Initial Mac Workflow

I have been using a borrowed Macbook (13″, mid-2010 model running Lion) for a week now. It’s a great little machine — gives me around 6 hours of battery life, is fast, and has an instant sleep/wake cycle. I love it!

It took me a while to get used to OS X, though. I find the lack of customizability annoying. It took me a while to figure this out, but here’s my current workflow:

Initial Mac workflow

I always run three applications: Chrome, iTerm 2 and Emacs.app. They run in full-screen mode, which makes it easy for me to focus on things. Swiping between these is fast, and already ingrained in my muscle memory.

I have two additional desktops, that sort-of bookend these apps — each with their own wallpapers, to remind me of where I am. Desktop 1 is for chat clients, etc. Desktop 2 is for Finder and things.

Oh, I’ve disabled notifications of all sorts. I didn’t even install Growl — I hate it when something pops-up in front of me when I’m working.

Some other very high-level tips:

  • Don’t let the Mac arrange desktops automatically based on most recent use!
  • Some of the customizations in OS X for Hackers are a must-have.
  • The Dock is useless, as far as I can tell. Don’t use it!
  • Homebrew rocks.