Julie’s favorite gear


Updated on 5/23/19

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:


  • Huawei P30 Pro – This phone has become my one mobile device to rule them all. It’s my phone and my camera that I use for all my product shots in my reviews.
  • Satechi Type-C PD and QC wireless charger – I have this on my desk down in my Gadgeteer lair and use it all the time. Gotta love Qi!

Computers and accessories:

  • Apple 12″ MacBook with Retina display (2016) – I’m still rocking this 3 year old little MacBook. I actually bought the new 2018 MacBook Air last year, but ended up returning it for a refund because it has a fan and I hate fan noise. I’m pretty sure I’ll be replacing it this year but I don’t know yet what that replacement will be. I prefer macOS over Windows, but I’m unsure if I’ll stick with a 12-inch or go with something with a larger display.
  • Logitech Craft keyboard – I prefer to use my Apple wireless keyboard, but it goes through batteries like crazy. So I pulled out this keyboard to use for a while. The Logitech keyboard is nice and comfortable to type on. I also like that it has a dedicated delete key that works like a delete key on windows. The only downside to the keyboard is that it takes up a lot of space on my desk.
  • Logitech MX Master 2S – (not pictured). I use this wireless mouse at home with my 12inch MacBook when it’s docked to my BenQ monitor which has a built-in USB-C dock. I like that I can pair it with 3 different devices and I like that the scroll wheel is super smooth.
  • Logitech MX Anywhere 2S – (not pictured). I use this wireless mouse at my day job paired to a Dell laptop. It has a very long battery life and is a small mouse that’s comfortable to use.
  • 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 in Dec 2017 to replace my original Samsung Tab but I rarely use it so I’m going to be fixing it up and giving it to my dad to replace his ancient iPad.
  • Huawei Mediapad M5 – I like this Android tablet better than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 which I purchased for myself because it feels nicer in hand and has a bigger display. That said, I have used much at all since I reviewed it.

Other home gadgets and equipment:

  • BenQ 27” PD2710QC monitor – I really like this monitor and especially love the built-in hub that works very well with my 12-inch MacBook.
  • Neato Botvac D7 robot vacuum – I’ve been using Neato Botvacs for years now. I have one upstairs and one downstairs and have them set to clean 3 times a week. I can’t remember the last time I ran one of our other manual vacuums on the carpets and I hope to keep it that way!
  • Brother HL-3170CDW laser printer – This is my first laser printer and so far I’m very happy with it. The price was very affordable at under $200 from Amazon and the print quality / speed are both excellent.
  • Coalesse Power Pod – Power “strip” cool enough to put on your desk instead of hiding it underneath.
  • Airdog X5 air purifier – I like this air purifier because it’s quiet and it doesn’t require that you buy special filters. You can wash the collecting plates by hand or in the dishwasher.

Photography gear:

  • Huawei P20 – This phone is my backup product photography camera. I currently use the P30 Pro as my primary camera for everything.
  • 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. It can even be converted into a selfie stick.

Audio / video / home theater gear:

Car gear:

I’ve pared down my car gear/gadgets to pretty much nothing lately but have plans to work on a new smartphone powered media setup like I did a few years ago.

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.
  • Neo smartpen M1 notebook – I use a very scaled down version of the Bullet Journal system to keep track of things I need to do. Although I don’t use the pen with this notebook, I like the notebook itself so I’m using it by itself.
  • 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 rechargeable through a magnetic USB charger.
  • Nitecore TUP 1000 lumen EDC flashlight – I like this little guy because it’s crazy bright and I can recharge it via USB.
  • 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:

  • Tom Bihn Maker’s bag – I’ve been reducing my EDC to just the essentials so I have been able to also reduce the size of my everyday gear bag. Right now the Maker’s bag is perfect for me.
  • Timbuk2 X-Small Classic Messenger Bag – (not shown above) I use this one while on vacation or a day of shopping.
  • Pakt One Carry On Travel bag – My travel bag for road trips.
  • Waterfield Finn Access Wallet – I’ve been using a Waterfield zippered wallet every day since 2005, but now it lives in my Timbuk2 custom messenger bag with cash and extra cards that I don’t use very often.
  • Identity wallet – This is my favorite minimalist wallet because it’s super small, lightweight, and it’s not a huge pain in the rear to remove and reinsert cards.

Other gear:

  • SCOTTeVEST Hoodie Cotton jacket – After all the years of reviewing SeV gear, I will say that this hoodie is my favorite. It’s comfortable and has just the right amount of pockets to hold my everyday essentials without being bulky.
  • OROS Discovery Jacket – I like this jacket because it’s comfortable and has a special lining that keeps you warm while still remaining lightweight.
  • Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves – I just upgraded to their 2018 gloves and love them because they are light weight but still keep my hands warm while letting me interact with my phone.
  • RoboReel Power Cord System – Power driven retractable extension cord holder.
  • Nest Thermostat –  I love it because it learns how warm or cool I like to keep the house and it does all the work to keep it that way.
  • Switchmate Bright Instant Smart Lighting Switch – I have this switch on my bedroom light switch so I can control the light from the bed. This prevents my cat from stalking me and attacking my feet when I pull them in bed at night when the lights are off. Yes, there really are monsters under the bed!

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.
  • Airdroid – I use this app to wireless transfer the images I take with either Huawei P20 or Pixel 2 XL to my MacBook when I’m working on a review.