Like many people, I have a computer hard drive crammed with files: documents, audio, video, PowerPoint presentations — you name it, I have it.
When it was time to replace my aging PC a couple of months ago, I got price quotes for a blazing fast Windows 7 machine that came with mega huge storage. “You won’t need another machine for a few years,” said my IT person.
I was all set to buy it when I walked into the Apple store with my son to get the machine he’d been saving for for months . . . and a half hour later, walked out with a 13″ MacBook Pro.
(And let me just digress here a minute to say that I cannot find the words to express the entire Apple experience. From the store displays to the packaging to the product themselves, you just don’t find anything like it — anywhere.)
At first I thought I’d use the machine as my personal laptop. It’s small, it’s portable, but it definitely was not a business computer.
When my aging PC started acting funny, I began migrating my business to the Mac — thinking I’d purchase a larger iMac later in the year.
In the process of moving, however, I discovered having a “small” computer was actually quite freeing.
Based on the “less is more” principal, here’s how having the small MacBook has made me much more productive:
1. I dumped (almost) all of my software — With the exception of the slimmed down version of Microsoft Office for the Mac, all other software is now cloud-based, including:
Basecamp and Highrise from 37signals — I use Basecamp to manage client projects and Highrise to keep track of contacts and tasks. (Highrise is far superior to Google Tasks / Gmail contacts). I can also access both applications through iPhone apps.
Harvest — This nifty application lets me keep track of time and expenses, and it syncs with Basecamp. And, with the handy iPhone app, I can track time while on the go.
Quickbooks Online — Quickbooks desktop software is bloated and hard to use. I hate it with a passion. But most accountants like it, and truth be told, it is easy to send your QB file to your accountant at tax time. QB Online, however, is much easier to use and because it’s online, I can access it from anywhere.
WordPress — Although I made this change before purchasing my Mac, it still counts as part of my overall “become more productive” goal. Instead of two Websites (my DH Communications site and my blog), I now have one site — simplifying everything. And again, I can access my site, and make changes on the fly, from any place that has an Internet connection.
Yield Software — I use this application to help me with SEO and PPC for clients. Don’t know how I lived without it.
2. I cleaned up my hard drive — Last year I spent a week cleaning out my physical office and removed piles and piles of paper. This past month I’ve cleaned out megabytes of unneeded files gathering dust on my hard drive. Cleaning out all this junk has made it much easier to find the files I need on a day-to-day basis.
3. I work glitch-free — With my PC, I was spending increasing amounts of time dealing with technology. Due to anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-pop-ups, anti-scripting, anti-anything software and browser plugins, nothing worked right.
Clients would point out things on Websites that I couldn’t see. Java never worked properly, rendering some applications useless. Then of course, there were the famous Window reboots that would happen right in the middle of a project I was working on. Argh!
Now everything just works. I’m finding I’m much more productive since I don’t have to stop mid-stream to deal with some “small” technological glitch that would leave me pulling out my hair.
In short, having my MacBook has freed me to do what I love: Create.
Have you moved from a PC to Mac? If so, what kind of Mac do you own and what do you find is the biggest benefit?