My Home Screens

Slacktacular August continues as I soak up some R&R following a harrowing month of personal tragedies and my annual Giant Project (the Games Magazine Games 100 guide). Today I have to break from my break to tackle some curriculum writing, but not wanting to leave a me-shaped hole in the blogosphere, and indulging the narcissism implicit in blogging, I give you these glimpses of my work space.

I’m oddly fascinated with what people put on their home screens, partly because most people don’t spend precious moments of life tuning their devices to a fare-thee-well and thus their home screens are offensively disorganized.

I know this will seem like a pointless post to some, but many people also are oddly fascinated by this kind of thing.

I work among three devices: laptop, iPad, and iPhone, with a desktop PC for gaming. Here’s the iPad : 

Left to right, top to bottom, I have:

  • Work Folder: Various text editors, scanners, cloud storage, etc.
  • Media Folder: Streaming media, photo and video editing, and media guides.
  • Words Folder: Book apps, social media, news, etc.
  • Board Games
  • Card Games
  • Settings
  • iAWriter: Plain text editor: very simple, very zen.
  • Dropbox: The heart of the system.
  • Notability: I use this for recording interviews and taking notes, as well as for marking up PDFs.
  • MagicalPad. Mind-mapping. I haven’t gotten in the habit of using it yet, but I keep it there as a prompt, and you can use it for straight-up outlining. 
  • Photogene: My preferred photo editing, for the moment.
  • Recorder Pro: Voice recording for notes.
  • 30/30: Time management software. It’s hugely effectively for getting things done in tiny slices. I keep settings for 15, 30, and 60 minutes and just rotate through them as I need.
  • Disqus: Comment management page in Safari, since Disqus has no app.
  • Instapaper: I push stories to Instapaper for reading later.
  • News360: A decent way to get a selection of stories on pre-set set topics.
  • IMDB: You know that guy who was in that thing? Yeah, what’s his name?
  • Verbum: Indispensable Bible software.
  • Universalis: My Liturgy of the Hours. 
  • Kindle: Obviously
  • Dock: Chrome, Mail, Newsify (the ONLY RSS reader), Evernote, Toodledo (task management), Drafts (text capture)
  • Wallpaper: Rotating. This is Gyro Gearloose. Because.

A note about Drafts: This has become key to my work. It’s not quite as good as iAwriter for long text writing, but I use it for taking quick notes, which I can enter using voice. (I gave up on Dragon after it crashed too many times with completely dictated article drafts left unsaved.) The beauty of Drafts is that you can push text anywhere: Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook: any place at all. It can append text to a file, create new files, and do all kinds of magic. I love it.

Here’s the iPhone:

This duplicates the iPad more or less, with a few iPhone-specific things:

  • gMusic: A really awful GooglePlay streamer that I have to use as I wait impatiently for Google’s native app.
  • CFSAC: Flashlight.
  • VSCOcam: Camera. I’m trying this out for a little while, but I’m not sure I’m keeping it. Camera+ is my standard goto for pictures.

And here’s the desktop:

PC taskbar, left to right:

  • Postbox: Mail software.
  • Chrome: Browser.
  • Open Office Word: I’m done with Microsoft Office products, but I still need to use Word.
  • Scrivener: I’ve been using this as my main word processor for almost a year. A sheer delight.
  • Evernote: Obviously.
  • Verbum: Bible software.
  • Folder: Root directory.
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro: My preferred photo editing for a long time now.
  • Kindle: For cutting and pasting citations.
  • Calculator
  • iTunes: I really, truly hate it.

Here’s my desk at the moment:

 

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.


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