Julie’s Favorite Gear


Updated on 01/16/18

Hey folks, here’s my ever-evolving listing of the gear (and other favorite things) that I use on a daily basis. Each category has been sorted in order of usage. The most used item is on top. I’m also posting regular gadget diary posts and EDC updates where I talk about the gadgets I’m using and adventures I’m having on any particular day.

Smartphone and related accessories:

  • Google Pixel 2 XL – After a brief 3 month fling with an iPhone 7 Plus this summer, I’m back on team Android with a shiny new Pixel 2 XL. There are a couple screen issues with the new Pixel 2 that I hope Google will fix, but so far so good I’m really happy to be back on this OS and this phone.

Computers and accessories:

  • Apple 12″ MacBook with Retina display (2016) – Instead of going up in power and screen size, I have down sized my computer over the years. I went from a 27 inch iMac to a 15″ MacBook Pro, to a 13″ MacBook Pro, and now I’m down to a 12″ MacBook. I don’t think I can go any smaller at this point, but that’s ok because I find the 12″ MB to be the perfect size for every day lap computing and travel. It doesn’t weigh much, has a great keyboard and touchpad, and the screen size is not too small to do real work.
  • LandingZone 12-inch MacBook Docking Station – I loved the LandingZone docking station that I used when I had a 15″ MacBook Pro and I love this smaller version now that I have downsized to the 12in MB.
  • Satechi Edge 2.0 gaming mouse – I use this mouse at my day job. It runs for months on a charge.
  • Dell XPS 13″ laptop – I use this small Windows 10 laptop when I need to use Windows software.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – I bought this refurb tablet about a month ago to replace my original Samsung Tab. I also purchased the keyboard cover for it with hopes that it might become my travel computer.

Other home gadgets and equipment:

Cameras and related gear:

  • I sold my Canon 70D a few months ago and now using my Pixel 2 XL for all my photography. I didn’t think I’d ever not have a dedicated camera, but the Pixel 2 does a fantastic job, so why have redunant devices?
  • Manfrotto tripod – I’m not sure if they still sell the one I have, but I’ve been happy with Manfrotto products.
  • SHOTBOX portable photography light box – This light box is GREAT. I love it and all the backdrops that make my review images look excellent.
  • MeFoto Sidekick360 Smartphone Tripod Adapter – I bought this tripod because I like to use my phone to record video clips demonstrating things for reviews. This small holder works great with my Manfrotto tripod and holds my phone securely.
  • MeFoto Backpacker Air tripod – I really like this tripod because it comes with everything I need to use it for my smartphone or my DSLR. It can even be converted into a selfie stick.

Audio / video / home theater gear:

  • Hisense 65″ H8 series 4K smart TV – Great 4K display at a great price. Best TV I’ve ever had as far as the picture quality. Easy to use interface too.
  • I ditched the Roku and am now streaming video from Netflix using my Pixel 2 XL and a Chromecast attached to my TV. I’m considering connecting a dedicated Android device (old TV or tablet) to the TV and using a Bluetooth keyboard to control it from my couch. The only reason why I ditched the Roku is that I’m using a T-Mobile based internet and have to take advantage of the free video streaming. This only works through a phone or laptop. It apparently isn’t supported when you use a Roku, Apple TV, or Fire TV.
  • WyzeCam – At only $20 per camera, this is my favorite low-cost home security camera. I hope they make a weatherproof version soon so I can put a few outdoors.
  • DUNU TITAN 1 in-ear earphones – I’m only using these earphones with my day job laptop these days. 

Car gear:

  • VicTsing Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter – I am using this adapter to stream audio from my LG G3 to my MINI Cooper stereo. It works great and doesn’t require a 12V power adapter. I can plug it into the USB port in my car.
  • Satechi Bluetooth Media Button – I have this button stuck on the emergency brake of my MINI Cooper. It’s easier (and safer) to use it to change volume and move between tracks when I’m listening to music on my way to and from work.
  • Magellan MiVue 658 HD dash cam – Best dash cam I’ve tested so far. It has the best image quality and even has GPS and WiFi built in.
  • iOmount iAuto Pro car mount – This magnetic mount is installed in my MINI Cooper. It works great but does require that you stick a steel disk to the back of your phone. I placed the disk between the back of my Nexus 6P and a case.

Miscellaneous gear:

  • Homemade leather Field Notes cover – I made this myself. It can hold 3 Field Notes notebooks without needing elastic bands like Midori covers. I’m thinking about making a larger version soon.
  • Uniball Jetstream – My favorite inexpensive ink pens. They put down a smooth thin line that never skips and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
  • Big Idea Design Ti Click Classic retractable pen – I leave this pen at home on my desk. It has good balance and I like the way it feels and writes.
  • Big Idea Design Ti Pocket Pro Pen – This is my current favorite EDC pen that goes where ever I go. There’s no cap to lose and I can use my favorite Pilot G2 refill in it.
  • X47 notebook – I use a very scaled down version of the Bullet Journal system to keep track of things I need to do. I recently filled up a Leuchtturm1917 and am now using the X47 which I’m liking very much.
  • Roadie 2 Guitar Tuner – I’m using this automatic tuner to tune my ukuleles. Review coming very soon.


  • Olight S2R Baton flashlight – This is currently my favorite flashlight because it’s small, has an easy to activate switch and it’s rechargable through a magnetic USB charger.
  • Coast LED Lenser LED Lantern (TT7105CP) – I used to grab this one whenever our power went out at home, but now that we have a whole house generator,  I rarely need it. It’s still using the original batteries which is crazy because I’ve had this lantern since 2007!
  • Photon X-Light Micro – Keychain flashlight that I keep in my messenger bag. It’s tiny and lightweight, but very bright!

Gear bags, pouches, cases, wallets and other items of holding:

Other gear:

My most used Android apps:

  • Spotify – My current favorite audio streaming app. I switched to Pandora for awhile but have been really enjoying Spotify because it’s free and you can listen to any song or album instead of a “random” selection of similar songs.
  • Amazon Prime Music – I’ve gotten tired of the ads on Spotify, so I’ve been using Amazon a lot more to listen to music.
  • Netflix
  • Words with Friends – This is pretty much the only game I play. I’m not that good at it, but I still enjoy it.
  • Keep – Great little basic note and list making app that syncs across devices and allows for real-time collaboration.
  • LastPass – I finally started using a password manager after the whole Equifax hack several weeks ago. I have it installed on all my devices and I’m wondering now what took me so long. I don’t even know my passwords anymore, but LastPass does. 🙂
  • OpenSignal – 4G and WiFi signal finder and speed test app.
  • Play Books – This is the app that I use to read all my eBooks.
  • Selfie A Day – Takes a selfie a day and then can string all the photos together to create a time-lapse video.