Updated: Aug 30 2019 • Snapshot of how I’m spending my time, where I’m going and what I’m using to make stuff. I write this down for myself, because it helps me take stock and stay oriented while navigating the day-to-day. Shared here because you’re curious.

Ongoing and upcoming

Summer at the ranch is busy and exhausting in the best way.

Researching updates for The Photographers Field Guide to Beijing. Expect version 2 before the end of the year.

Tools I’m using now


Using Orgzly again. It is too good to quit!

Back on an official build of Android because I needed a new phone with wider LTE radio support. Previously, I ran a de-Googled build of LineageOS.


I’ve been using Pleco and Photo Mechanic for over a decade.


  • _todo.txt
  • Analog – and a bit borked – kanban using sticky notes and a white board; previously, Trello
  • Orgzly
  • Peter Krogh’s The DAM Book helps me manage my picture archive.
  • Pomodoro technique for screen-based tasks, except writing

Office stuff

  • AP Stylebook, circa 2009
  • G Suite
  • macOS
  • Speedy Stitcher sewing awl
  • Standing desk
  • Storage drives are whatever The Wirecutter recommends atm
  • TextEdit

Production for ebooks and web

  • BBEdit
  • Calibre
  • GIF Brewery
  • Github
  • imageMagick
  • imageOptim
  • Pandoc

More details.

Weather and climate


Because I spend a lot of time outside, I want a phone that is lightweight and pocket-sized. It should be durable-ish. It should get routine security patches. Motorola’s low-end phones are the closest thing I’ve found.


  • Krogh’s The DAM Book
  • Photo Mechanic
  • RPP converter, particularly for BW images
  • Sandisk Extreme Pro cards
  • Silver Effex Pro

Field and ranch

  • Always looking for a better hat
  • Boots are my most important tool for outdoor work; I often wear Belleville Mini-Mil boots, which I got after reading this
  • Billhook, which gets my vote as the most versatile and underrated tool on this list
  • Dish soap to wash off the poison ivy
  • Loksak bags
  • RX safety glasses; WalMart does a great job with these

Whenever I travel, visit a friend, or read a bit of anthropology, it is always the stuff people use that raises my eyebrow and makes me smile. Only fair to ante up, eh?

HT Belle Cooper for inspiring the idea for a now page and tools list.

Enough about me. What are you up to now? [email protected]