This is a work in progress. Expect it to be incomplete.

Inspired by others, here is a list of gadgets, tools, software and services that I use for my life and work.

For banking and finance

Business Banking

Business banking: NatWest + Monzo Pro

For business banking I use NatWest, mostly because they give you the excellent FreeAgent online accounting software for free, which is worth £100s/year, and this benefit far outweighs any fees.

Having said that, if you are shopping for banks then NatWest is excellent with good customer service and great online and mobile apps. But always check the fee sheet. Different businesses benefit from different fee structures and they can become costly.

I do a lot of small foreign currency transactions and NatWest’s fees were a bit ridiculous for that.

I had a Tide business account for a while (poor – avoid!) but switched to a Monzo Pro business account . I use it as a top-up card account for those small monthly amounts which incur a fee from NatWest, and for foreign currency transactions. This has saved me those foreign transaction fees, and Monzo is generally awesome, but there was one US-based supplier that they just couldn’t pay, and text-chat-based customer support doesn’t work for me, so I struggle to see how it could be my main account.

I also encourage people to check if a bank is actually a bank. Some of the new “challenger” banks that pop up are not actually proper banks: they are re-sellers of eMoney services. They don’t have banking licenses and it’s unclear if your money is safe as they are not strictly part of the financial services compensation scheme (FSCS).

Monzo and Starling ARE proper banks, Tide and Coconut are not. Always read the terms and conditions and know what you are getting into.

There’s other things worth checking too: Can you pay in cheques? What are customer service options? Etc.

And avoid HSBC. Terrible ethically, awful online banking and apps.

Accountant: Gold Stag Accounts

The Ltd Co needs a proper accountant and I am super happy to be a client of Gold Stag Accounts. Martin is incredibly proactive and helpful, and really fun to work with (accountancy is NOT boring!). Drop him a line if you need an excellent accountant at a very reasonable price

Insurance: WithJack

What Martin does for accountancy at Gold Stag, Ashley Baxter does for freelancer insurance at With Jack. Super-personal and friendly service, incredibly organised, pro-active, and not expensive. I’m also really happy to be supporting an independent insurance provider. Highly recommended.

Work equipment

Laptop: 2020 MacBook Pro

I currently use a 2020 M1/Apple Silicon MacBook Pro. After 7 years of robust, reliable operation my beloved late 2013 MBP got bricked during the update to Big Sur and, after some wrangling, Apple replaced it with a brand new machine. There were some early Apple Silicon teething troubles and incompatibilities, but those are mostly resolved now and it’s a great laptop (aside from the range of ports and inability to upgrade any of the components – it’s still not actually a “Pro” laptop).

I’m not heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, but I do like what Apple’s software gives me and the range of tools and utilities available.

Monitor: Dell 27″ 4K USB-C Hub Monitor

I got this new 4K monitor recently and it’s great. A quality display, fast start up and connection, and robust build.

I had great fun figuring out the model number structure as I researched trying to find something ideal. This is a “P2723QE” which is:

  • P – Professional feature set
  • 27 – 27″ panel
  • 23 – 2023 model
  • Q – resolution
  • E – seems to be additional features (in this case Ethernet)

Once you understand this is how model numbers are build, you can find exactly what you want.

Want the 24″ verison?: P2423QE

Or a cheaper model? Get the one with “Essential” features: E2723Q

You can Google variations until you find what you need.


Keyboard: Keychron K2 / K8

I’m not much of a keyboard nerd so these are my entry-level mechanical keyboards, and I LOVE them (I will probably be a keyboard nerd in the future). I got the aluminium, hot-swappable, RGB versions of both with Brown (mid-level-clickiness) switches.

They are robust and delightful to type on. I like the option of bluetooth, but I tend to use them wired. I don’t really see why you would spend twice as much (or more) on a keyboard, but I suspect if I ever did I would understand. I wish I had a number pad, but I’m happily living without one.

Previously I got through about 3 wired Apple keyboards before ditching them for a Logitech K375 wireless.

When I’m on the go (and for the home office) I have a Logitech K380 which is a really good little thing with odd shaped keys that are actually quick to get used to.

Mouse: Logitech MX Master (cheaper Amazon edition)

For a mouse, I had a Logitech (gosh they make good stuff) M705 Marathon Mouse for many years. It’s bomb-proof and fits me well and I would buy it again and again and again. But I couldn’t buy one when mine broke so I upgraded to the cheapest MX Master that I could (actually this special edition which is cheaper but only on Amazon) and I would now buy that again and again!!

I’ve tried one and I find the Apple Magic Mouse incredibly poor ergonimically. It kills my wrist. I don’t know how people use them.

I also have a second-hand Apple Magic Trackpad and this is great for zooming and panning around large graphics documents, and I use it when screencasting/recording as it’s quieter than moving the mouse around my desk.

As a note on peripherals. I sit and use these things for many hours a day. They are primary tools for my work and quality is important. £100 may seem like a lot for a mouse or a keyboard, but if you’re using it every day you want something good quality that will be reliable, comfortable and last. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend this much on a decent peripheral.

Camera: Logitech C920

This HD web cam is fine. It struggles in low light. Auto-focus is slow. The software is crap. And it sometimes switches into 60Hz mode, which makes a visual flicker because my UK-electricity-powered office lighting is flickering at 50Hz. But it’s fine.

I used to use the built-in mic in that, but it turned out to be really echoey. So I now have…

Mic: Rode Podcaster and DJI Mic

I’ve been through several different audio setups. My problem is that there’s a LOT of background noise in my office.

The Rode Podcaster works really well for recording audio when I don’t mind having a big microphone in my face.

The DJI Mic is a really neat little wireless lavalier that I use when I’m on calls and want something more discrete. I’ve written about this elsewhere.

Key light: Elgato Key Light Air

I have a window behind me which means I often end up in shadow, so I needed a key light to balance that out on video calls.

The Elgato Key Light Air isn’t the cheapest (I note I did NOT pay full price for it!!), but it seems to be a quality piece of hardware. The one really annoying thing is it’s controlled by an app (desktop or mobile). I really don’t understand why a simple light like this is broken by lack of Wifi. Could it really not just have a few buttons added to it for manual control?

Other peripherals

Because the MacBook only has 2 USB-C ports I need connections. So I have:

I also have a StreamDeck (the regular 15-key version) which is really cool for quick, simple tasks. It’s a nice piece of hardward, but my goodness the software sucks. Make a decent, native app will you, Elgato?!


Desk: Ikea Bekant sit/stand desk

I converted to a sit/stand desk a few years back and it’s been really good for me. I alternate during the day between sitting and standing – a couple of hours each at a time.

I’ve found that change of position feels better for me than holding a single good position for a long time. I take frequent breaks to move around too when I’m working. So this is just another tool for helping with that.

The Bekant has a motorised mechanism, with simple up/down buttons, but lacks some of the advanced features of more advanced desks like position memory.

It’s a really good, budget option for a motorised sit/stand desk.

Chair: ???

I don’t actually know what my office chair is. I got it for free when a large local company moved out of town. And it’s fine. One day I will invest in a really nice office chair, I’m sure.


Software and Services: Task/project management and productivity

  • Bear Notes – The best Notes app for MacOS and iOS which I’m also more than happy to pay for.
  • Ivory – The best Mastodon client for MacOS and iOS, I’m more than happy to pay for it.

Software and services: Coding and development

  • Caleb Porzio – for Livewire, AlpineJS and everything else
  • Laravel Spark/Nova/Forge – supporting Taylor Otwell developing Laravel through use of his products
  • Statamic – new websites are coming based on the brilliant CMS from Jack McDade and his team
  • Fathom Analytics