Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Hilary Sargent

Hilary Sargent

News & Homepage Editor (, founder (ChartGirl)

Posted in editor, mac, reporter

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Hilary Sargent. I very recently became the News & Homepage Editor of (part of The Boston Globe). Before that, I was the founder of ChartGirl. Before that, I investigated things like fraud and money laundering and the occasional political scandal.

What hardware do you use?

When I'm at my desk, I have a MacBook Pro (2.4ghz, i5, 8GB memory) hooked up to two Dell 22" monitors and an external mouse and keyboard. In the rare moments when I'm not using it, I have a Cote & Ciel sleeve where it rests. (I also have a MacBook Air that I bought a year or so ago and never use.)

I listen to a Uniden Bearcat police scanner at work. I just bought a Slingbox 500 to record TV shows and press conferences. I use a Verizon Jetpack for the not infrequent occasions when I need to edit something and I'm without Internet access. I keep a Canon T3i in my car because you never know when you might need something better than a phone camera.

I carry an iPhone 5 like my life depends on it. I have a 1st generation iPad that exists only so that my 3-year-old son can play fish pond and/or watch Curious George episodes in the backseat of the car.

I have an old Kindle, or I did anyway. Haven't seen it in a while, meaning it's likely stuck between two unread issues of the New Yorker where it will live out its days hoping not to accidentally end up in the recycling bin.

I use Zebra mechanical pencils and Sharpies for almost everything. I write on the backs of receipts, in the corners of important documents, and on my hands.

And what software?

For ChartGirl - which is on hiatus at the moment - I used a combination of Photoshop and Omnigraffle.

At work I spend a lot of time on the Internet (via Chrome) and in the Globe's content management system --- M├ęthode. Other than that, my software needs are pretty limited: Tweetdeck, Photoshop, Google Drive, Excel on special spreadsheet-appropriate occasions. I use the Mailbox app on my phone, and have never come remotely close to achieving "Mailbox Zero."

During the rare 15-minute windows when I'm not working, I listen to music on Spotify, take photos out of airplane windows on Instagram, and photograph my kid using Camera+.

What would be your dream setup?

To never hear the words "content management system" again.

Access to all Boston Globe archived photos via my iPhone.

A phone that never needs charging. (Having Chartbeat on your phone does not have a positive impact on battery life.) A phone charger that I never misplace.

A tiny printer like this that prints reminders of meetings I'm about to miss and to-do lists. And an assistant to hand me those tiny pieces of paper.

An office where all walls are painted with IdeaPaint.

A car navigation system that alternated between the voice of Ira Glass and Morgan Freeman.