Who are you and what do you do?

I am Florian Schuttkowski and I’m the father of two wonderful girls, that mean the world to me. When at work, my E-Mail Signature says: “Florian Schuttkowski, Connected Mobility Solutions, Software Engineering (CS/EBS)”. This indicates my field of work: my current employer is the Robert Bosch GmbH. Robert Bosch has many many subdivisions that focus on different parts of technology, not just automotive, but e.g. SmartHome, Sensory (not just the one in cars), Robotics, etc. “Connected Mobility Solutions” is my division. It was newly founded in 2018 with roundabout 600 employees to address the current problems in mobility, like too many cars, too high pollution, etc. all by trying to be the first player in the field that creates a significant impact, which has recently worked out since we are the first in the world that got green light for autonomous level 4 driving in a public car garage. You can read more about this project here. But what am i working there? I’m a professional iOS developer, currently working on a very exciting project I’m not allowed to disclose - yet.

What is your current setup?

My main devices are:

  • A late 2017 MacBook Air 13” 256GB
  • A late 2017 MacBook Pro 13” 256GB (w/o TouchBar)
  • A 2018 iPad Pro 11” with Smart Keyboard
  • An iPhone XS Max SpaceGrey 128GB
  • An iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black 64GB

I have no fixed desk at work since my employer encourages the “free seating” principle, where people look for a good place to sit every day anew. This may first sound horrifying but don’t worry: it’s not as anarchistic as you’d think: most of them time, people sit at their very same desks. However it does create same rough situations, especially on Mondays, when most employees are actually in the Office instead of at clients locations or in HomeOffice.

What iPhone do you have?

I own a Space Gray iPhone XS Max, which is currently not inside a case but rather has a curved Belkin screen protector on the front, and GLAZ hardened Glas protector on the backside.

Where can we find your wallpaper online?

Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m using just pure black as my wallpaper.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

For my main productivity apps please have a look the iPad section of this interview, however there are some notable executions of apps which are just present on my iPhone:

  • JustPressRecord
    Just Press Record is basically Voice Memos but on steroids. It can do so much more, letting you specify the audio-format of the recordings, etc. However there are two main aspects of JPR and why I’m using the app: Live Transcription and Apple Watch Integration. I ever so often take audio-notes with my Apple Watch because i want great thoughts to be captured immediately. Often my iPhone is out of reach so i rely on my Watch to do that. JPR features a Watch Face complication which lets me start a new recording with just one tap. Those recordings can then be automatically transcribed in the iPhone app which makes it easy to export them to e.g. a Things Task.
  • Signal
    Talking about why Messaging as a core principle of modern communication should be as secure and private as possible takes more time than i have ;-) Others have written entire books about it. Go for it. If this app would be available on iPad I’d install it immediately.

Which app could you not live without?

Easy. Music. No outside trigger changes the way i feel and think more than listening to music. Music is essential to be with me at all times. Of course music can also be distracting but in general I’d say that life without music would be very miserable. That’s why the number one and most used app on all my devices is Music.app or VLC on Mac.

Which iPad do you have?

My current main device which i do most of my private work with is my iPad Pro 11”, Silver, 128 GB. It has been a very versatile companion and I’m very happy to have chosen the smaller versions:

  • I like that added portability. After having owned the 2015 iPad Pro 12.9” i now know how much worth a smaller a device can create in terms of “toss it in your bag”.
  • I feel like i has enough screen estate for my use-cases.
  • Using the right apps, i can also work on travel related stuff like editing pictures I’ve shot with my DSLR, or editing videos I’ve shot with my DJI Spark.

Where can we find your wallpaper online?

Pitch black wallpaper. Black all the way. Settings.app -> Wallpaper -> Stills -> Black. Boom.

How are you using your iPad on a daily basis?

I’m carrying it with me most of the time. Blogging, surfing, the usual suspects. However what I’m NOT doing with the iPad:

  • Reading eMails. This tasks is for my MacBook and for it only. I don’t want to be distracted by this medium in my daily work. That’s also the reasons why you won’t find a Mail app on my iPhone either.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

I’ll try to outline the core apps i use for my private use-cases.

  • Things
    Things is something i first picked up in version two, but i wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by what it could do. I’m not a big fan of having lengthy to-do lists after all, and because Things 2 could offer better (or simpler) task-management possibilities i moved away from it to the gorgeous OmniFocus 2 (and later OF 3). OmniFocus is a wonderful tool which i use for my professional work on a daily basis. However after countless attempts to make the fairly complex OF work for my private obligations as well i’ve come to realize that i need something with a simpler structure, which can help me focus on the tasks at hand after my work at RB is done. Things does this for me. It’s simple, fun to use, and manages my tasks in just the way I’d want them to have during the day. Two particularly great features would be: There is no overdue. This just removes the pressure from feeling behind. And second: Things allows you to distinguish between Tasks you intent to tackle today, and tasks you’d like to do this evening, which is a big management-plus if you are trying to juggle professional work and family life. I’d really wish this task manager was not Apple only. I would recommend it to anyone since it helped me organize my life just so much.
  • Firefox
    My browser of choice on all operating systems. Firefox has gone a large way to becoming a wonderful browser which has left his days of sluggishness behind, especially since the release of Firefox Quantum. If you do not use Firefox I’d recommend checking it out for the sheer amount of Security and Privacy Extensions the community offers. A good starting point for these extensions can be the “Browser” section of privacytools.io
  • Standard Notes
    Yes i take notes. Some of you don’t, some of you wish they would, but i do. I write down how software components at work function, i write down the topics i want to blog on and i note my current feelings about particular situations - not journaling, journaling is done in day one. Since all these thoughts and information-bits are for me to read-only i rely on the wonderful software under-dog Standard Notes. I’ve been having an eye on Standard Notes shortly after it was announced and if you look closely you can even find some themes and forks of old SN versions in my GitHub. It is a wonderful, simple and secure tool to use and is from my Point-of-view the best note-taking tool out there. This of course applies to my use-cases only, but if you’re interested into more secure software, please have a look at it.
  • Day One
    I admit: i often forget things. Without writing things down, without taking pictures, i am prone to forget not just bad things that happen to me, but also wonderful moments with my children, or amazing sceneries during vacations. I know about the scientific benefits of keeping a journal but always lacked the motivation and consistence to create a daily journaling habit. Day One is beautiful digital journal which is integrated into functionalities of the devices i use daily, which makes importing content pretty easy. I had dropped using DayOne for a while since they lacked encryption, but ever since the introduction of end-to-end-encryption I’m using this software as often as possible.
  • Affinity Photo
    If you own a good camera, you should start editing your images to bring out their full potential. Affinity Photo has many breath-taking features as well as standard image procession functionalities like a RAW-importer, filters, gradient-curves, etc. This is an amazing alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom which is not based on a subscription. Get it. You won’t regret it.
  • Working Copy
    The best GIT client for iOS. Period. Working copy offers all functionality i want from a modern GIT client, including the possibility to automate GIT workflows using Apple Shortcuts. This is an amazing piece of software and you definitely, definitely should use it if you need to work with GIT on an iOS device.
  • DevonThink
    Digital brain, web clipper, paperless office, is there anything this software cannot become? DevonThink is basically Evernote on steroids. With DevonThink i do my work-related research, manage my paperless office, backup some seriously important files and store everything that is precious to me. Fun fact: the founder of DevonThink is a father that lives in Bietigheim-Bissingen, a city which is very very close to where I’m living.

Which app could you not live without?

The music app. See the iPhone section ;)