43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Laptops: A blessing or a curse?

When I got my first laptop, I loved the exhilarating freedom of whipping it out anytime I "needed" it. No matter where I am, I could work on a project, balance a budget, or play a video game. Years later, despite its "convenience", I'm dangerously married to my laptop.

It's with me virtually everywhere. On the bus, at work, at home, in bed. And yes, it even goes with me to the toilet--the perfect time for multi-tasking, right? According to my estimate, I spend twice as much time looking at an LCD screen than high-definition reality.

My laptop, supposedly handy, is now just an easy excuse to work (or procrastinate) at any time, all the time. I need help, and it's time for an intervention.

Do you have an unhealthy marriage with your laptop? Have you switched back to desktops? How have you coped? Please share.

neven's picture

Not using a Mac for work

My situation probably isn't too common - I have a 24" iMac and an employer-supplied laptop I use for work. I carry it with me ONLY when I have work to do - it doesn't have any non-work programs or data on it, and the thing is an embarrassment to carry around (a clumsy HP). Unless I'm doing work on it, I don't even think to bring it to the coffee shop or when I travel.

I moved to the iMac after three years of sitting at a PowerBook. With the arrival of iPhone, I found that most of the things I want to do when I'm out and about - look up little bits of info online quickly, check my email - were now in my pocket, and if I did bring the PowerBook with me anywhere, I'd end up idly dicking around in Photoshop, renaming files, and changing the desktop background.

I don't travel much for business and my employer isn't Mac-friendly, so a "work laptop" to me means a dumb machine with only those apps I need to do my actual work.

Should Apple come out with an ultraportable little "satellite" Mac that functioned as a big iPhone, being synced to my home computer, I might be interested. But right now, I'm spoiled by the performance and size of a desktop computer and don't need a "serious" laptop for work or play.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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