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MacStories Weekly – my Desk Setup

This week I had the opportunity to write about my desk setup on MacStories Weekly.
Read through the details in my setup below if you’re interested.


ReaderSetup-FlohGro-1
ReaderSetup-FlohGro-1

Hi there ✌️ I’m Floh, a productivity and note-making (read taking) enthusiast and Software Developer from Germany 🇩🇪. I develop software in my day job and during my free time, where my goal is to remove friction from processes and workflows for myself and others.

My setup evolved quite a bit during the pandemic since this was the first time I had to work from home in my day job. I started with only my Laptop / MacBook on our dining table. But working from home with my wife in the same room distracted us from our work. That’s why I build a new desk setup in our bedroom (right between my part of the closet and our bed).

We’re tied up in the Windows universe at our jobs but only use Apple products when we work in our free time. The setup relies on Thunderbolt / USB-C and Bluetooth to connect to the peripherals.

I use my good old 13″ MacBook Pro from 2017, which I bought from the Apple Refurbished Store (Specs: 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB storage). I will switch to Apple Silicon at some point in the future, but I’m pretty happy with it for now.

The main display is a DELL U2520D with 25″ – I know it could be bigger (read wider) but its enough most of the times. To let my MacBook serve as a secondary display, I wanted to lift it a bit. There are brilliant solutions available, but I haven’t decided how I want to set this up in the future. Right now, I use our Exploding Kittens card game to raise it 😄 (this is not a joke, but I hope you’re laughing right now). Don’t judge me for not cleaning my MacBooks screen before taking the photos ☺️

ReaderSetup-FlohGro-2
ReaderSetup-FlohGro-2

The CalDigit TS3+ serves as a dock to connect my MacBook (or other devices) with the peripherals. It connects webcam (Logitech C920s PRO HD), wired Ethernet, display, keyboard, and mouse when they need charging. I also use it to connect external drives for video material.

Speaking of keyboard and mouse: I use the Keychron K4 Version 2 (with Gateron Red Switches) and the Logitech MX Master 3 for Mac. I miss both when working with other input devices at work or the MacBook alone.

ReaderSetup-FlohGro-3
ReaderSetup-FlohGro-3

I would consider myself a keyboard guy but using the extra buttons of the MX Master is beneficial in many Apps. Assigning app-specific actions or keyboard shortcuts speeds up and simplifies many workflows. I built a wooden wrist raiser by myself that eliminates pain in my wrist when typing a lot.

Although we have active hobbies (like mountain biking), we would still sit too much at a desk. So we assembled a height-adjustable desk with a boho office Basic Line frame and a table plate from IKEA (that I fluffed a bit in the past).

ReaderSetup-FlohGro-4
ReaderSetup-FlohGro-4

The desk frame allows for storing four positions. Now both of us can save the perfect height for sitting and standing. All cables are tucked away in a cable tray and a slim line down to the bottom. The chair needs some time to get used to, but I like it, and it almost always prevents me from lurking around.

The last Apple device on my desk is my 9th generation iPad, nothing special here. I use it with Universal Control from time to time but at most for reading and making notes when I’m not at my desk.

ReaderSetup-FlohGro-5
ReaderSetup-FlohGro-5

While working, I listen to music most of the time, which helps me to focus (my edmFocus playlist). I use the original Libratone ZIPP (the one without Alexa built-in), which is sitting next to me. I attached an NFC tag to quickly hand over the playback via Shortcuts (if I’m not using a more complex Shortcut).

You can also see what I meant writing about the messed-up desk plate in the corner. When I assembled the desk with its associated frame from IKEA, I didn’t read the instructions (who does 🤷🏼‍♂️). I forgot some spacers, the screw pierced the plate, and now I have four stripes of white tape on the back side of the desk to hide those holes 😅.

My goal with this setup was to have a flexible working space that works with all our devices and looks clean. I’m pretty happy with it so far. This setup supports me with volunteering work, and I enjoy developing scripts, extensions, and workflows for my most used tools (Drafts, Craft, Todoist, and DEVONthink).

That’s it! If you have any questions about the setup or the tools I created, feel free to ask me in the MacStories Discord or on Twitter.