My New iMac Workspaces

As you might imagine, I spent quite a bit of time last night–and as much as I could manage today–getting my new iMac setup. This included installing software and transferring data, something that isn’t nearly as complicated as it used to be. There were some things that took a bit of work. For instance, I use GeekNote to automate a lot of stuff with Evernote data and that takes some time to configure properly. But by and large, it was easy. All of my music is already in iTunes match. All of my data is backed up by iDrive. The installers for my most frequently used applications (Scrivener, Evernote, Mathematica, etc.) were all on my external 2 GB hard disk. Once I had that all transferred, I set about getting my desktop spaces configured optimally for how I work. I’m new to Mountain Lion and noted that the way Spaces used to work is a bit different. Nevertheless, I managed to set up 4 “desktops” that I can easily swipe between. They are as follows:

1. My Productivity Desktop

Desktop 1.png

My “productivity desktop” is made up of three main parts:

  1. Google Chrome, set to autoload Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter, Facebook, and this blog. That is the window that appears on the left-hand side of the screen.
  2. Evernote, for which I have countless uses, appears on the upper-right part of the screen.
  3. Terminal appears in the lower right. I use the UNIX terminal to manage my todo list, and I like that it is always visible and accessible.

2. My Writing Desktop

Desktop 2.png

love being able to have Scrivener side-by-side with edits on the same screen. This is a huge bonus and makes the large screen completely worth the extra cost. In the image above, you can see an edited version of a Word document. In the same workspace, you can see the same document in Scrivener. It will make it so much easier to be able to work with these two programs side-by-side on one screen.

And putting Scrivener into Full Screen mode is a single mouse-click away. So that when I am working on new stuff (as opposed to revising), I have the entire screen dedicated to my writing, without any distractions.

3. My Entertainment and Reading Desktop

Desktop 3.png

Of course, sometimes I need to listen to some music, or take a break to keep up with my RSS feed. That is where the third desktop comes in. On the left you can see iTunes and on the right is Reeder, the app I use to keep up (best as I can) with my RSS feed.

4. Blank Desktop

Finally, I have a blank desktop I can use for miscellaneous tasks.

Each of these desktops is accessible through a simple 4-finger swipe in the direction I want to go. I used Mac OS’s Mission Control to set them all up and assign applications to the “Desktop” in which I wanted them to be anchored. Now, there is no clutter. I can easily get to what I want to work on in either a couple of swipes, or a quick chorded keystroke.

Aside from blogging, I haven’t yet done any real writing on the new computer, but that should change tomorrow.

Can you tell that I am totally in love with my new iMac?


  1. Your blog is a new addition to my Google Reader collection. But any man who runs Mathematica, Evernote, Terminal and Scrivener can’t be all bad! 🙂

  2. I fully agree with Robert. :). This brings up a question: Do you know if I can something like Scrivener together with LaTeX?

    1. Thanks, Delf. When you compile a project in Scrivener, one of the MultiMarkdown formats is LaTeX. While I’ve used LaTeX before (and quite a bit in the distant past), I haven’t used this feature in Scrivener so I can’t speak to how well it works. Knowing the product, I imagine it works quite good, though. Here is a screen shot I grabbed:

      Scrivener - LaTeX


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