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[ is run by Anne Fairpo, a tax barrister at Temple Tax Chambers – – also at, and to be found as @iptax on twitter]

I have a rather longer relationship with Apple than I do with the Bar, having started with an
Apple ][ sometime in the early 80s. I moved onto a Mac in early 1985 (thanks to a publisher with more money than sense, it seemed – it was an advance for writing a book on programming) and have gone through many and varied permutations since then.

Current setup:

  • Mac Mini in chambers with two AppleDisplays attached; external backup drive; printer; document scanner (previous old laptop was getting past it even for the fairly non-demanding work I put it to)
  • iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard cover & Apple Pencil (for travel/lecturing/work away from chambers etc)
  • [also MacBook Air for travel/lecturing/library/any other work away from home/chambers – using this less, depends a bit on what I need to be doing as to whether I take this or the iPad Pro]
  • iMac in home office; two external backup drives; printer; document scanner
  • iPhone 6 everywhere (still does what I need it to, will upgrade when it stops working)
  • Personal use: iPad mini 4 (because iPad mini 2 battery was losing its grip on reality), iMac, iPhone 7 (upgraded because iPhone 6 screen smashed)

Principal software used:

  • Scrivener (drafting anything)
  • Evernote (non-client reference material; client-specific stuff goes into encrypted folders)
  • Microsoft Office (because those instructing me use it)
  • Numbers (spreadsheets for my own use)
  • Deckset (lecturing, unless forced to use Powerpoint)
  • Dropbox (document synchronisation amongst the various computers)
  • Boxcryptor (to encrypt stuff on Dropbox with encryption system under my control, not theirs)
  • Outlook (email – moved from Mail because of some compatibility issues with email hosting server, running Exchange; I use Airmail for personal email)
  • Safari (browsing – moved from Firefox because … laziness, I think, when I did a clean install)
  • Arq, saving to Amazon AWS Glacier (online backup – moved from Backblaze for security reasons relating to encryption)
  • Carbon Copy Cloner (clone backup – moved from SuperDuper because I find it gives me better control)
  • Time Machine (incremental backup)
  • Alfred (quick launcher, quick maths)
  • Things (projects and tasks lists/reminders – moved from Omnifocus because of the “Today” function)
  • Planner Pro (time management – integrates with calendars, I add in tasks manually from Things, and add notes as needed – used in conjunction with Things because seeing the full list of Stuff I Have To Do on a regular basis makes me hyperventilate)
  • Calendar (to manage calendars generally)
  • Skype (messaging and calls)
  • Twitter (well, you work it out)
  • Toggl (time tracking)
  • … and various other utilities etc which I’ll discuss in a specific post sometime

Note: I don’t get paid for this, or freebies, or anything else.  The software/hardware listed above is what I use because it works for me.

[originally published February 2012; last updated October 2016]

One Response

  1. Thanks for publishing this. I haven’t come across anyone who has figured this out. Whenever, I’ve asked anyone (usually US attorneys) how they do this they say they don’t or, if you need to do that, Scrivener won’t be for you.

    Thanks, once again.

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