Picture of Michael Lee

Stuff

Updated on August 1, 2020

I like stuff. I enjoy reading about other people’s gear and their experience with them. It also informs me of things that I could either add or replace that would enhance the way I work or improve my life in some way.

This page is a living document of the stuff that I use and the value I get out of them. I try to capture why I chose that particular thing and how it improves my life.

Note: Some of the things I’ve listed on this page uses affiliate links. What this means is by using the links on this page, you might get a discount and I get a small commission or credit.

Table of Contents

Laptop

MacBook Pro

2019 13” MacBook Pro

For me the most important factors when it comes to laptops—portability and productivity.

For a very long time, I used 15” MacBook Pros, but they were bulky and heavy. My justification was that I needed the screen real estate and the better specs of the bigger MacBook models.

Then for my first remote job, I was assigned a 11” MacBook Air and it changed my perspective on what I cared about my laptop. The form factor of the laptop definitely took a little getting used to. But the mobility that I gained from it was really liberating.

I was able to put that MacBook Air into a small sling bag and carry it to many coffee shops. It was also really handy when my family and I took road trips. It had a super small foot print that it never felt like more baggage.

Since then, when given the option, I’ve opted to go for smaller form factors.

My current, daily laptop is the 2019 13” MacBook Pro with two thunderbolt ports.

This machine has enough power for the work I need to get done and still gives me the mobility that I enjoy.

Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard

I’ve had several variations of wireless keyboards by Apple. The Apple Magic Keyboard is by far my favorite. It is has a super low and sleek profile and it is rechargeable—no really that’s a perk for me.

I used to have the previous Apple wireless keyboard and while great, the fact that I had to swap out the batteries every so often was annoying.

I also like carrying my keyboard with me when I’m out and about—whether at a coffee shop or even when on family trips. This is because I prefer to work with my laptop raised with my Roost Laptop stand to help with my posture.

So just like my laptop is an easy carry, I love having a keyboard that is also light-weight and an easy carry.

Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse 2

Ever since owning the original Magic Mouse, I’ve preferred to use a Magic Mouse. Being able to use the mouse with gestures has always felt magical for me.

Even the lack of a scroll-wheel, being able to glide a finger to scroll feels so natural. Since I don’t play games on my machine, the Magic Mouse 2 is well suited for my use.

While I love the fact that it is rechargeable—thus making it more light-weight than the older model—I think Apple did a horrible job with placement of the port for recharging it.

With the Magic Keyboard the charging port is at the top of the unit allowing you to charge the unit and still be able to use it.

But with the Magic Mouse 2, the charging port is underneath the unit, meaning once it is out of juice, the mouse is unusable while it charges. Even stranger is, I’ve had my mouse tethered and tried using it on the edge of my desk so that the laser hits a surface. The mouse doesn’t respond whatsoever.

Thankfully both the Magic Mouse and Keyboard can hold a charge for quite a long time and recharging is fairly quick. I just have to remember to charge the mouse before I sleep or step away from my desk for a long time.

Laptop Stand

Roost Laptop Stand

Laptop stands are a life-saver when it comes to bad posture. I used to own a mStand by Rain Design and while a great, sturdy stand, it was stationary because of the form factor and weight.

Valuing portability, I discovered the Roost Laptop Stand and it is amazing! Unlike the mStand, it is made out of plastic. It folds, meaning I could easily take it with me on the go. I also really love the fact that it has different height configurations. It is low profile and I’ve gotten several positive comments in the past when people see me using it in coffee shops.

If you’re like me and value portability and also care about your back and posture, do yourself a favor and get yourself a Roost Stand.

Microphone

Blue Yeti

Occasionally I’ll create a tutorial video. And while I prefer to use the standard wired earpods for things like Zoom and FaceTime calls, I use a Yeti for recording audio for videos.

I really like that the Yeti is a plug-and-play USB microphone. I also like that there is a physical mute button. So that if I am using it on a conference call, I can physically mute myself instead of clicking on a software mute function.

Headphones

Apple Earpods

Working at a distributed company means, I am on several video calls through my work week. While I do own a pair of AirPods, I prefer to use the plain-old 3.5mm Apple Earpods on my laptop.

I found that with AirPods, it was way to easy for me to fiddle around with the charging case while I was on a call. For some reason, flipping them open and close would cause the audio to be interrupted. Which meant awkward interruptions in a call. For this reason, I use Earpods.