Thought I’d just do a quick blog post on my current set up as I’ve recently found myself working from a laptop much more than I used to. I now work from co-working spaces instead of my home studio. I’ve found that being around other creatives and start ups has really helped with networking and motivation – it’s good to have somewhere to go to work and helps to separate home and work life. This is something that, from personal experience, is difficult for a freelancer. It’s all too easy to work late into the night on the never ending stream of projects, promotion and accounts!
My main workhorse is a heavily modified late 2012 15 inch Macbook Pro. It’s fitted with 16GB RAM, a 500GB Solid State Drive and a 1TB hardrive in place of the CD Drive. This is a spec I’d recommend – allows me to run pretty much anything alongside lots of Chrome Tabs with all of my websites that I manage. The Solid State Drive dramatically reduces start up speed and means that large Photoshop files aren’t answered with the spinning wheel of doom. I store most of my files in Creative Cloud and archive things to the main Hard Drive.
Onto the bit that’s really made the difference for me. A few bits of kit that I now can’t live without.
The first of these is a Laptop Stand very similar to this one. This is crucial for good posture and means you’re not slumped over a screen the whole time. Working like this can really damage your spine – as a rule of thumb, your eye level should be the top of the laptop screen – something that’s impossible to achieve without one of these stands. I went for the original Roost Stand. Lots of alternatives (read copycats) are available although I’d always advise to go with the product from the people that designed it. I can definitely vouch for the quality of mine.
I pair this with an Apple Magic Trackpad 2 ( Available here on Amazon ). This bit of kit has surpassed expectations and works seamlessly. I’d say this is a somewhat underrated product, I didn’t know about them until seeing pictures of other people’s set ups on instagram. You have access to multiple gestures as well as the ability to force click. It’s worth getting just to marvel at the incredibly realistic Haptic feedback – it really feels like a physical click.
I also use an Apple Magic Keyboard ( Available here from Amazon ) which apart from the need for batteries is a fantastic wireless keyboard with unrivalled key feel.
For transport, I’ve gone full metal jacket and opted for a dry case for my gear. It’s called the Aqua Quest Storm Laptop Case ( Available here from Amazon ). The external case seals dry and a foam slip for the laptop fits inside. The bag has enough room for my keyboard and trackpad and the build quality seems excellent.
I keep my keyboard and trackpad in a simple neoprene case ( Available here ) This is functional and feels well made to me.
One last thing that I get a lot of use from is Sugru if you haven’t heard of this amazing material by now it’s well worth checking out. It’s a mouldable rubber that sets solid while maintaining a degree of flexibility. I use this to reinforce all my cables, making sure that I don’t have to keep replacing expensive MagSafe Chargers which are cursed with flimsy connectors. It comes in a range of bright colours and has also made my gear much easier to identify (just another creative that leaves things everywhere…).
🙂 Hope this helps!