The Tools I Use

While listening to the Unmade Podcast, Brady opened with the idea of a podcast about the tools that people use in their work. This isn’t everything that I use, but it’s the bulk of it. I think…

Organising

One of the biggest changes to my way of working is that I finally found a system for keeping an external brain that has stuck. In the past, I tried Evernote and Microsoft OneNote but found both of them lacking a certain… something. It’s possible that it was purely an aesthetic issue before, but enjoying how something looks goes a long way toward helping a person stick with it. To that end, I’ve been using an enjoying Notion (affiliate link) for the last couple of months.

My family has a lot of travel that will be coming up this year and it’s the best way for me to have all of the necessary information organised outside of my brain so that I don’t go completely crazy. If you use my affiliate link, you’ll get $10 credit toward it and I get $5.

Journaling & Art

I’ve been trying to maintain a Bullet Journal practice, mostly because I’ve stopped enjoying apps like Todoist and Reminders.app. I’ve also been trying to use up the notebooks and sketchbooks that I’ve been hoarding.

At the moment, I’m using a Seawhite Artists Travel Journal as both a sketchbook and journal. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s filling up fast. I started it on New Years Day 2020 and I’ve already filled 85 of the 128 pages.

In about a week or two, I’ll be moving back into a Traveler’s Notebook.

For writing, I use a variety of wood-cased pencils, mechanical pencils and clutch pencils as well as a Kaweco AL Sport (that I won in a giveaway!) and a Lamy Safari. For painting and sketching, I use the aforementioned variety of pencils, a Pentel Brush Pen and The Sketching Tin loaded with the Earthy watercolour set plus the Van Dyke Brown and French Grey from the Neutral set.

Music

Part of my work as a missionary is leading musical worship for the church we are working with in Warsaw. I use a now-10-year-old Crafter acoustic that I’ve forgotten the name of loaded with D’Addario EJ16 strings. I switch between a Kyser capo and a Shubb capo. My guitar picks are probably the most… fancy part of my setup. Scaling for how much most people pay for equipment, they’re also kind of the most expensive part of my setup. I use Purple Plectrums picks, two primary and then a few that they sent me for free with an order. Due to RSI from jobs working in warehouses, factories and kitchens, I have trouble playing for long with a traditional pick. These are a lot more ergonomic and they have the added benefit of being able to say (in a really posh voice), “I only use handcrafted guitar picks.”

I have some recording equipment built specifically for recording on iOS and I kind of wish I had opted to make it more universal.

Reading

There are three kinds of reading that I do.

  1. Entertainment reading
  2. Work reading
  3. Bible reading

The entertainment reading is normally done on my Kindle Paperwhite. Were it not for that device, I would probably barely ever read. I also try to make use of the local library wherever I am living.

Work reading happens on paper because theology books and commentaries feel better on paper. At the moment, my main work reading book is Calvin’s Institutes (the Banner of Truth edition which is more concise than the Battles translation). These books are the ones that make it hardest to move around.

Bible reading happens in three different Bibles. I have a small 2011 NIV that I got while I was in Liverpool. This is where I do my regular reading plan. Bible study happens in the ESV Single-Column Journaling Bible that my wife bought me for our anniversary. Extended reading time (and possibly reading through the whole thing over Lent) happens in my ESV Readers Bible. It’s the single-volume version because, again, big heavy books makes it difficult to move.

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