Work productivity with a Mac Pro Part 1: Desktop Management

29 Dec 2022 | 5:02 pm


In this multi-part collection of posts, I'll be talking about work productivity and how I keep my sanity despite the unusual (or not) amount of contexts at work.

I often see people working under a single browser window, having at least a zillion tabs opened. They all claim to be sure where everything is, however (and I think I'm not alone in this) countless times have I sat back watching my colleagues look for that lost tab in Chrome.

How many times have they also wondered where Zoom or VSCode has gone, only to find them buried under a pile of apps?

Here are some tips on how to stay organized, regardless of how many things you're working on at the same time:

Don't be afraid of multiple Spaces

By enabling multiple desktops (called Spaces) on your Mac, you can have dedicated work areas that'll allow you to focus entirely on the task at hand. Switching context is only a swipe away and is made very easy if you have the Magic Mouse or are working on the Trackpad. Here's a breakdown of my 7 Spaces:

Each Desktop contains a single context, they are

  • Desktop 1 contains StatusPage and everything firehose related

  • Desktop 2 contains iterm and only iterm

  • Desktop 3 contains Helpdesk-related stuff where I'm most active on

  • Desktop 4 contains Slack

  • Desktop 5 contains my main Chrome Profile for everything else

  • Desktop 6 contains Zoom

  • Desktop 7 contains VSCode with "~" opened

Desktops are dynamic, which means that I can easily drag Zoom or VSCode's entire Desktop near the one I'll be working on (if I need to screen-share, I don't need to swipe multiple times). This allows me to be extra productive while keeping the mental note that I know where everything is at all times.

Another good benefit of having it set up this way is that I can do the same with Slack if I need to coordinate comms during an incident (I can just drag that particular window next to Desktop 1).

I'll keep this short and end it for now. I'll be back for part 2 where I'll be talking about why I have 3 separate Chrome Profiles on my work.