2017 State of the Tools
Last year, I wrote up the software and hardware tools I use. I am still using a lot of that stack, so I thought this year I would just highlight the changes:
I have switched from Windows Phone to an iPhone SE. I miss the Windows Phone UI somewhat, and Cortana was a generally more useful tool than Siri, but the change has on a whole been very positive. Better hardware and a much better app ecosystem.
I now use Chrome for all my work web browsing instead of Firefox.
I tend to use Windows Subsystem for Linux now instead of Docker containers or Vagrant for little Linux tasks on my desktop & surface.
I no longer use f.lux, since Windows 10 and iOS have built-in night light features.
I am now using Duplicati for backups at home.
Google Drive Stream is a substantial upgrade from the old Drive Sync.
Switched from LastPass to 1Password.
Added a YubiKey to my security setup (thanks, YubiKey!).
Some analog changes: I use a Leuchtturm 1917 square-ruled notebook instead of the Moleskine, and I’m using a Staedler Pigment Liner (typically 0.1mm) for writing.
There are a couple more applications I have been using that really sing on the Surface Pro:
Grapholite is a diagramming program optimized for pen and touch input. Somewhat like Visio, but much lighter-weight and better pen support. I use it for a lot of light diagramming when I don’t need Visio’s power. I do use Visio when a diagram needs to be more complex than what I can easily achieve in Grapholite.
Drawboard PDF is fantastic for marking up PDFs for paper reviews, revision cycles, and grading student work.