Uses This

1259 interviews since 2009

A picture of Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham

Writer, artist, adjunct professor (RMIT)

in artist, mac, professor, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a writer - I've had four books published and have two more on the way - and a sometime artist. I also teach, do some arts administration and public speaking.

What hardware do you use?

I have a MacBook Pro which I use most of the time for almost everything I do. I used to hook that up to a larger screen but I don't much anymore as I tend to move around a lot when I work (stand, sit, lie on the couch, work at the kitchen bench etc). I have a separate keyboard and mouse at my office which I use if I'm there. I use the MacBook for writing books, lectures, class planning, lots of emailing and carrying on with calendar and diary management.

I also have a iPad Pro (10") which I use for art and reading but when I travel I use a portable keyboard and then do email and other basic tasks using the iPad. I am particularly keen on the iPad when I'm giving lectures as I can hold it like a sheath of paper.

I have an iPhone 6S Plus, which I like because the camera is good, and because the screen is large enough that I can read emails and use for social media (which I am currently trying to cut down drastically on). My sight is getting worse as I get older. I don't think I could handle a small phone anymore. I have inherited an Apple Watch which I use mainly for exercise purposes though getting messages on it is useful. I also use a standing desk, a planning desk, paper and and paint I carry a drawing pad and drawing pens with me.

And what software?

I have Microsoft Office and use Word a lot. Partly out of habit and partly because most people I work for/with use it. When I'm writing my books I use Scrivener which I love and am quite evangelical about. Whenever I teach I tell other writers to use it. I have tried software for things like planning, and work flow management, but they don't tend to stick. I'm basically pretty happy with Word/Notes/Scrivener and lost interest in software which requires me to change my working habits. I use Saasu for my accounts which I do on my MacBook. Oh, and I use iCal to nudge me, and alarms for the same reason.

I use the Notes function on my phone a lot. I use the camera constantly as a prompt for writing and art. I sometimes use the microphone on the phone to record things. I use Planets (for fun) and the digital edition of Pizzey & Knight Birds of Australia (birdwatching).

I use Procreate on my iPad Pro for drawing and creating images. iBooks for reading. Paprika for keeping track of recipes. Instagram for @sophtreeofday on which I post a picture of a tree everyday. I've deleted Facebook, Twitter etc. from my various devices, but I still check into the websites now and then.

What would be your dream setup?

I confess I have a partner who thinks about these things on my behalf a lot, so I suspect I am pretty close. I suppose my dream set up would involve a bit more physical space. I could spread out with painting, and have a larger desk for writing (i.e. I could throw books around on) and which was also adjustable. And I'd like more storage/shelves etc. But when it comes to computers and devices I'm extremely well set up.

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.