My Essential Software/Hardware List


Jonathan Wong / July 31, 2018

4 min read––– views

Essential Software/Hardware List Source

I've found value in learning about what tools others use to complete their personal and professional tasks. More specifically, reading about what other programmers use has led me to discover some new products and ultimately changed my daily workflow. I figured I would compile a list of my own personal necessities. Most are tailored to my professions (programming and videography).

Note: These are my essential tools. Your mileage may vary.

Table of Contents#




iPhone X#

iPhone X Source

  • Camera quality is seriously phenomenal
  • Grown to love FaceID
  • The screen is mesmerizing - a huge upgrade from the 6S
  • The form factor is perfect for me - not too small or large
  • Build quality is superb
  • Battery life has been excellent so far
  • Swipe navigation > home button, especially switching apps

Macbook Pro#

MacBook Pro Source

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • The screen is really, really good
  • Battery life has been excellent as well, but I'm plugged in a lot
  • I do miss the SD card and other slots (USB-C adapter helps a bit)
  • Don't really use touch bar
  • Luckily haven't had any keyboard problems

Lacie USB-C External HDD#

Lacie USB-C External HDD Source

  • 4TB of storage at an affordable price
  • Serves as a full backup of my computer / old video footage

Bose QC35#

Bose QC35 Source

  • Absolute game changer for flights
  • Helps to combat open office plans
  • I also wear these when working out to drown out gym noise
  • Comfortable - solid battery life
  • Sound quality is adequate unless you're a true audiophile



1Password Source

  • No more remembering passwords - login to sites with a keyboard shortcut
  • Chrome integration works seamlessly
  • Grandfathered in at $60 - I believe it's now subscription based
  • iPhone app has iCloud sync and Face ID, integrates into lots of existing apps


VSCode Source

  • Lightweight and fast to start
  • Git support replaced my usage in the terminal/SourceTree
  • Keyboard shortcuts work well for me
  • Can run Python unit tests directly
  • An adequate solution for my work (mostly web dev)

Adobe Creative Suite#

Adobe Creative Suite Source

  • Lightroom changed the game for photo editing
  • Anything more complex usually gets taken to Photoshop
  • Premiere handles the bulk of my video editing
  • Anything more complex will go to After Effects
  • Occasionally mess with XD for making app mockups



  • I'm a happy premium user
  • Spotify convinced me to stop pirating music (shhhhh)
  • AI generated playlists are really good 👍🏼
  • Has almost everything I could want
  • I go to SoundCloud for remixes and deep cuts


Gifox Source

  • Well-spent money on a tool I use all the time
  • Easy to use and has lots of controls
  • Launch by keyboard shortcut

Google Chrome#

Google Chrome


GitHub Source

  • My choice for work and personal projects
  • Best source control provider IMO
  • GitLab is doing some amazing things as well

iTerm 2#

iTerm 2 Source

  • I like ZSH over Bash (+ Powerline fonts)
  • Lots of flexibility with keyboard shortcuts

Feedly & Instapaper#

Feedly & Instapaper

Read my post here.

Honorable Mentions#

Discuss on TwitterEdit on GitHub
Spotify album cover