Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Jill Twiss

Jill Twiss

Senior Writer (Last Week Tonight With John Oliver)

in mac, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi! I'm Jill Twiss. I am a senior writer for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. I also wrote the picture books, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo and The Someone New.

In my, ahem, free time I'm working on a musical about the women of the Seneca Falls Convention where American women first asked for the right to vote. I'm currently obsessed with a badass woman there named Martha Coffin Wright who showed up 41, pregnant, and "read a humor piece."

What hardware do you use?

I don't know anything about computers. I have a darkish grey Mac laptop that I use at work and a lightish grey Mac laptop that I use at home. I got the Mac at home because I thought I was going to learn how to use Garageband for a musical I'm writing. (I have not, in fact, learned how to use Garageband.)

I also have a desktop that I only use when I have to print something, and a printer that needs new ink after you print approximately seven pages. At work I have an adjustable standing desk that I use more than I thought I would.

Are couches hardware? I have a couch and a loveseat in my studio apartment. I sit on the couch when I'm just on Twitter or doing fun stuff, and then move to the loveseat to say "NOW IS TIME TO SERIOUSLY DO WORK." Oddly, it's pretty effective.

I also have a giant beanbag, which is not good for working, but is very good for everything else.

(Ahem. I just checked the laptop at home. It is a MacBook Air.)

And what software?

At the office, we use a program called Scripto, which is specifically for writing late night shows. We also use Slack to complain about everything to each other, because in truth comedy is mostly artful complaining.

I have an iPhone SE, which I love so much because it has lots of memory but is also still bitsy enough that I can hold it in my hand, which is what I thought cell phones were for BUT APPARENTLY NOT ANYMORE. Two years ago I would have made a joke about Trump's hands here, but I choose to believe we are all past that now.

I got an Apple Watch as a gift and sometimes it reminds me to breathe, which.. great? But truthfully I like that it counts more than just steps, and it includes my weightlifting time which is the only exercise I actually like.

I have bought maybe fifteen pairs of these Panasonic in-ear headphones over the years. I have tiny ears and other earbuds won't fit in them. These do, so I buy and lose them repeatedly. Amazon changes the price a lot, but they range from like $6 to $10. I also have an Alexa, which I use mostly to ask it to play Jeopardy with me, and a shower speaker for, you know, shower-podcasts. Oh, and a Kindle because I love real books and Kindle books and ALL BOOKS IN EVERY FORM.

Other than that, I use Google Docs for literally everything. I should not. I should actually learn Final Draft or Scrivener or whatever people write children's books on. But I do not. Google Docs till I die. They're the easiest way for me to have whatever random writing I want to work on at the ready no matter which computer I'm using.

What would be your dream setup?

Truthfully, I used to just have a netbook that cost me like $150 and had no memory and I was equally happy. I probably wouldn't give up the shower speaker though. Or the two couches. Some day this two-couch theory is going to make me millions.

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