20 Jan 2023

My Tech Stack in 2023

I always like seeing tech stacks people use in their day-to-day life. They are inspiring and I often stumble upon new and interesting tools.

Today, I will share the tools I'm using that are helping me organize my life and do my job better.

Computers

Desktop

As a daily driver, I'm using a Mac Studio with an M1 Max, 64 GB of memory, and 2 TB of disk storage.

Honestly, it's a total overkill. It's more powerful than what I need. I don't regret getting such a powerful computer as I won't be upgrading my desktop for 4-5 more years.

I was waiting for a powerful Mac Mini machine for years and when the Mac Studio came out it was the perfect choice for me!

Of course, since then, Apple has made a Mac Mini with M2 and M2 Pro available, making an even smaller powerful desktop.

Old HP Laptop

I'm using an old HP laptop mainly for reading and writing, in coffee shops. I have debated many times if I need a more powerful one but I do not.

I'm not doing any heavy programming on it and I'm not traveling that much.

The machine is 4 years old and is fast enough. When it gets 5 years old I will gift it to someone and get a new one, probably a MacBook Air!

Until then it runs Notion and Chrome fine.

Windows Computer

I keep my previous, Windows 10, machine in the kitchen, using it to listen to music and watch videos sometimes.

This machine has an i5 7 gen, 20 GB of ram, and a 1 TB NVME drive.

iPad / Kindle

Well, I actually don't use or own an iPad or Kindle.

I think I would mainly use them for book reading, but I prefer having physical books around. I like completely disconnecting and focusing on reading something good.

Perhaps, in the future, I will get a Kindle. I have been thinking about this for years but I have been postponing it and kept ordering physical books.

I don't know how I would use an iPad. I feel like if I get one I will completely forget about it or use it just as a secondary desktop display, which I don't need.

Mobile Phone

I'm using a Huawei mobile phone, mainly using it for reading, to-dos, and checking emails. I'm not a heavy mobile user.

The reasons I would consider replacing it are...

  • I couldn't pay via NFC via my bank's app and Huawei. Google Pay was not available in Greece, but it now is and it works!
  • Using Google Maps with GPS, when traveling, can get very slow. But I'm not traveling that much.
  • It can get a bit slow sometimes but I don't mind it that much.

The battery life is good, I don't have any problems with it. The camera on it is decent and it can even shoot raw photos.

Software

I'm writing this blog post in Ghost.

I'm usually using Notion for drafting articles, and as a personal knowledge base in general. It's very polished, has all the features I could need, and exports in markdown. They have a very generous plan and I don't know if I would ever need a paid one.

I'm mainly using Safari as the main browser, but on Windows, I'm using Chrome and rarely Firefox. I don't have any problems with Safari. It works just fine.

For discovering, reading, and saving articles I use Pocket. It's polished and most of the time it finds the main content of the page just fine. If I stumble upon a bug, which I sometimes have, the support team is friendly and quick to respond.

For PDF book reading I'm using Chrome's default PDF viewer. In case I want to read an ePUB I will convert it to PDF with an online tool or use ReadEra on the phone.

For photo and vector editing I'm using the awesome Affinity Suite, the second version. It has a very generous price and you own the software for life. I wouldn't want to pay an Adobe subscription, as I'm not using this software that much. Both Photo and Designer are polished and working well. I had some cases of them crashing but overly they are stable.

For TO-DOs I have been relying on Any.do for years. It works exceptionally well and I can trust it, meaning it always delivers notifications and is reliable. I don't need the paid plan, but I would consider paying just to support the company.

I'm using Google Calendar, but I'm not a heavy user.

For email, I'm primarily using Hey. It's a premium product and works well. Apart from it, I'm using K-9 email on the phone.

For file storage, I have a premium subscription to Google One. I'm organizing my files on Google Drive, so I can easily access them from both my desktop and phone. It works fine, and I particularly like the search capabilities. I rarely use Google Docs for documents, as Notion is more than enough for all my needs.

For writing code, I mainly use Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio as a C# IDE. Visual Studio is usually driving me crazy with its bugs but it has so many nice features and debugging tools that I don't want to completely replace it with Visual Studio Code. Perhaps I will try Jetbrains stuff in the future but I haven't found a good moment yet.

For organizing my library, and what I'm currently reading, I'm using Goodreads. I consider replacing it but I haven't found the right alternative yet.

In conclusion

I don't change my tools often. I like learning quality tools in depth and focusing on doing the work instead of fiddling around.

My mindset has shifted too much from the days I was using Arch Linux as my daily driver!