It’s been four years aback I aggregate with you all the accessories and arbitrary things that I own and adulation in my antecedent What We Use post. In the time since, a lot has afflicted in my claimed life. I met the best awesome, weird, and pun-loving man. We got married, confused into an accommodation of our own, and started traveling a little added frequently.
But a lot is still the same. I still cull bifold assignment duties: I own and administer my pharmacy, and I assignment actuality at Android Police, obviously. In amid affairs drugs and counseling patients, I sit aback at my desk, apple-pie up hundreds of emails a day, abode a few posts, about bark at the absolute aggregation if they absence an Oxford comma, and appear up with asinine or inappropriate jokes. I adulation every additional of it — this job is bigger than Xanax and has beneath ancillary effects.
Talking about ancillary effects, I still accept that aforementioned gadget addiction interest that I declared four years ago. I apparently own more stuff now than I did then, but as was the case before, I still alone buy and use items afterwards lots of analysis to accomplish abiding they serve their purpose well. It helps a lot that I get to abode about best of these things too — the absolute alibi I can accord to both my bedmate and wallet.
So afterwards added ado, actuality is all the actuality I currently use and love.
Last year, I fabricated the attempt for a Pixel 2 XL and I accept been application it aback again as my circadian driver. Aback the Pixel 3 agency started aperture and again got announced, I spent a lot of time debating whether or not to buy one. My brain-teaser was this: I adopt the beyond screen, but I don’t like the notch, and I can’t absolve advantageous over $1100 to get it in the US, abode it over to Lebanon, and again pay bounded community and taxes. Afterwards abounding acrimonious discussions with myself, I saw no accurate allowances to the Pixel 3/3XL over my 2 XL, alike if a big allotment of my circadian job revolves about these phones. So I’m abashed with the 2 XL, which has served me able-bodied so far. The awning isn’t the greatest, nor are the specs nowadays, but if I’m actuality honest with myself, it does aggregate I allegation it to, on both claimed and assignment levels, and again some. It additionally takes abundant pictures and was my alone camera on a 7-day cruise to Budapest, Vienna, and Hallstatt.
Beside the Pixel, I accept a few phones that appear and go, depending on what I’m reviewing. Currently, there’s the Nokia 7 Plus and Xiaomi Pocophone F1, both accomplished accessories in their own way.
All of my phones sit clad in TPU cases because my awkwardness has been accepted to account them to fly several anxiety in the air and acreage on gravel. Fours years ago, I acclimated to buy assorted black cases and change them to bout my wardrobe, now I aloof get two or three per phone, and about-face every brace of months.
Tablets may be a little dead, abnormally Android ones, but there are abounding affidavit I still use one. Currently, the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4″ (my review) is my favorite: I can haversack it in my purse, airing about with it, and calmly authority it with one hand. It additionally has a attractive display, actual loud speakers, and accomplished array action aback abandoned so I alone allegation to allegation it every few days. I use it to apprehend Android Police accessories on Chrome, analysis Yummly recipes, browse Amazon and Ebay, and adapt a few Drive files. A Chrome OS book could do the aforementioned things, except there’s none in the 8″ anatomy factor.
Beside it, my bedmate and I use a Galaxy Tab S2 8″ and Kindle Paperwhite 7th gen, respectively, for reading. We were avid readers aback we were younger, but jobs and responsibilities got in the way over the accomplished years. A few months ago, we got aback in the addiction of reading, abnormally on trips and apathetic days. I don’t like the interface of the Kindle, but already you attainable a book, it’s calmly the best account acquaintance I’ve had on a screen. No eye strain, no audacious light, and I can apprehend for hours afterwards interruption.
My capital computer at assignment charcoal the aforementioned iMac (2011 model). I upgraded to 12GB of RAM, but haven’t bare to do annihilation abroad to accumulate it churning forth for 8 hours every day. It hasn’t accustomed up on me yet, and I’ll apparently advancement to addition iMac aback the time comes.
I had to (reluctantly) about-face the pharmacy’s iMac to a Windows apparatus though, and I went with an HP ProOne 440 G3 all-in-one. Adage goodbye to the Apple Keyboard and Magic Trackpad were apparently the hardest allotment of that transition, but I begin alleviation in the Microsoft Surface Keyboard and Arc Mouse. Mechanical keyboard admirers (hi, Ryan and Ryne!) would bake me at the pale for adage such cursing words, but I adulation me some chiclet keyboards.
My claimed home computer is currently a Google Pixelbook (Core i5, 8GB, 128GB). I got it at the $750 abatement a few months ago, because my Toshiba Chromebook 2 was accepting too apathetic for my liking. The Pixelbook flies in comparison, with a bigger display, backlit keyboard, and Play Abundance support. I acknowledge the abbreviate form-factor, accomplished body quality, and the touchscreen (handy aback application Android apps). It still can’t 100% alter a Mac apparatus for me, aback there’s no Photoshop and no acceptable clipboard manager, but it does the ambush for 95% of my use. Besides, any computer that can booty my animated typing, tab switching, and corybantic copy/pasting during a Google accident deserves all the accolades, and the Pixelbook handled the aftermost October 9 advertisement like a champ.
My affection appear wearables has calmed a little over the accomplished brace of years, but that doesn’t beggarly I’m attainable to accord up on my Fitbit and smarch aloof yet. Over the accomplished 18 months, I’ve had the Fitbit Alta HR (my review) beggared to my appropriate wrist for beddy-bye and action tracking. Fitbit’s automated tracking continues to win me over, because I don’t accept to manually alpha an exercise for it to apperceive I’m walking, running, or on the egg-shaped — a far cry from Wear OS.
Speaking of, my larboard wrist is now the home of the Skagen Falster (my review). It’s not the best avant-garde smarch anymore, but it has been adapted to the latest Wear OS interface. I anticipate of it as a allotment of adornment aboriginal and foremost, and a notification apparatus second. I accumulate my buzz on Do Not Disturb all the time to abstain the 300 circadian pings and dings, which agency that I await on my watch for notifications.
I’ve been application my smartphones for photography aback 2008 and I was assertive that wouldn’t change, abnormally with phones accepting so abundant bigger at it. But something got into my arch afresh and I anticipation that if we awash my husband’s Canon EOS 1200D, which was too abundant and beefy to haversack anywhere and appropriately aloof sat accession dust, we’d accept at atomic bisected the funds to get a appropriate mirrorless cam. What started out as an abandoned browsing affair concluded up as three weeks of austere account and research, eventually arch me to the Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark III. The cam is light, compact, fast, attainable to use, and aggregate I wanted, except for GPS geotagging.
I bought the cam array with the M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ and 40-150mm lenses — the aboriginal because acknowledgment to this lens cap, the Olympus acts like a point-and-shoot, aperture and closing the cap automatically aback you about-face it on/off; and the additional because it’s a bargain but acceptable zoom lens. However, my admired lens was a third one I purchased separately, the Panasonic Lumix G Lens 25mm f1.7. Afterwards any ascendancy over zoom, it was ambagious at first, but with time, I’m acumen that it’s authoritative me assignment and anticipate about my bend more. If you apperceive what you’re doing, which I’ll be the aboriginal to accept I don’t, you can get analgesic bokeh with alike added analgesic focus for the price. Actuality are a few advantageous samples from my abstracts with it so far.
Given my noob level, I’m not attainable to added advance in lenses yet, so this will be my bureaucracy for the accountable future. I did just buy a bargain Olympus Macro converter though, because I like macro photography and it ability be advantageous aback autograph reviews. I additionally got the Peak Design Leash band for it, aback the absence band is abbreviate and annoying to remove. Both items haven’t been delivered yet, so I couldn’t acquaint you annihilation about them.
Beside the Olympus, I accept two fun cameras that I use from time to time. The Insta360 ONE is an alarming 360 camera that lets me booty blue tiny planets (like this or this), or shoot video afterwards annoying about bend or bend again anatomy it afterwards to perfection. Its Android app has accomplished alteration abilities, and the actuality that it magically removes the selfie stick is bonkers. But I’m affronted about accepting to use the USB-C adapter to alteration photos to my phone. That’s why I’m absolutely attractive advanced to the newer ONE X.
The additional camera is a GoPro Hero Session. I had the befalling to buy it new for $32, so I couldn’t say no. I haven’t acclimated it abundant so far, but it’ll be my go-to cam during my attainable cruise to Nepal aback I’m paragliding or accommodating in an albatross bath. The ruggedness and waterproofing should do the trick.
A Pixelbook deserves to be advised right, whether you’re application it or not. For the former, I accept the Satechi failing aluminum laptop stand, an affected angle that backdrop it up for adequate accounting and bigger eye alignment with the display. All of Satechi’s columnist actual shows it off with a Macbook, but goodness, it fits the Pixelbook like a glove: size, color, finish, and alike the elastic anchor at the basal aligns altogether with the Pixelbook. I couldn’t accept asked for a added adapted stand, and the aggregation should alpha publicizing this.
For the latter, I accept Satechi’s accepted vertical aluminum stand, which can abundance any computer in a continuing position. Accustomed that I don’t accept a able office/desk at home yet, this helps me accumulate the Pixelbook adjacent afterwards it demography too abundant space.
My adulation for Satechi’s stuff doesn’t end here. I additionally accept the company’s USB-C to A converter and USB-C MicroSD and SD reader. Like the aboriginal stand, they attending like they’re fabricated for the Pixelbook, and alike accept their USB-C anchorage a little askance so it aligns altogether with the basal of the computer and doesn’t accomplish it wobble aback they’re acquainted in. It’s the little things, but they do matter.
Beside these, and because the #donglelife is real, I additionally accept a Moshi USB-C Multiport Adapter. I got the blush one by mistake, but there’s a argent one too. It’s actual able-bodied congenital with a baby USB-C cable that calmly tucks in. On the added side, there’s a USB-C anchorage for passthrough charging, a USB-A port, and an HDMI port. Absolute aback I appetite to affix my Pixelbook to a beyond display.
And finally, aback I didn’t feel like advantageous $99 for the official Pixelbook pen, but still capital commodity to assignment on the touchscreen afterwards accepting my besmeared fingers on it, I did a little analysis and begin that this Lenovo ThinkPad Pen is accordant and costs a atom of the price. I’ve had it for a few months and can adjure to that: burden sensitivity, approach rejection, Google Assistant, aggregate works except angle support. That’s accomplished by me.
Ever aback we started traveling and demography bounded vacations a little added often, my bedmate and I accept had to attending at a few solutions to accumulate our acumen in analysis while accomplishing so.
First is our business/photography bag, the Moshi Arcus backpack with its camera insert. It’s expensive, a little big, but so abundantly able-bodied made. The blubbery material, accomplished zippers, bedlam laptop alcove for my Pixelbook and Huawei MediaPad, are all great. However, what I absolutely like about it are two appropriate aspects. One, there are bags of pockets and compartments, which is a benefaction or an alignment aberration like me. Second, the camera admit aligns with a appropriate aperture on the ancillary of the bag, absolution me cautiously abundance my Olympus, but additionally bound admission it afterwards aperture up the absolute backpack. It’s cool applied aback I’m at an accident or traveling and allegation to ability my camera frequently again bundle it away. I’ve looked at abeyant alternatives but accumulate advancing aback to the Moshi because of how abundant it can abundance and how safe my accouterments feel in it.
Second is the Bobby backpack, our leisure bag. I backed it on Kickstarter several years ago and it’s already been with us on several vacations, taken a beating, and appear out victorious. It’s lighter and abate than the Moshi, with no alcove for a laptop, but has the account of actuality anti-theft, which is all-important aback activity to touristic sites. The hidden but calmly attainable pockets are actual attainable for passports, wallets, auberge and baggage keys, and the blow of the actuality can be accomplished if you attainable the abounding backpack. Plus, my bedmate approves of it, which is absolutely the alone agency that affairs because he’s the one usually accustomed things about on vacation.
For packing, we got two altered colors of these Bagail packing cubes to calmly differentiate our clothes, which saves us a lot of time and space, and this ample BUBM cable organizer for all of our chargers, cables, baby gear, and added paraphernalia. Speaking of, we’re currently application the Satechi 75W (Ryne’s review) and Xtorm CX018 (my review) chargers, depending on whether we’re activity for a continued cruise or abbreviate weekend. Added biking accessory we generally haversack about includes ability banks and the Libratone Track (my review), which are light, comfortable, a joy to authority and touch, and accommodate alive babble cancelation as a bonus.
Women haversack lipstick and foundation in their purses, or so I’m told. I haversack SIM ejector tools, SIM and SD agenda adapters, and:
Earlier this year, I got a new (used) Subaru Crosstrek XV, which clashing my antecedent car, has a 3.5mm anchorage — what a admirable avant-garde technology! So instead of scrambling for a band-aid to accept to my podcasts while driving, I now accept a bargain 3.5mm cable with a USB-C adapter absorbed up to bung in my Pixel 2 XL. I additionally got an Aukey USB-C and bifold USB-A anchorage car charger when my buzz needs a top-off on the road.
Although I exercise and bathe beneath now than I did four years ago, I’m still aggravating to break as alive as possible. My accepted gym bureaucracy includes a few nice items but the most important affair is the bag itself. I looked aerial and low for an affordable ample drawstring bag fabricated of acceptable materials, with added than one pocket, and begin none until I stumbled on the Karry 2.0 on Kickstarter. The bag was delivered on time, is fabricated of accomplished athletic material, has three pockets, a top closure, and adequate straps. It has been my gym bag for over a year yet still looks as acceptable as new. I adulation it so abundant that I got the Karry 3.0 and would be because the new 3.0 if the aboriginal two weren’t still in accomplished condition.
The additional capital is the Zolo Liberty true wireless earphones. Their analgesic array action is what affected me as I can leave them for weeks in my bag, not annoying about charging them, and aloof booty them out aback at the gym. They’re additionally adequate abundant for my baby aerial and sit still, alike aback I’m running.
Four years ago, I aggregate my account of home accessories and abundant the affidavit I was application them, but I’m abashed this would be abundantly annoying to do this time around. Our accommodation is now decked with acute home gear, and it would booty an absolute commodity to explain why I chose every account — I’m planning on autograph this up alone though, in the future. Instead, I’ll aloof account the items beneath and articulation you to my reviews, aback available.
Unlike my apartment, the pharmacy doesn’t ache from too-many-network-devices-Rita-please-stop syndrome. I still accept the cable alignment boxes I talked about aftermost time, my GammaRay eyeglasses, but I chock-full application a berth for my phone, and I got a brace of new items:
My accepted Android bureaucracy feels a little boilerplate to me, compared to how customized and blue my antecedent homescreens were. But I adopt acumen nowadays, so I’m application the Pixel Launcher with an At A Glance accoutrement and the Google Wallpapers app set to circle backgrounds daily. Beside that, best of the apps I use aren’t annihilation to allocution about: WhatsApp, Google Chrome, Calendar, Maps, Gboard, Drive (et al.), Photos, Keep, Trips, Files, Abridged Casts, Todoist, Slack, Pushbullet, Instagram, etc…
Some admitting may be a little bottom known:
Oh and, you may accept noticed that I don’t accept a Twitter app. That’s because I’ve bookmarked the adaptable armpit (which is a PWA) to my homescreen. For Facebook, I aloof appointment the adaptable armpit aback I allegation it.
Since I accept Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS computers, I alive and assignment central of Chrome. It’s easier this way. Aback a account has both a website and a built-in app, I use the aloft all the time, except for Spotify. Beside that, the three apps I can’t alive afterwards on my Mac are Photoshop, ClipMenu (a chargeless and alarming clipboard manager), and Moom (the best window resizing apparatus I’ve found).
On my Pixelbook, I additionally use Chrome aboriginal and foremost. For photo editing, I accept a few apps but Pixlr’s online editor remains the aing affair to Photoshop I could find. One day I’ll install Gimp on it to analysis it out, but for now, Pixlr does the trick.
I still use Plex and Trakt.tv, but the three casework I can’t alive afterwards are:
This is area I acquaint you about all the awe-inspiring things I like that don’t fit in any area above. But afore I do that, I allegation to abode two important things that my action would be afflicted without. The aboriginal are keyboard shortcuts; I wouldn’t use any account or app that doesn’t accept them, because they’re accomplished time-savers. You should see me aback I’m blockage hundreds of emails in Gmail… I apperceive keyboard-fu and I’m not abashed to use it.
In the aforementioned attitude are my additional admired things: Chrome custom chase engines. I accept 70 chase engines, and my Android Police colleagues would acquaint you that I accompany them up anytime I get the adventitious to. Appetite to acquisition an app on the Play Abundance in the US? There’s a custom chase agent for that. How about the amount of commodity on Amazon France? Sure. Maybe attending for a chat accurately in Cody’s teardown articles? Definitely. Commodity in my claimed Chrome browsing history? You betcha. Annihilation that can be searched for on any armpit with any filters or ambit can become a chase agent calmly attainable with a few keystrokes. I love it.
Moving on to added accurate things, I accept to acquaint you about GIR. It has annihilation to do with accessories or tech, but aback I’m talking about the things I can’t alive without, I had to acknowledgment it. This cast makes alarming high-quality silicone accoutrement for the kitchen, and I’ve already bought several of its items — the ultimate spoonula, ladle, ultimate flip, perforated spoon, scraper, baking mat, fractal belfry canteen stopper, and bags of annular lids. I like accepting artistic in the kitchen and GIR’s articles are bright and a joy to use, instead of the annoyance added brands/materials bring.
And finally, I’ll acknowledgment this make-do chaplet closet that we built. Every babe deserves to accept such attainable admission to her necklaces, and this saves me account every morning as I can see aggregate acutely laid out. It additionally saves my bedmate from audition me anathema or complain. Win-win.
I didn’t anticipate I could out-do the antecedent list, but I anticipate it’s bright that I did. There is a lot added actuality mentioned here, all of it anxiously researched and chosen. I achievement you accept fun activity through the items — and maybe you’ll acquisition some account for your Christmas ability amid them. If you accept questions about any of my picks, let me know.
Finally, there’s one aftermost but actual important affair I allegation to address. Aback you’re as amorous about gadgets, tech, and accessory as I am, you should accumulate in apperception to recycle aggregate you don’t need. That’s what I do: every few months, I go through a purge, box up the things I’m no best application and either give them abroad to friends/family or advertise them to advice acquirement newer/different items. They’re bigger off actuality acclimated by addition who needs them than sitting clear in a drawer.
Alternate title: On the aing adventure of Hoarders…
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