The Setup


What do people use to get stuff done?

Diana Kimball

Diana Kimball

Writer, programmer (SoundCloud)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Diana Kimball. Last year, I graduated from Harvard Business School and moved to Berlin to work at SoundCloud. I'm a writer, reader, programmer, and data nerd.

I hang out on Twitter and reflect on my blog. Occasionally, you can find me racing to finish a book with 24-Hour Bookclub.

What hardware do you use?

I type on a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display, tap on a black iPhone 5, and read on a Kindle Paperwhite. From time to time, I clean my laptop screen with iKlear Travel Singles. I tuck my phone into a low-profile fabric case. Working at SoundCloud, I do a lot of listening; for that, I rely on these Sony earbuds. For recording, I use a Røde lavalier mic and a Blue Yeti USB mic. At the office, we use Jabra USB speakerphones for group calls. I carry everything in a black InCase messenger bag.

And what software?

I live in Gmail, Google Docs, and Skype at work. I also spend a lot of time in Terminal; I write code in vim and recently switched to using fish as my shell. Meeting notes, lists, and idle thoughts go into Evernote. Longer chunks of text usually start out in iA Writer. Calculations happen in Soulver, a scratch pad that lets you show your work. Acorn is my minimum viable image editor. I use Alfred to launch apps, but I'm still hung up on Quicksilver. SaneBox keeps my personal inbox manageable. MailChimp is the engine behind an introspective letter I send out every now and then. Kuvva cycles through beautiful and surprising desktop backgrounds, while the Momentum extension for Chrome does the equivalent for new tabs. TransferWise has the lowest fees I've found for transferring money from my German bank account to American ones. I set a lot of timers, so I've tried a lot of timer apps, and Timebar is the best by far. The Heartbleed fiasco motivated me to start using 1Password, which I've been pretty happy with. I use the thesaurus all the time, mostly by typing "[word] synonym" into Google. I turn to Copy Paste Character often for Unicode arrows and baubles, and lean on The Noun Project for icons.

On my phone, I love playing meditative games. Drop7 is my all-time favorite. Threes is a worthy successor. Monument Valley was breathtaking and over too soon. I also use straight-up meditation apps like Calm and Buddhify 2. I recently moved NYT Now and Artsy to my home screen so that news and art can find their way into quiet moments.

What would be your dream setup?

I wish I could learn keyboard shortcuts effortlessly and bend timezones to my will. I'd like all apps to update themselves automatically and invisibly, and all devices to charge themselves without cables. I wouldn't say no to a 3D printer. I'm also still searching for the ultimate book-highlighting-and-note-taking workflow. If you have one you're happy with, I'd love to hear about it.

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