105 - James McKinven

James McKinven runs the Indie Bites podcast, talking to bootstrapped entrepreneurs who have turned their side-projects into profitable businesses

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Ryan (@rjgilbert)


James McKinven is a freelance podcast and video producer, who runs the Indie Bites podcast, talking to bootstrapped entrepreneurs who have turned their side-projects into profitable, sustainable internet businesses. In his spare time, you'll find him crafting away on high-quality handmade leather goods for Whitstable Craft Co.

Follow him on Twitter where he shares a lot of the behind the scenes thoughts and numbers behind his projects: twitter.com/jmckinven

Inside James’ Workspace

Main setup:

  • M1 MacBook Air - tackles 4k video editing like a breeze and is a joy without a fan.

  • M1 iPad Pro w/ Magic Keyboard & Apple Pencil - a completely unnecessary piece of kit that I love using for writing and calls.

  • Apple Magic Keyboard & Mouse - I’ve always liked the Apple peripherals. Nice tactile feel to the keyboard and some lovely gesture control on the mouse (despite the frankly horrible ergonomics).

  • Samsung 32" 4K monitor - I prefer dual screens, but new MBA can only take a single screen

  • Shure MV7 microphone (on Rode PSA-1) - The best USB mic under $250 that I use to run my podcast. I’ve had expensive mics before, but this is perfect because I can plug it in and forget it.

  • CalDigit USB-C Hub - this hub is incredible. I now plug a single cable into my laptop for everything, including the screen, charging, microphone, SD cards and more. Can’t recommend it enough.

  • Sonos One speaker - I have Sonos throughout my flat and they are just sensational. The sound from this little rascal fills the room no problem. I now rarely wear headphones.

  • Leather Desk Mat by Whitstable Craft Co - one of the products I handmade myself and adds a lovely surface for my keyboard and mouse.

  • Dotgrid notebook & Uniball Air pen - admittedly prefer typing notes, but sometimes nice to jot some things down on a call or when I’ve had enough of my screen.

  • Ikea desktop + 2 Alex drawer units - the standard desk, right? Have had these units for maybe 10 years and they are still as functional as ever.

  • Herman Miller Aeron chair - the best investment to my setup by far. I got it second hand for $300 and never have back pain, ever. 

Creative setup:

  • Lumix GH5 camera - the most versatile little 4k sharpshooter I own. Pair this with the Lumix S5.

  • Aputure 120d light w/ Mini-Lightdome - best video light I’ve bought. Forget getting anything else if you want to shoot videos, this will do everything and more.

  • Shure SM7B microphone (on Rode PSA-1) - this was the more expensive microphone I mentioned earlier. It’s what all the big podcasters use but I can’t really tell the difference (don’t tell anyone).

  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface + Cloudlifter - just to make the microphone work.

  • HAG Capisco chair - a supposedly ergonomic, yet quite uncomfortable chair you can sit on in multiple positions. I just think it looks pretty dope.

  • Furna standing desk - got this for free from creator Charli Marie while I was in London. A cracking option for sit, standing. Often go here if I’ve been sitting too long.

  • Ikea trolley for leathercraft tools - my tools for leathercraft used to be everywhere, but this handy little trolley means they have their own home.

  • UESTA A1 cutting mat - a fantastic mat that covers the desk so I can craft away without causing permanent damage to my lovely desk.

Most used tools / software:

  • Riverside.fm - records high quality podcasts remotely.

  • Descript - mind-blowing software to edit podcasts as if they were a word doc.

  • Final Cut Pro X - where the video making magic happens.

  • Figma - where I attempt to design things.

  • Transistor.fm - takes my podcast and sends it to the internet (hosting).

  • Alfred - spotlight search, but better.

  • Notion - literally runs my life (and some of my websites).

  • Superhuman - overly expensive email client that I’m addicted to.

  • Procreate - fun for doing drawings on my iPad.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases on some of the Amazon links that may be attached to the products above.


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If you’re interested in upgrading your workspace - join the growing community here! (we will be chatting in the #workspaces channel discussing everything from keyboards, art, software, etc. Come say hi!)

-Ryan (@rjgilbert)