This past winter I upgraded my computer equipment and I can’t believe the difference it has made in my productivity. I’ve optimized the crap out of my time spent online and now I can get A LOT more done in a fraction of the time.
The first thing I ignored for a long time was the speed of my system. I use Photoshop on a daily basis along with Dreamweaver and my FTP client is almost always running. I realized these programs ate resources, but until I upgraded to 16GB of RAM and Solid State Drives, I had no idea what I was missing. I can load these programs in seconds and there is never a lag when I’m getting my development work completed.
Originally I had only upgraded my office desktop. I took a Mac Mini, added 2x8GB of RAM and put 2x500GB SSD with RAID 0 and display everything on 2×27″ Thunderbolt displays. Dang it’s slick!
Soon after upgrading I realized that when I went home for the evening, and left the office, I was stuck with my old, slow Macbook Pro. Therefore I decided to upgrade that as well!
I purchased the new 15″ Retina Display along with 16GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD. Fast a lightening!
Syncing All Devices
There is nothing more annoying than working on a file and then having to access it later from a difference machine. After a lot of consideration I decided to move all my “working” files to Dropbox. We’ve always used it in the office to collaborate documents, but I purchased a personal account and moved all my files there.
I also like the fact that everything you screenshot can automatically be sent to Dropbox and a link copied to the clipboard. This is the feature I use the most, as I’m always taking screenshots to send to my team.
While some may hate it, I moved to Google Chrome exclusively. Since I’m able to login with my Gmail account, I have all my bookmarks synced across my office computer, Macbook Pro, and iPhone. Many nights I’ll sit in bed and read things I’ve bookmarked throughout the day. Everything is simple and in one place!
A couple of months ago, Brent posted a tutorial in the Forum about using Alfred. I honestly feel like I have a personal “butler” for my devices. A simple hot key push and entering in a string of text, I’m able to bring up menus, browsers, and information quicker than ever. This especially speeds up the time it takes to setup campaigns at various traffic sources.
I’m also a big fan of Google docs. It’s pretty sick being able to create a spreadsheet and share it with my team in seconds. We can then all go in and make our edits. Without a doubt this has added to productivity and made us more efficient.
I’m not going to get into every single optimization I’ve made but these are definitely the ones that have made the biggest difference in my productivity. It’s amazing to me how far we’ve come with cloud storage and making things faster. I don’t even want to think about how I used to develop back in 1998 on my old Gateway!
From here on out, I’m going to make sure my systems are upgraded on a yearly basis. Previously I put these upgrades off to every couple of years and I missed out on valuable time by waiting for stuff to load.
It’s easy to argue in your mind trying to justify the cost of a system upgrade when you have a working system, but when you consider the time spent, it is beyond justified.
Have you optimized your systems? Is everything running like a well-oiled machine?
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.