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My Laptop Habits

My Laptop Habits

This list is by no means complete. You’ve probably heard other arguments against the iPad’s usefulness and may even have some of your own. And I completely understand because I was there, too. I wasn’t going to buy one unless I could find a way to put it to good use. So I started thinking about the applications I use on my laptop when I’m away from my home office’s larger, more powerful desktop PC. And here’s what I came up with:

  • Writing. When I’m on my laptop, I’m typically spending 60 percent or more of my time writing: articles, chapters, and proposals, oh my.
  • Email. When I’m away from my home office, I estimate I spend at least 10 percent of my time reading, composing, and replying to emails. No… let me make that 20 percent. I’m an email junkie.
  • Internet research. I’m one of those writers who mainly uses the Internet to research book ideas, post questions on forums when I can’t find answers I’m looking for, and basically browse around various sites looking for possible subjects on which to write. I’d estimate 10 percent of my laptop time is spent browsing.
  • Calendar. I’m a stickler for making my deadlines (Chapter 5 due on Oct 5) on my writing projects. But I also have other things that I need to track: vacation, book release dates, my son’s soccer practice and game schedule, birthdays, anniversary, etc. I use Google Calendar every day to manage my schedule and stay on top of things.
  • Miscellaneous. Just to make everything add up to a clean 100 percent of my daily laptop usage, I’ll come clean and share that I do spend the rest of my computer time reading my favorite blogs, checking Facebook, visiting a few news sites and, in general, “goofing off” in between the real work.

And what did I learn about my laptop habits? I learned that when I’m hunkered down at my favorite coffee shop, huddled over my laptop, I rarely (if ever) run specialized apps (games) that are stored on my hard drive. I certainly don’t print anything. I typically just email a link or bit of text to myself for printing when I get home. I back up my laptop files online at 3am, so no more burning a DVD to backup documents while I’m out.

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