The Tech I Use

As a tech & productivity nerd, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect tools of the trade. This page is an always up-to-date list of my favourites.

My Favourite Gear

☎️ Phone

My daily driver is the iPhone 13 Pro. I’ve been an iPhone guy since 2015. Because I’m so entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever switch away from iPhone unless there’s a new Android that’s so compelling that it’s worth leaving behind the synergy between devices (iMessage, Airdrop, Apple TV integration, and a dozen other things).

Update (August 2022) – I’ve just bought a Google Pixel 6 Pro to test out as a “work phone”. I’m currently struggling with some level of work-life separation, so I thought I’d dabble with an Android device to see how it feels for some parts of my life.

📒 Notebook & ✒️ Pen

Despite being a proponent of mostly digital apps, I do regularly use my favourite notebook, the Leuchterm 1917 along with the Uniball Air (and Uniball Air Micro ) , to jot down various thoughts and to-do lists. As it so happens, I have two videos where I talk more in-depth about why this pen and notebook are so amazing. Part of it has to do with delight, an idea that stands behind many of my purchases.

2022 Update – In addition to the Uniball Air, I’ve also now started using the Lamy Swift rollerball pen and the Lamy Safari fountain pen. I change it up depending on how I’m feeling, and carry both in my bag at all times.

⌨️ Keyboard

One of the questions I often get asked is “what keyboard do you use?”. I used to use the IQUnix F96 Coral. But these days, I use the Lightmode keyboard that I designed myself. The keyboard is super nice to type on and pretty compact, so it travels with me virtually anywhere I go. The typing experience is incredible, it’s genuinely the nicest keyboard I’ve used (and I beat my typing speed record with this). You can learn more about it here.

In the keyboard department, I also own multiple copies of the Apple Magic Keyboard. I carry one in my bag at all times (for my Portable Productivity Desk Setup), and have one at home, while the F96 lives in the studio.

📝 iPad

The 12.9 inch iPad Pro (with the delightful Magic Keyboard) is my daily driver, which I use to get most of my work and writing done. At this point I could honestly say I couldn’t live without it. However, the 12.9 inch version might not be for everyone, which is why I have a selection of videos covering anything and everything iPad for every budget range.

  1. How I Use My iPad Pro as a Doctor
  2. Which iPad Should You Buy – Analysis of iPad Pro vs iPad Air vs iPad Mini vs iPad
  3. iPad Mini Review – The Perfect Consumption Device
  4. iPad Pro 2020 Review
  5. iPad Air 2020 Review
  6. Productivity Power – NEW iPad Air (2020) Review
  7. iPad Pro 11 vs. 12.9 inch
  8. iPad Pro vs MacBook Air
  9. iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Impressions

Once you have your shiny new iPad, a good idea is to protect it with something like the Paperlike Screen Protector. If you need more convincing, here’s my video on why it’s so good.

⌚️ Apple Watch

These days, I rock the Apple Watch Series 4 as my daily driver. It’s definitely in the nice-to-have bucket, rather than the this-is-lifechanging one. It’s somewhat useful for paying for stuff with Apple Pay, and dictating stuff into Drafts. Oh, and checking the time. For more tips, check out my Apple Watch Series 4 Review.

🎬 YouTube Gear

For any budding YouTuber, it’s always important to have a certain standard of quality. Phones nowadays are capable of some amazing feats of cinematography but nothing beats an old-school camera and my daily workhorse is the Sony A7 III. Works great with a Sony 24mm F/1.4 G-Master.

If that’s a bit on the pricy side, the Sony A6500 is a great alternative. An even cheaper one, but still capable of decent performance is the Sony A6000, which I talk about in my video, Recommended Tech for Students.

For more specific YouTuber/content creator gear and lower priced alternatives, check out my page. I’ve also made a Notion page breaking down the best gear you can buy depending on your budget, which you may find useful.

Among other things, I talk in-depth about all the gear I use and recommend in my live course, The Part-Time YouTuber Academy.

🎧 Listening Tools

The original AirPods (and now, the AirPods Pro) are my single favourite Apple product. They might even be one of my favourite piece of tech of all time, mainly because they massively reduce the friction associated with listening to stuff. Thanks to my AirPods, I’ve listened to dozens more podcasts and audiobooks than I would have without them. In aggregate, this has added so much value to my life that I view the AirPods as being one of the few genuinely life-changing pieces of tech.

However, for a more immersive experience (and long-haul flights) I also love my trusty Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II.

📚 Reading

While the Airpods are a life-changing invention for listening to stuff, the Amazon Kindle is a life-changing invention for reading books. I’ve been a Kindle fanboy since 2008, and thanks to the Kindle, I’ve read and highlighted hundreds of books since then.

These days, I use the Kindle Oasis, although the Kindle Paperwhite is much better value-for-money and the one I’d officially recommend. Honestly, the Oasis is only useful if you really care about a warmer light, or if you’re going to be dropping it in the bathtub regularly. Or if you have too much spare cash to burn.

My Favourite Apps

20 years ago, nobody knew what an app was. Today, they’re key building blocks in our lives.

We’re all different, with different needs and personalities, as mentioned in my Perfect Note-Taking App video. Whether we’re architects, gardeners or librarians, nothing really stops us from using all the apps for different purposes. Sticking to an app isn’t a lifelong commitment nor does one single app need to fulfil ALL our needs.

Below is a guide to my favourite apps but this lists is by no means exhaustive and the apps that I use can change depending on what my needs are at the time.

📒 Notion

Notion is the app I use most to manage my life, studies, business and YouTube channel. I love Notion, and I’d definitely recommend you sign up yourself (the simplest version is free).

Rather than going on about it, here is a list of videos on how I use this wonderfully versatile app. If there’s one app that carries the most functionality for me, it would be this one.

  1. My Favourite Productivity App for Students – Notion
  2. How I use Notion as a Resonance Calendar
  3. My 2019 Annual Review using Notion
  4. My Favourite Note-Taking App for Students – Notion (2020)
  5. My Creative Workflow with Notion

I have a whole Workflow series detailing how I use Notion over on Nebula. You can get free access to Nebula by signing up for a CuriosityStream subscription and using the code ALI at checkout.

📣 Audible

If I could only ever have one subscription in my life, it would be Audible. It’s life-changing, like the AirPods and Kindle. Good job Amazon for taking 2/3 of my life-changing recommendations.

I discovered Audible in 2017. As of 2020, I’ve listened to over 25 days of Audiobooks. I mostly listen to fantasy books when driving and at the gym, although I occasionally dabble in non-fiction too (although the difficulty of taking notes while listening to audiobooks is a constant source of irritation in my otherwise tranquil existence).

I often mention audiobooks that I’ve enjoyed in my weekly newsletter, 💌 Sunday Snippets. You might like to check it out.

📄 Evernote

I use this to store all manners of receipts, company documents and other items that would otherwise be stored in a filing cabinet. The search functionality is the best part about this app – it’s able to search using character recognition. Very handy.

📖 Roam

Referring back to the architect-gardener-librarian analogy, this app best reflects the gardener archetype. There’s a lot to say about Roam but I use it reglarly and the bi-directional linking is an amazing function that best fits with the natural way our brains work.

Same as with Notion, there’s an entire series going over every way I use Roam on a daily basis over on Nebula but here’s a sample going over the basics.

✍️ Notability

My favourite app for taking handwritten notes. I also have a video detailing how I did this in medical school over here.

⏳ Task Management Tools

To-do apps are a very personal thing and the market is absolutely flooded with them. I’ve personally used Things 3 and ToDoist the most. The main reason I prefer ToDoist is that I can share it with my team, something which Things 3 lacks. However, if you’re flying solo, Things 3 might be a good choice (beware, it’s only available on Apple devices).

I try as often as I can to use an inbox for my brain so as not to forget or lose potentially valuable ideas. Either of these apps works for that. The concept stems from David Allen’s Getting Things Done which is a sort of bible for productivity nerds.

✅ More Apps

I could go on about apps all day long but here are a few videos on my favourite apps for studying and productivity:

  1. All the Apps I Use in a Day
  2. My Favourite iPad Pro Apps (2020)
  3. My Favourite iPad Productivity Apps (2021)
  4. What’s on my iPhone 11 Pro Max (2020)
  5. My Favourite iPhone Apps (2021)
  6. My Favourite Mac Apps (2021)
  7. My Favourite Mac Apps in 2020 | What’s on my MacBook Pro?
  8. The Best Productivity Apps for Students
  9. Learn Anything With Flashcards – The Ultimate Guide To Anki