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 Kathryn Borel

Kathryn Borel

Writer and editor (The Believer, American Dad!)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Kathryn Borel, Jr. I am a former Canadian radio journalist (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and currently an LA-based television writer (American Dad! on TBS.) I'm also the interviews editor at The Believer, the nice pithy literary magazine founded by Dave Eggers a bunch of years ago. And I wrote a book called Corked. I've done other writerly garbage but those are the top headlines.

What hardware do you use?

Everything I do is done on a 13-inch MacBook Air, and I just received a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard that makes a very satisfying clickety-clack sound of the desktop computers of yesteryear. I like to think the reward of the clack makes me a more decisive writer and thinker.

Counterintuitively I'll plug in a pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones while I write.

When I'm being an analog guy I use a red Moleskine (yearly Xmas present from my parents) and the Lamy fountain pen my best friend gave me as a maid of honor gift, which I love despite me being left-handed and constantly dragging my hand through the ink and making smears.

And what software?

Final Draft 9 Pro Edition for screenwriting; TextEdit for all other stuff. TextEdit has an appealing unfussiness -- fewer options and no margins and the small screen all make the act of writing feel less precious and therefore less daunting.

What would be your dream setup?

I really really REALLY wish there were a reliable transcription program for when I have to transcribe the interviews I do for The Believer. I also would like a disgusting, fart-trapping leather club chair and someone to pour me small glasses of wine when I work at night.