Julie’s Favorite Gear


Updated on 11/27/17

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.

Other home gadgets and equipment:

Cameras and related gear:

  • Canon 70D DSLR, Canon 430EX II speed light, Canon EOS utility software – This is the setup that I use for all my Gadgeteer review pics. I tether the camera to my MacBook Pro and use the Canon EOS software to remotely trigger the shutter and to see a live view of the shots before I take them.
  • 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.
  • Roku Premier– I’m using this streaming media player for watching free movies and shows with my Amazon Prime Instant Video account and Netflix. It’s small, silent and never seems to have a hiccup.
  • Blink cam – I recently switched from using Nest cams back to the Blink cam for one main reason – data usage. Nest cams can send 60-160GB of data to the cloud every month for each camera.
  • WyzeCam – At lonly $20 per camera, this is my favorite low-cost home security camera.
  • DUNU TITAN 1 in-ear earphones – Current favorite earphones. I usually hate in-ear style buds, but these are half in-ear and are more like earbuds. They are very comfortable and sound amazing. They come with a nice plastic storage box too.

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 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.
  • Big Idea Design Ti Arto pen – This is my favorite pen that I leave home on my desk. I love it because it is compatible with Pilot G2 refills and pretty much a bazillion other refills.
  • 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.
  • D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner – My favorite clip-on tuner for my ukuleles.


  • 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.
  • 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.