Ever wonder what kind of apps and programs IT devotees use? Well, wonder no more! In this new series, we’ll peek onto our team member’s devices and share the tips and tricks that they have already put to the test for you. First up, let’s look behind the lock screen of our co-founder, co-president, and Mac-addict, Ben Tiblets.
What type of computer do you have?
Apple iMac desktop computer and Apple MacBook Pro for laptop
Why a Mac rather than Windows?
We have always used Windows with Dell laptops (we are Microsoft Gold Partner and Dell Platinum Partner). A couple of years ago, Kevin (Ben’s co-president) and I wanted to utilize a productivity application that was only available on Mac, so we quietly converted at that time. It took some getting used to running a Mac after so many years on Windows, but that is long behind me now, and I am a full Mac convert.
What are some of your favorite applications?
- Citrix – This allows me to run our business-essential Windows server applications seamlessly on the Mac.
- Evernote – I use this daily to take notes, store ideas, collaborate with other employees. If you aren’t using a centralized note application like Evernote, OneNote or Dropbox Paper, you should be.
- Dropbox Business – Now that Dropbox Business has Smart Sync, you can use Dropbox without keeping a copy of every file on your personal computer. It works more like a cloud based file server. We converted our file server over to this platform, and I can now easily access my work files from anywhere on any of my devices. It’s a game-changer.
- Dashlane – Everyone should use a password manager these days. There are just so many logins with varying requirements, and with security breaches increasing every day, the need for complex passwords has never been greater. I use this application every day.
- MindNode Pro – This is an easy to use mind mapping tool. I use it for group brainstorming sessions and for making visual lists from unstructured information.
- Menubar apps – Two of my favorite menubar apps are Copied and Amphetamine. Copied keeps a history of items I have copied to my clipboard. Amphetamine allows me to quickly keep my computer from sleeping with the touch of the menubar icon.
Do you backup your computer?
Of course I do! Most of my files and applications are cloud based, so there isn’t as much need as there once was. However, a good backup will have me up and running faster in the event of a hardware failure. I use three different types of backups. I do a cloud based backup using BackBlaze, a direct attached backup using cloning software, and a local network backup utilizing the Mac’s built in TimeMachine backup. Everyone should do BackBlaze. It’s inexpensive, easy to setup and just works.
What type of tablet or mobile device do you use most.
I have an iPad mini 4. I like it for its size. It’s so easy to carry with me and hold with one hand while using. That being said, my next tablet will probably be an iPad Pro.
What are your favorite apps?
- Skype for Business – The SfB app allows me to take phone calls and join conference calls from my iPad. I don’t have traditional phone unit on my desk anymore, and I never want one again.
- Evernote – Allows me to take notes on my iPad and have all of my notes with me wherever I go.
- Pocket – Pocket allows me to clip articles and documents from the web and read them offline at a later time. It is handy for times when you run across an interesting article but don’t have time to read at that moment.
- Audible & Kindle – The two best apps for listening to or reading books.
- Casts – A great podcasting application. There are so many business focused podcasts these days, it is hard to keep up. Casts allows me to setup which Podcasts are automatically downloaded, how many episodes to keep, etc..
- Docusign – This is one of my favorite apps. I used to loathe dealing with documents requiring a signature; printing, signing, scanning, and emailing. With Docusign, I can sign documents on my iPad in a matter of seconds, which allows me to stay focused rather than getting derailed on minutiae.
Stay tuned for next month’s issue!