One Computer

I think I've figured out a problem I've been having lately keeping organized: Too many computers. I've been using my home computer and my work laptop for over a year now and it's been driving me nuts, but I just didn't realize it. Even being as virtual as possible with my personal data (email, PIM, other data), I've still been completely disorganized.

But today I was working at home and instead of reading my news in the morning on my personal machine, swapping to my laptop during the day and then switching back to my own computer in the evening, I've been using the same box all day. Suddenly I'm getting to emails I've forgotten about, updating to-do items, organizing things that crossed my mind later in the day, etc. Ahhhhhh... Wow. What a difference!

Now that I think about it, I worked for almost 8 years as a consultant, pretty much always having one laptop with everything on it: emails, calendaring, code, etc. I never had to change contexts, and if I thought of something, whether it was work or personal, I could address it immediately. This, I think, is a big thing!

Now instead, I've got my life sort of divided up. For example, my iTunes music is on my mini at home, which means I'm without my music during the day at work. My personal email is server-centric, but many of my filters are only on my home version of Thunderbird. My personal code is at home, as is all my online billing passwords, but my work calendar, emails and daily to-do items are on my work laptop. During the day if I remember that I forgot to pay a bill, I have to wait until I get home to do something about it. If I remember at night that I forgot to send an email or schedule a meeting, I usually wait until the next day to try to remember to do those things.

I don't function this way. I'm not one for remembering things, so when I do, I need to have access to the tools and data I need in that moment to resolve whatever it is that crossed my mind. I don't think I can deal with constantly moving back and forth between computers, no matter how virtual I try to be. I'm going to start using one computer - my work laptop, for everything. I'm sure my wife would like that as well since that'll free up the mini for her more.

Of course I write all this right after writing about personal projects, which should always be done on your own time and your own hardware, otherwise it's not just yours. Not that I've done anything worth any value in my spare time for the past year, but still, it's the dream that counts. Steve and Steve started Apple while working for HP, no?



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