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The Tools That Help Me Create

Christoph's working desk

This is my current development setup which includes all the hard- and software I need for my daily work as a web developer and content creator.

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Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will get a commission if you sign up for a product using them. I share my setup because I believe in the tools I use. I would never mention a product to make money.

General

Laptop

  • MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
  • Apple M1
  • 16 GB

Mouse / Keyboard

  • Apple Bluetooth Keyboard
  • Apple Magic Mouse 2

Laptop Stand

  • Griffin Elevator

Display

  • LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • It gets powered through the USB-C connection
  • I was looking for a cheaper option, but none of them had a beautiful clean design
  • I didn't regret it

Desk Frame

  • Fully Jarvis Frame Only
  • DIY adjustable height
  • Save different height settings

Since I spent hours sitting in front of a computer every day, a standing desk was on my list for a long time. Since I moved last year, I finally had the chance and place to get one. I did a lot of research, and I'm super happy with my choice. For me, it was important that I only get the frame so that I can use a custom top.

Desk Top

  • Custom Top

I needed a custom top for my desk to fit a niche in my office room. I didn't find one to buy, so I decided to give it a try myself. I had no experience with woodworking so far, so I watched a lot of youtube videos and talked to Jason McCreary, who is more experienced with that kind of work. In this post, I share some images of the process building the desk top.

Chair

During the cyber week in December 2019, there was a good deal for this chair. I wasn't sure if I should try a gaming chair, but I'm pretty satisfied. Especially the pillows for your head and back are comfortable and support your body.

Operating System

  • MacOS latest version

Coding

IDE

My current dark PhpStorm IDE theme

Terminal

  • When I'm not inside PhpStorm, I use Hyper
  • All my shell settings can be found inside my dotfiles repo

Local Development

Email

  • Spark on my laptop
  • Apple Email on my phone

Productivity

  • Alfred is the best!
  • In this video, I give a preview of all the Alfred workflows I am using

Website Analytics

  • Fathom - simple, fast and privacy-focused website analytics
  • You will get a $10 discount when using the above link

MacOS Window Manager

  • I need to move and resize windows all the time
  • Rectangle is my app of choice
  • It lets you use the shortcuts of Spectacle if you had used that before like I did

Cloud Storage

Password Manager

Lists / Todos

  • I have a pinboard where I define tasks for today and this week
  • Apple Calendar & Reminders help me to not forget about important events

Mac Bar Menu Management

  • With Bartender I customize the icons in the top menu

A lot of those icons you don't need regularly. So with Bartender, you can hide them and everything looks a little more cleaned up.

Bartender app inactive Bartender app active

Recording & Streaming

Note: In December 2021, I did a livestream where I showcased my whole streaming setup. Give it a look if you prefer a visual demo.

Microphone

The Shure MV7 microphone
  • Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
  • I use the pop filter of the Shure SM7B which is better
  • Blue Compass microphone arm

Before the Shure microphone, I was using the HyperX QuadCast. It was a good microphone, but I wanted to level up my audio game without investing ~$1.000 in the Shure SM7B. (which is currently the standard for a high-quality microphone)

The MV7 ist like the little brother of the SM7B and it supports both USB and XLR. I have it connected to the Elgato Wave XLR audio interface.

Camera

Sony A6400 camera mounted behind the desk
Note: I'm facing lots of issues with the Elgato Cam Link 4K where it freezes and can't be used anymore. That's why I need the backup capture card. This one is not capable of 4K though.

Lights

Screenshot of Christoph's stream with his face
  • 2x Elgato Key Light Air
  • They are mounted to the wall, so I don't have them on my desk.
  • Philips Hue lights in the background

I regularly have video calls, and I decided to level up my video quality. Light is an essential factor of that, and so I bought the Elgato Key Light Air. I first had the more significant Elgato key Light, which is also more powerful. The downside is it comes only with a mounting system which didn't fit my desk. So I switched to the smaller Light version, which is also more beautiful. I like it a lot.

Streaming Software

Ecamm Live in action screenshot

Before Ecamm Live, I was using StreamYard. I still recommend StreamYard to everyone who wants a quick start into the streaming world. It just works through your browser and is very simple to set up. I also wrote a blog post about my whole streaming setup and experience.

Editing Software

Everything covered?

That's my current setup. It has come a long way and is still changing every year. If you feel like I'm missing any important tools I didn't mention, please let me know.

Find some images of my older setups below or check my 2018's setup.

Christoph's working desk Hyper microphone Photo showing Christoph's streaming setup with microphone, lights and monitors. Christoph's setup in 2018 showing old MBP