Recommendations: Tools I Use


Written by Adam on October 9, 2018.
4 min read.

Find out how I make money.

Here’s a brief list of some of my top recommendations. These are tools, software, services, or other websites that I personally use only – nothing that I don’t.

Green bike salt lake city
Green bike salt lake city

Finance & Money

To Invest I use Vanguard. They offer the lowest fees overall, is investor-owned (like a credit union) and I truly believe they are working for their investors and not for profit.

For investments, I use low-fee, diversified index funds for 95% of my portfolio – namely $VTSAX, $VTIAX, and $VBTLX. The other 5% is speculative stocks (currently some $PS from my last job and some $DIS).

For tracking my spending, I use Tiller. Tiller pulls down spending data from my bank and credit cards and puts it into a Google Sheet. That’s just the beginning though! There’s auto-categorization, budgets, monthly analysis, graphs, and much more. Plus it’s in a Google Sheet, so I can make my own sheets based on the data.

For tracking my investments, I use Personal Capital. Like Tiller, Personal Capital links with your bank or investment locations and pulls in your investments. I’m super-suspicious about granting this access, so I enter in my investments manually at Personal Capital.

Software & Services

My browser of choice is Chrome. The software development tools Chome offers are beyond compare.

My code editor of choice is Atom. Many people I know have switched to VS Code, but I still like using Atom.

My todo list is managed by Todoist. I use it on my computer in full-screen mode, on my iPhone and on my iPad.

My notes and documents are all in Notion. This includes recipes, travel plans, personal journaling, Minafi planning, favorite quotes, design inspiration, cocktail recipes, and just about anything else

I keep backups of photos and everything else on Dropbox and in a local RAID 5 array (which keeps a backup even if one hard drive fails).

To keep my menu bar clear I use Bartender. It allows you to adjust what’s in your menu bar (the top right area).

I keep my calendar organized by using a combination of Fantastical and Google Calendar. Fantastical has Mac, iOS, and iPad apps too.

My passwords are organized in 1Password, which syncs across my devices seamlessly.

Electronics & Gadgets

For taking pictures, I use either my Fuji XT-1 or my iPhone X. When we’re traveling I use my big camera, but for hikes and day-to-day, I use my iPhone.

My main computer is a 2012 15″ MacBook Pro. Most of my work at Code School (my previous job) and every bit of development on Minafi has happened on this machine. I love this computer and plan to use it until it bites the dust.

For a phone, I use an iPhone X. It’s easily the most expensive phone I’ve ever bought. My hope is that it’ll last at least 5 years.

For watching videos, reading comics, and creating content on Minafi, I use a 13″ iPad Pro. It’s surprisingly nice to have a device to read on.

For a home television, we mostly use a 1080p Epson Projector. The quality of this is amazing and has let us have a 100-inch screen without the need to mount a heavy, expensive TV on the wall.

This Blog & Technical

The entirety of how Minafi is built is written about on the How Is This Site Built page. Here are a few of my personal highlights:

I write all posts in WordPress. If I were starting a blog, I wouldn’t even think about using anything else.

For styling this site, I use Tailwind.css. It’s been the most fun I’ve ever had designing.

For interaction on this site, I use Vue.js to organize individual components. This helps keep the site modular and allows flexibility.

The bulk of this site is a Ruby on Rails application. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else go this route, but it’s been sooo much fun working on it.


About Adam

Hi, I'm Adam! I help millennials invest to reach financial independence sooner than they ever thought possible. Want to see what you could do to reach FI sooner? You're in the right place!