Mini-apps, mobile plugins, and Mac-switching

As my life is getting more and more hectic with a brand new baby girl, a new wife, and a new job, I’m finding that my free time is becoming more and more precious (as expected, really). My personal time online happens on the go, a majority of the time.

My Motorola Q, except for a horrible battery life, has become my trusted phone, browser, text messenger, and email app. I rely very heavily on our managed exchange service through Rackspace, the mobile version of my favorite mini-app Backpack, Windows Live Search (mobile edition) and consume web content voraciously using Google Reader. I’m not necessarily tied to Windows Mobile, as I think there are distinct disadvantages, but I’ve adapted to the OS and its constraints and am pretty happy overall.

For those of you tired of checking mail on your smartphone and then on multiple systems, Exchange mail is really the only way to go. If you read your mail on your phone, by the time you make it to your other computers, it is already marked as read. And having the ability to add contacts, appointments and tasks from any location without having to manually sync to the other locations is so key.

Some of the other programs and plugins that I benefit from:

  • Jott – for a great way to make notes on the go
  • GrandCentral – once there are a few bugs fixed this will be the way of the future of phone utilities
  • Basecamp – essential for project management
  • Backpack – I know I’ve mentioned it already, but I use both the standard and mobile version of the site to keep notes, tasks, ideas, and budding projects all organized
  • Facebook Mobile – I hate MySpace. I’m not a big fan of the addiction level which comes with these sites, but ALL of my friends and family use Facebook. It’s fun to be able to stay in touch, and the mobile interface is pretty nice and streamlined.

As I work to strengthen the brand and recognition at my new place of employ, I find my interest in the web picking back up again. After years of being very involved in and around the design community, I took a long and much needed break to hole up and pursue other things in life. And in the span of 12-18 months, there are so many great sites, apps, and new budding communities (and thriving ones, too). I’ll start posting my favorite finds, and who knows, maybe it will be a fresh perspective; a look through the eyes of someone who is seeing the web in a completely new light.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time learning about new resources as I embrace a new platform; Real Pie made the mac-switch at the beginning of this year, and I have jumped in deep with both feet and holding my nose. Quicksilver, Paparazzi, and Growl are incredible for shaving seconds off everyday and commonly used functions, which over the course of the day save me a few minutes time. Other great programs exclusively for the Mac that I’m using on the daily: Textmate (coding), Transmit (FTP), and Adium (IM).

I can’t stand being restricted to iTunes, because I find it to be an inferior application. But other than that, I’m pretty excited about being on a Mac. Any suggestions or tips for this new recruit would be greatly appreciated.

There is 1 comment
  1. I give up. I am surrounded on all sides by recent mac converts. I’m gonna get one too so that i can see what all the fuss is about.

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