Thanks FreePik for part of this image!

I love my utilities, primarily on my MacBook.  1Password, Pastebot, Text Expander, Duet Display, Fantastical, Better Touch Tool(?), and so on.

My problem is that I struggle to actually USE them consistently.  Each one of these have incredible value and use, and so often I end up not even coming close to actually making them work for me.  Sure, 1Password is easy, Fantastical stays pretty much out of the way, but then you get to the real productivity gadgets: Pastebot, Text Expander, Better Touch Tool.  In some ways, the way I type, the way I use a computer, I end up with a lot of crossover.  Do I press a button and paste something with Pastebot, or do I turn it into a snippet in Text Expander?  For that matter, can I remember from one day to the next what silly key combo I can use to make either one work for me?

It’s funny, because I like them.  I want to use them to make my life a bit easier.  There is a lot of repetition in the things I do for my mail servers, the Unix boxes I manage and web pages that I update.  I created a series of snippets in Text Expander that I think make sense, yet I only use and can remember about five of them at any given time.  As for PasteBot, about the time I realize I can use it, I’ve bounced the clipboard entry on the list so I have to go searching for it anyway, and that’s assuming I remember to look.  Let’s not even talk about Better Touch Tool.  This is a really cool idea I haven’t even configured yet, basically.  I look at it and think ‘someday’ and that never happens.

Please don’t get me wrong – these utilities are incredible, useful and easy to use.  Apparently not so easy for me to use, but that’s me.  Maybe I’m using the mix too heavily, maybe I’m just set in my ways.  SCO Unix didn’t have tab-completion for commands, so I got used to typing everything to the end.  My boss still does that out of habit, from years more of doing the same thing.  Maybe I just need about five more years and I’ll have them mastered.

By Bruce