Open Thinkering


How I Use a MacBook Pro (May 2011)


On the basis of I’d be rather interested if other people I know did this, here’s a 9-minute ramble through how I’ve got my MacBook Pro set up – including apps and web services I use. If there’s anything you see in the screencast that I forgot to mention explicitly, please do ask in the comments below.

There’s one thing I forgot to mention: I don’t use the ‘tapping’ feature on laptop trackpads as it drives me mad. That causes problems for others when they use my machines…

Tip: click the arrows to the bottom-right of the embedded YouTube video to go fullscreen!

25 thoughts on “How I Use a MacBook Pro (May 2011)

  1. Thanks for sharing this Doug – lots of things I’d not seen before, and struck by how much of this is browser based.
    Have you seen Quicksilver ( Doesn’t suit everyone but worth checking out if you’ve not tried it already.

  2.  Really useful idea Doug, i now have 7 new things to look at. I liked the fact that its multimedia so we get an additional idea of how you feel about all this through your comments, tone of voice etc etc. , tone of voice etc etc. 

    1. Thanks Doug, this is interesting. I found the same with QuickSilver, although I use Spotlight lots. An interesting facet of this for those in the classroom is modeling to children. The 8 year olds I teach rely on Spotlight rather than the dock for opening applications, I can only assume because thats what they see me doing all the time!  to children. The 8 year olds I teach rely on Spotlight rather than the dock for opening applications, I can only assume because thats what they see me doing all the time! 

      1. Exactly – modelling is important as affects the ways in which we
        approach things. It’s a trade-off, though, between fostering
        independence (are there more efficient and ‘better’ ways of doing
        this?) and helping them along the way. :-)

  3. Hi Doug,
    Interesting. Some stuff iive not seen, the browser action chaining service and some I do differently. I am moving back to quicksilver after using google quicksearch for a while. QS had lots of extra features over spotlight which I’ll have to re learn. I prefer app launcher in middle of screen. I think I’ll record one of my own this week.

  4.  Interesting, Doug, thanks for sharing; like the iftt recommendation and explain and send screenshots. Will give them a try. Have you replaced Evernote with something else, or do you not use note taking at all now? 

    1. Hi Adrian,

      I used Evernote much more when I was in schools in a blended ecosystem. I’m now pretty much 100% digital now so find the combination of Google Calendar and Licorize doesn’t make Evernote very necessary. :-)

  5. Doug,
    Thanks for sharing. It is very helpful to see how others use these tools and organize their virtual life. Thanks for taking us through the extensions as well, I am going to add a few of those to my todo list.

  6.  Great to watch and listen to, some interesting apps too. Here’s my own ‘How I use my MacBook Air’

    Had only 5 minutes due to using Screenr.

  7. Like this idea: sharing how you live a productive life. It’s great to see other people responding with similar show & tells. This is something I’m trying to cultivate at work at the mo: sharing insights into those activities that are by tradition invisible to others – how we use our phones, how we organise our online activity, how we make time to write etc. And because those invisible activities are a product of how you learn, they can often act a powerful catalyst for exploring how we think, which is when it gets uberinteresting.

    So a question for you: what other show & tells would give us an insight into how you think on a daily basis?

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