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 Nadia Odunayo

Nadia Odunayo

Software engineer, founder (The StoryGraph)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Nadia Odunayo. I'm a software engineer, conference speaker, and entrepreneur. I used to be a director at Ignition Works, a company that helps enterprise teams run their cloud platforms. I'm currently starting up a new company called 'The StoryGraph', building a website for avid readers. In my spare time, I do a lot of dancing and reading.

What hardware do you use?

Two main items: I've got a 2017 13" MacBook Pro and an iPhone 8. The other piece of hardware I couldn't live without are my black Jaybird X3 headphones. They're not perfect, and it looks like they're discontinued now - so I'll probably be looking for new ones soon.

I use a wireless Apple Magic Keyboard, a Logitech webcam (it's not very good, quality is low, and picture is harsh) and a Logitech mouse. Then there's my beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones that I've been using for 6/7 years now, and my Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ microphone that I've had since 2015. The mic is super useful when I'm collaborating remotely with someone or for podcast recordings and interviews.

I've also got a FreeNAS system set up. Currently it just runs Time Machine backups and stores audio files, but I want to set up a VPN soon and store some media on there that I can access when away from home.

Oh, and how could I forget my beloved Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation)? I've had it since 2013 and it's still working great.

And what software?

The app I live by, and refer to multiple times a day on both my MacBook and iPhone is Things. I read David Allen's 'Getting Things Done' when I was recommended the app and heard that it was built to allow people to follow the GTD methodology. I was sold and have been using Things successfully for about 5 years now. People always marvel about how I ‘never forget anything' — the thing is, I don't have to try and remember: following GTD and using Things sorts it all out for me.

Software I use on my MacBook: Google Chrome, 1Password, Apple Mail, Apple Calendar (integrating my Gmail calendars), Spotify, iTerm2 for my terminal, Vim for solo software development, Atom when pair programming with friends (either in-person, or remotely using their Teletype plugin), Google Hangouts and Skype (the latter mainly for the bi-weekly call I have with my siblings), Apple Notes, Evernote, and Google Drive.

And on my iPhone, the most used apps are: Headspace for meditation (currently on a 585 day streak!), Zero to track my fasting (I do a lot of daily intermittent fasting), Overcast for my podcasts (I listen to loads but at the moment I'm enjoying catching up with ‘How I Built This'), Stronglifts for my gym weightlifting programme, Citymapper for finding the quickest way to get anywhere in London, Monzo for transactions out and about, WhatsApp, and Instagram for posting my dance videos and watching those of others!

What would be your dream setup?

With regards to the hardware and software, I'm pretty happy with everything.

I work from home. I used to have a Mac Thunderbolt Display but it went faulty and so now I'm using a smaller LG display. So first things first, I'd like a larger, crisper display. I also have a little bit of a mess of cables on my desk, so while I only need to plug in one USB-C cable to my MacBook to work from my desk, I still see the mess of the hub, and things can fall out, etc. Therefore, I'd like a cleaner, more minimal setup on my desk where cables are concerned! My desk at home is not well suited for when it's super hot or super bright, so I'd love to have a spacious desk where comfort working from there is not based so much on weather or light levels. I also haven't got the ergonomics of my setup quite right yet. I'm a petite person and at the minute I have to use cushions and a footrest. Ideally, I'd have a chair that I could sit in, my back would be supported, my feet could touch the ground, and my arms would rest on the desk at the right place - figuring this is a continual work in progress and it's not easy to mix and match desks and chairs until you find the right combination! I guess ideally, I'd have an adjustable standing desk at home so I could sit or standing depending on how I felt, and have the desk at exactly the right height.