Yesterday evening I tweeted about my mouse’ battery being drained which caused a lot of tweets. In the end, Ralf asked, what makes you productive?
I know and use a lot of shortcuts, wether being it in an IDE, terminal, browser or whatsoever. I start nearly all non-terminal applications via Spotlight or other means of textual inputs. Most of the window handling that one has to do, I also do with keyboard under macOS, although I must give in that I find the window handling in Windows more intuitive till this very day (I’m on Mac OS X since 2003…). Nevertheless, there are still things I prefer doing with a mouse and that’s fine with me.
On the desktop I tried a lot of them, including all styles of Apples Magic mouse. At the moment I’m using a Logitech MX Master, mainly because it has a sane method for horizontal scrolling which is sadly often needed in apps like iTunes and co. I do have some macOS Mission Control shortcuts on one button which I use regularly.
In my opinion there’s still no better touchpad around than Apples implementation regarding notebooks. We have a lot of Lenovos at work which have a great keyboard and still a sucky touchpad, barely useable. Even the red knob is better.
Sitting at a permanent desk, I prefer one single display. The bigger the better, with a resolution fitting the size. In my home office I’m using a 2011 27″ iMac, with 32Gb RAM and nice fusion drive. Still very happy with it.
In my current office I have a 2006 EIZO 24″ monitor hooked to a 13″ 2014 MacBook Pro. The monitor is old but has still a better quality than current low cost LED screens. I have a notebook stand for my MacBook to have it approximately the same height as the screen but I rarely use it for more than E-Mail, IM or Twitter.
What mobile work is concerned: I prefer smaller devices. I loved my 11″ MacBook Air very much and I only changed it because I ran out of disk space and RAM. In short: Small screen with a resolution as high as possible (read: Still readable with -8 Dioptrien on both eyes). I’d move to 12″ screen or lower as soon as one company (preferable Apple) decides to offer a device that small with 32Gb RAM.
Keeping stuff in sync
Stuff I edit on both machines is usually in a Git repository, either on GitHub or a private host. I keep presentations and articles in a Dropbox folder.
Desktop: Time Machine plus automated backup on a local storage device plus manual full bootable backup on 2 external disks via SuperDuper (one disk in my office, on in my drawer).
Laptop: Time Machine in my office and one manual full backup via SuperDuper.
Being a Mac user for over 10 years I’m really used to some features of macOS. Also: I bought a lot of software over the years which I would miss when moving back to Windows. I’m also a big fan of macOS because most of the time it still works very well in all sorts of environment without sacrificing a Unix subsystem. The move back to Windows seems possible because one can have a Bash respectively a linux subsystem since a few months, which is a requirement for me.
Stuff I use on a daily base: zsh, git, vim, SQL*Plus with rlwrap, NetBeans, TextMate, Tower, Texpad, Paw and VMWare fusion. Oh and I love iTunes for my music collection (Yep, I’m that old, I still have one of those).
I prefer light and cold environment. Light as in actual light but also in light themes in the software I use. I tried some of the dark themes, but I really have a hard time using those.
Regarding noise: I hardly can work in the office if a lot of chatter is going on, especially some rooms away, when people are talking in a high volume about problems in the same area for example. Headphones and music does not help me in those situations. I only listen to music when I’m in the flow. However, I’m very productive in trains, cafes or something similar. That’s quite a different thing of noise.
I literally hate eating at the desk. People munching their apples or stuff in the same room in front of a screen is driving me nuts, the same way as smelly food is.
If you want to know more, just ask in the comments 🙂
(The picture for this post is from Heather Kennedy.)