freebie from Starbucks every year). The pen is Muji metallic pen which have a good grip and the ink flow is awesome.
Computer & Accessories 💻
💻 Macbook Pro
I was not Apple users until 2018 that I was looking for a reliable and beautiful laptop. Window high-end laptop are overpriced and the reselling price and ecosystem is almost none. The machine has a good hardware and software integration which makes is the best option and 5 years later, I end up into Apple fan boys with thinner wallet 😥.
I used Logitech MK220 for almost 7 years in the past. The old Logitech products are fixable by yourself for some mechanical part issues and last long. However, recent Logitech products are not about quality and fixability. I don’t recommend if you want a keyboard that can last longer than 1 year. I am now using 2 mechanical keyboards: a blue switch Phillips 100% layout mechnical keyboard and brown switch 60% layout Chinese brand.
I am now using Logitech MX Master 3 as my one and only mouse as of now. Even though the keyboards keep failing me, this device is just ergonomic for prolong use which I wish Apple makes one some day soon.
🍓 Raspberry Pi
I have Raspberry Pi 4 to set up Pi-Hole for home network DNS Sinkhole. It helps with blocking Ads, telemetry tracking websites and User Analytics sites.
🎧 Conferencing headset
Since Covid 19 pandemic and Work From Home started, the time that I spent on video conferencing is peaked as most does. Plantronics Blackwire 5220 is the device I used for calls and long meetings. It is comfortable to wear and the sound quality and clarity on both ends is just fantastic. This is something AirPod Pro can’t compete. Physical buttons for volumes and mute are a plus.
Due to the lack of space on my home desk setup, I uses only 23.8” IPS monitor from Xiaomi. For ~100 USD, it is dirt cheap for the image quality and no issues for ~3 years use.
🔊 Amazon Echo Dot
Before streaming services, DVDs and Cables are convenient way to consume media. After streaming services are popular, Spotify and Netflix are more convenient. It is not enough and these smart speaker make it better by requesting to play songs, podcasts and most of the things you want to know in questions. My Echo dot also plays a crucial role in home automation and work flows with Apple devices.
🔌 Smart Plug
My choice of smart plug to integrate with Echo Dot is TP-Link Smart Plug which don’t need a hub and can connect to the mobile app individually.
Mobile & Desktop Apps 📲
My productivity apps and tools relies on Apple apps and expand into other apps that can fulfill the missing gaps. Buying all paid apps that you don’t really need or use is just not wise. You can find apps that is effective for your workflow and again, if you are only using 20% of the app functionalities you paid for, it is a waste and better seek free or default apps.
📆 Calendar Apps (Fantastical+ Calendar)
For privacy reason, my work and personal calendar are not synced. The reason I use Free Fantastical is that it can integrate with Apple reminders which is something I can’t achieve with default Calendar.
There are many reminders app I tried in the past and it getting me back to Apple Reminders for few reasons; it works well with Alexa → IFTT → Reminders integration and I can sync Apple Reminders to Fantastical with no cost.
Apple Notes is my choice for short notes and checklist and quick notes that you jog down from your iPad or iPhone quickly. I don’t see a reason I need another Notes app.
For a bit complicated writing tasks or project planning, I use Notion to set up new template or adapt from its template gallery. Most of my blog posts including this one is written with Notion. I exported it out as markdown format and it looks good after Jekyll rendering 90%. I built my custom simple Bullet Journal with Notion and if you are interested to get a free template, let me know.
👨🏽💻 Text Editor (ST 4)
Sublime Text is a choice of text editor for most people and it is getting better and better. ST 4 supports Apple Silicon and ARM64 compatibility and more features.
🔖 BookMarking (Matter 2)
I was a long user of both Pocket and Instapaper. The problem is that instead of revisiting these bookmarks, it just end up as a list forever. Matter 2 reinvents this conventional flow by createing a community based reading and bookmarking platform including newsletter reading that you subscribed via your email address.
📚 Virtual Library (Books + Calibre)
How to maintain all your pdfs, documents and ebooks in an organized manner and can access across platform? The answer of this question for me is 2 parts: Apple Books and Calibre. You can import pdfs or documents you want to read acrros Apple devices with Books app. Calibre is available in multiple platform and it is the best Free e-book management apps and to convert format suitable for any kindle versions.
⚙️ Utility Apps (Boop + Numi + Cheatsheet)
I want to share these 3 interesting apps that solve some daily tedious chores.
Boop can convert many formats such as JSON to CSV, Base64 to plain text and much more. Numi is a calculator with no number pad. It can convert currency, timezone conversion, and math calculation.
Cheatsheet is available for Apple devices including watch app. It’s a single purpose app that you can keep secret and personal information that you just don’t want to keep in Notes and can’t find when you need it. I uses it quite often on my Apple watch with a quick glance and uses it as keyboard for some info like Address I have to type it quite often.
🔄 Automation (IFTTT + Shortcuts + Alexa)
if you don’t know any of these platforms, you are quite left behind in home and personal automation. IFTTT can streamline services your are using to automate to achieve a workflow. Shortcuts is automation solution from Apple and you can create multiple one click button that can perform a chain of actions.
Alexa is the best smart virtual assistant available and IMO, it is a better option than Apple HomePod or Google Home in terms of 3rd party integration availability and functionalities. You don’t need expensive Alexa speaker. If you have bluetooth speaker, basic Echo Dot can become a powerful speaker by just saying “Alexa Bluetooth”
It is a FREE underrated mobile wallet app that makes my wallet thin. I keep 70% of my member cards, and loyalty cards into Stocard. I wish this is something Apple Wallet should be able to do. Their Apple watch app is a time saver and I don’t need to grab your phone everything you purchase a drink at Starbucks.
If Audible is the king of audiobooks, Libby is ambitious prince that planning to overthrown the king. I was using Libby with local library member and it is almost cost free for me. If you are audiobook junkie, Audible is the best options with some bucks but for me, Libby is ok enough to enjoy some non-fictions that I listen during commute and gym sessions.
📶 Hidden Bar (Bartender 4 Free Alternative)
If you are a user of Bartender, it is great tool to minimize noise in your MacOS Menu bar. I was using it for a very long time until I found Hidden Bar. It is free and basically do the same thing what Bartender is offering.
After pandemic, the amount of video conference calls is peaked and it is getting hectic to manage the meetings. There are 2 apps which help me with one click to join any MS Teams, Zoom, WebX meetings. These 2 apps do a similar job and you can pick the one to go. Check out at Meeter and MeetingBar.
at Meeter and MeetingBar.
🗄️ Dropzone 4
It is a file organizer and convenient file sharing app that makes easier than using Finder. Moving files or folders among 2 different location or archiving files takes several steps with finder or terminal. It can cut down into a simple drag and drop with Dropzone 4. Check it out.
✍🏼 Better Touch Tool
If you have a Macbook with touch bar, the OG design from Apple is a waste of the potential what this tiny screen can do. This app bundles with AquaTouch preset opens another world. Just try and you will impress.
🔍 Arc Browser
It’s a new browser that everyone is talking about at early 2023. It changes the whole way how we think of browser and all the little details put into this application is just amazing. I am loving this app more and more after use over past months.