New Home, New Office, New Setup.

Top view of my desk with a monitor, laptop, notebook, mouse, qi charger, and headphone hanging on a hook.
Top view of my desk with a monitor, laptop, notebook, mouse, qi charger, and headphone hanging on a hook.
My Working From Home Setup.

This will be my third Working From Home setup posts, which you can catch up on by reading the first two here:

Since WFH Setup 2.0, my wife and I moved out of our last rental and purchased our first home. With it came a lot of stress and money, but in the end set us up with a new house to call our home. Which includes a space for a nursery for our, soon to come, baby boy and, more importantly¹, a new shared office space.

I will admit that the office size is not as large as I would have liked it to be, but I feel I have made some right buying decisions and planning to make the setup work great in the space available. With a large window facing out to the pool, repainted walls with a cool blue accent wall, and upgrading light with a ceiling fan, all I needed to figure out is how my desk setup would be. …


It hurts literally and figuratively to move on.

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Since purchasing the AirPods Pro back in July of last year, they have been my almost exclusive pair of headphones. The sound quality and features, like Transparency Mode and Noise Cancellation, are a joy. But my poor ears can no longer take the pain they cause.

I have tried swapping out all three sized tips that the AirPods Pro provide, but after a few days of heavy use, the inside of my ears literally become sore. …


The M1 MacBook Air has helped but strive for more.

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Photo by Remy_Loz on Unsplash

Technology is incredible not only in what it offers but how it continues to get better. A MacBook Air released back in 2011, 9 years later, is the best laptop I have ever owned. Due to the increased performance over time and the entire package; Retina, Force-Touch Trackpad, M1, Magic Keyboard, USB-C, etc.

Even when you owned something a couple of years ago, the advancements, even if some are minor, are so tempting to want to upgrade too. Part of this is a consumerism issue. It is also the fact that it always feels like your device is obsolete. …


Choosing a lot of bass over spending a lot of money.

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When Apple introduced the AirPods Max, I, like many, we’re very eager to buy them. Apple has a way of making you want something you didn’t think you needed. Or, for me, no longer needed.

Since getting the AirPods Pro, I have not had a pair of over-ear headphones. I consolidated down my AirPods and Bose QuietComfort 25’s (shortening to QC25’s for the rest of this post) to just the AirPods Pro, and for a while now has been a great minimal option.

Not only do the AirPods Pro sound good, better than the AirPods and QC25, in my opinion, but the Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode were, and still are, quite impressive. The Noise Cancellation is so good on these compared to other headphones I have tried with the same feature, and Transparency mode was brand new and still comes in handy so much when jogging or cleaning but still wanting to hear voices or sounds around me. …


The “Year of Health” and the tools to achieve my goals.

Theme System Journal and iPhone 12 on wooden desk.
Theme System Journal and iPhone 12 on wooden desk.
Theme System Journal and iPhone 12.

Last year I chose a Yearly Theme, titled “Progress” that focused on my physical Health and Finance Health. I started strong in both areas, but in the end, one went well, Finance Health, where the other crashed and burned, Physical Health.

When it comes to the outcomes from the Finance side, my wife and I succeeded quite a bit. I paid off a lot of credit card debt and was able to buy our first home. …


My attempt at using the Bullet Journal Method.

iPad with Bullet Journal Method Kindle Book, Moleskin Notebook and Sharpie pen.
iPad with Bullet Journal Method Kindle Book, Moleskin Notebook and Sharpie pen.
Image by Author

I have dabbled in several different workflows to help keep track of the things I want to get done. For work, I have tried Todoist, Notion, Trello, and Omnifocus. I have used these tools, including Things and Reminders, for personal, non-work related task but overall, like many, I find it challenging to stick with one solution.

It isn’t so much the tool that is the problem but my struggle with to-do lists where I feel I am putting more effort into keeping track of things that need to get done instead of a tool helping guide me on what needs to get done. …


The iPad 10.2-inch is pretty great as a non-primary computer.

MacBook Air with its sidekick the iPad 8 on a brown wooden desk.
MacBook Air with its sidekick the iPad 8 on a brown wooden desk.
MacBook Air with its sidekick the iPad 8.

I have gone back and forth in my attempt to use an iPad Pro as my main computer. With the Magic Keyboard’s introduction, my last effort in using an iPad Pro was much more pleasing and comfortable in replacing a laptop. But after a while, I started missing a Mac again and knew that though I love the iPad a lot, I prefer a Mac for most of the things I do on a computer.

Before I moved into my new house, I got rid of all my technology and wanted to rethink my computer setup. …


Simple Yet So Powerful

Low light of a half closed M1 MacBook Air on wooden desk.
Low light of a half closed M1 MacBook Air on wooden desk.
2020 M1 MacBook Air

Since I decided on Starting from Scratch I have been thinking a lot about my setup and if I wanted something stationary or mobile. After reviewing the iMac a few months ago I was convinced that, when I had the opportunity, I would get one. When that opportunity finally came; I didn’t pull the trigger.

I have always had a stronger appeal for laptops. The fact that you can take and use your computer anywhere is pure convenience. There are downsides sometime like less performance, higher costs, and battery life but the convenience, for me, outweighs the downsides.

The main reason why I didn’t go with a iMac and instead leaned more towards a laptop was my new desk setup at my new house. I plan to do a full overview of my new workspace but I ended up getting a really nice standing desk that wasn’t setup for an all-in-one. …


Does Apple’s MagSafe Wallet deliver or slip?

iPhone 12 with MagSafe Wallet
iPhone 12 with MagSafe Wallet
iPhone 12 with MagSafe Wallet

As soon as I saw the leather wallet option as one of the new MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12; the minimalist in me knew I had to try it. The MagSafe idea alone for wireless charging on the iPhone was exciting with the ability to not have to worry about overnight charging mishaps, but other magnetic accessories surprised me.

I have always loved the idea of a iPhone wallet-case combo, but due the size and cost of Apple’s version and the fact that don’t normally like cases on my phone, I could never keep it for very long. …


It feels familiar to deciding on a Mac verus iPad.

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Update: If you do need Windows running on a Mac, this problem is still true. As explained in my review of the MacBook Air I found a solution to remote into my Windows machine at work without needing Windows at all, so my specific problem is no more. The M1 (and iPad) just got that much better for me.

After Apple’s announcement I was heart-set on purchasing a MacBook Air, that is the MacBook Air with the Intel processor. …

About

Paul Alvarez

Full-time IT Project Analyst, all the time husband, and cat Dad. I also write.

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