Thinking back over the last five years about tech tools that have been in my bag or pocket there are some proven stayers and some other, more recent essentials that make my life connected, pleasant and productive.*


My MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 comes most places with me and is indispensable to my jobs as a deputy principal, university lecturer and teacher but is also fundamental to photography and travelling. A Chrome browser and the Apple email client are the most used tools on the laptop and sometimes I forget how important Skype and Sonos are too the week. My iPhone 6 with Mophie Juice Pack Plus is ever-present and when I am travelling uber-light, a Jorno bluetooth keyboard turns it into a typewriter when connected to my Ulysses app.

My Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation) is with me on the train each day and last thing at night. The ability to swipe my finger and curate quotes and notes is fundamental for my blogging and other writing. My Kindle Highlights page is a record of what has stimulated rather than sticky notes or dogeared pages that cannot be accessed from anywhere.

Fitbit Flex provides data about sleeping patterns, activity and weight (as it is connected to Aria scales). I have never made the time to enter food consumed but wish I did.

Social Media

Although Twitter has changed dramatically for the worse in recent years it has been my favourite social media since early 2008. I can imagine life without it but would be sad if that happened. Facebook for all the issues that come along with its “one portal to rule them all” philosophy is an incredible tool. There are several important professional groups that bring us together as teachers, sharing resources, ideas and laughs. Yammer is great for staying in contact with colleagues in the NSW Department of Education and also other Big History teachers.


Flickr is a long time favourite for photo storage and sharing and I use Alan Levine’s great Flickr CC tool for inserting images directly into my blog. Adobe Lightroom CC with Topaz plugins are essential tools on my Macbook Pro. Shots taken with my Nikon D700 or D800 are uploaded to Lightroom using Cardette Ultra. 

Increasingly I am experimenting with mobile Lightroom and a host of mobile Adobe apps. I use Camera+ for zooming shots on my phone. Snapseed is a good all-round phone editing app and Distressed is another fave for editing. Eyeem is greatly preferred for sharing images over Instagram. Just add a Joby Gorillapod with Olloclip Studio to my phone and I have a powerful mobile video or photography kit.

Apps for school and uni

GAFE, especially Google Classroom is now my main sharing tools with students at school. I also use the education version of Weebly for student websites. Adobe Spark is a really great suite of apps for the classroom that allow students to make images, video and web pages easily. Edmodo is still my fave app for sharing with my university students. The Australian Macquarie Dictionary app is used most days. My Leef iBridge is a great USB which connects to iOS devices and to a regular USB port.


Other tools

Weatherzone+ is probably more important than I give it credence. Flashlight is super handy when the lights are out or one is walking home late through the wetlands that surround my home. 1Password manages all my password security needs across my iPhone, Macbook and iPad. The Audible app is used everyday as I walk to listen to audiobooks. Feedly houses my RSS feeds.

What do you have in your bag and pocketses?

*Thanks to David Hopkins who asked what tools are indispensable to my professional and personal day.

Feature image: Fickr photo by Darcy Moore shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license


One Comment

    • Lizzie Chase

    • 8 years ago

    Helpful! Thanks, Darcy.

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