This is what I use to do my job.
Raised a faithful Windows user, I went over to Mac about a year ago, initially out of curiosity and then realising that if you can get a decent good-as-new former display model, the price tag is definitely worth it. I’m happy to admit that I am now very much a Mac convert.
Sure, I’m completely fulfilling the stereotype of the Millennial Metropolitan Creative and any number of other Macbook wielding demographics but the hype is not simply unwarranted empty consumerism.
This powerful and beautifully crafted laptop boots up in a second (or something like that) and there are a multitude of features which though initially take some getting used to, soon begin to make a whole lot of sense. It’s incredibly intuitive and the way the trackpad works in tandem with the OS makes it a delight to use. It’s sleek, smooth and stylish.
Such is the way of the modern world that it’s really all I need to do my job. And that’s fine, except I would be pretty screwed if it were damaged, lost or stolen, even with insurance.
Apps, Software and Stuff
This popular free productivity app makes managing and completing tasks simple and effective.
Gmail and G Suite
G Suite gives you an official looking email address for £4.20 a month and Gmail is a decent enough inbox especially as you can switch between different addresses with ease.
I’m not sure how I survived before having a calendar to organise my life. Google calendar is exceptionally good to use in browser and on mobile. I still manage to double book but I guess that’s life.
Although I now use Google Docs to share work with collaborators or clients, I will always start writing in Word. It’s just the best at what it does and if you have Office 365, why not? Taking work out of the browser and away from potential distractions is also always a good idea.
For wordy types you have to learn to love Excel but for budgets and keeping track of income and outgoings it’s pretty essential.
I am also a big fan of OneNote. It’s an easy way of planning, brainstorming ideas and making lists. It saves automatically and syncs to mobile as well. 365 also includes a TB of storage on OneDrive which is a huge bonus!
Adobe Creative Cloud
This is by no means essential and I only have it because a friend has kindly let me borrow their spare login for the time being. If you can get it though, you have access to industry standard design software which makes rustling up a business card design, LinkedIn banner or editing a photo for your website so much easier.
Having a website is essential and SquareSpace is my go-to way of having one. For now. I hadn’t tried the other popular website creation tools such as Wix but Squarespace has some impressive features which strike a nice balance between ease of use and functional complexity.
I’m pleased with the website I have and if you are starting a business, the relatively affordable monthly fee makes sense. I don’t have to worry about hosting or anything like that and I have full control, certainly over the superficial elements of the website.
At some point it would be nice to get a more powerful, custom-made website designed but that won’t be cheap. For now, this does everything I need it to.
I don’t love social media but there’s no getting away from it so it’s best to make good use of what’s available! LinkedIn is a great tool for getting your name out there and networking. Twitter is a good hybrid of work and play.
In terms of essentials to the job there isn’t much else really. Being digital is the way to go and overheads are low so starting out isn’t as financially terrifying as it could be.
Using pen and paper still has its appeal and it can be more practical sometimes. I love a good fountain pen and it’s refreshing to do things the old way for a change.
I may even crack out my typewriter at some point to bash out some rough drafts and experience that ever satisfying ‘clack-clack-clack-ching!’