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The Nomad Manager Setup

Sort of “geeked out” this weekend. That and my previous post on my portable desktop have thus compelled me to write my own version of The Setup, just because I find it interesting to know what tools other people use, and because I’m a big advocate of some of the tools I use, so I hope sharing them with you will benefit you as well. 🙂

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Jen, a blogger at Nomad Manager and co-founder of retail & design company Punchdrunk Panda. I collect stamps (in my passport), mind my own business, blog, write, design, eat plants, do yoga, occasionally make videos and watercolor paintings, and frequently try to brainwash.

What “hardware” are you using?

I use a circa 2007 13” Macbook white a.k.a. my portable desktop, a Kindle keyboard 3G, a Panasonic Lumix LX5, and an impotent Blackberry Curve 8320. I also have a circa 2009 Wacom Bamboo tablet that I rarely use, and my mother’s iPad 3, which I’ve been hogging lately because she frequently leaves it around, idle and lonely. Not my ideal hardware setup yet, but I work with what I have.

For yoga, I used to use the generic yoga mat you’d find at Toby’s, and lay on a thin travel towel to prevent slipping during downward dog. But because of my upcoming travel plans, I recently got a Made for Movement yoga travel mat for its ultra light, compact and non-slip qualities (it only weighs .77 pounds!).

For painting, I use Momiji brushes (1” flat, #8 & #12 round) from Deovir, Solger watercolor pigment, and Arches watercolor blocks from Star Paper. Just sayin’. I wouldn’t bring this around traveling though.

And pen/pencil and a notebook/scratch paper for scribbling/doodling thoughts and ideas. I’m a fan of Uni Pin fine line pens.

And what software?

I currently run on Snow Leopard, switch between Microsoft Office 2011 and iLife ’09 for my document-preparing, article-writing, show-and-telling and number-punching needs, use Adobe Photoshop CS5 for graphic design and photo editing, FontBook for font-selecting, iMovie for video-editing, GarageBand for score-making, and one of my favorites, MoneyWell, for finance-managing.*

Other nifty internet-based tools I use include Gmail for e-mailing + Boomerang to make the Gmail experience so much more awesome (it can queue your e-mails and remind you of e-mails you send out that have yet to be replied to), Tumblr for blogging, Dropbox & Sugarsync for cloud-storing (install them via those links so I get more cloud storage too!), MailChimp for newsletter-making, Behance for portfolio-showcasing, for music-discovering, and NetNewsWire for RSS-reading.**

* There are ways to not spend for all the apps, so I’ll let you do your share of work in finding those ways, but I’ve done what I can to guide you accordingly.
** I feel I’m missing something but in the meantime, that’s that.

What would be your dream setup?

I just want a streamlined setup that works and is nomad-friendly.

I’d like to upgrade to a beefed up 11” Macbook Air, or the new Macbook Pro, whichever wins in the sleekness vs. robustness battle. I’d like an iPhone 4S, to allow me to surf easily whenever there’s a wi-fi connection, and to Instagram without a heavy iPad, and to do all the other wonderful things it allows other iPhone owners to do. I think the iPhone would be an excellent travel companion for the many functions that such a small device can serve. Oh, and I’d keep my Kindle keyboard 3G too.

I’d also like a top-of-the-line but still lightweight compact system camera that works well for shooting videos (I still haven’t decided what that camera is). Aaaand maybe a Zoom H4N for recording audio for videos. 🙂

Yes, I spend much time on Apple and Amazon drooling over these things.

Happy setup tweaking!


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