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Mac Web/Tech

Changing My Mac Setup/Workflow?

I’m going to try a change in my current usage pattern on my Mac.

Basically, the change involves making extensive use of Fluid, the “single-specific browser” application that lets you “run each of your favorite WebApps as a separate Cocoa desktop application.”

The way I’m using Fluid isn’t really in site-specific mode – rather, it is tying specific tasks to specific instances of Fluid browsers. So, for example, my basic configuration of multiple Fluid browsers now consists of:

  • WebKit – my all-purpose general browser. I use the latest nightly build of WebKit in lieu of Safari.

  • Email – a Fluid browser instance that has several tabs for each of my various Gmail, MobileMe, etc. browser-based email accounts. If I’m in the mood for email, I switch to the Email Fluid instance.

  • Social – a Fluid browser instance that has several tabs for my various social networking accounts – including Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, and Twitter. My personal blog is also in this browser. If I’m in a social mood looking for stimulation, I can switch to this browser and tune into the outside flow.

  • Productivity – a Fluid browser instance that has several tabs for the productivity apps (mostly from 37signals) that I use regularly. Here I manage to-do lists, contacts, follow-ups, etc.

  • News – a Fluid browser instance that has tabs open for Google Reader, topic-specific private rooms I’ve configured on FriendFeed, and the major news sites that I like to regularly visit (BBC, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Wall St. Journal, etc.). If I’m in the mood for news, I can find it here in this browser!

  • Glenbrook – a Fluid browser instance that has tabs open for the various Glenbrook websites including Payments News, Glenbrook, and various web analytics sites that monitor activity on Glenbrook’s websites.

That’s it. I’ll give this setup a try for a few days and see how it goes. I am a heavy user of CMD-Tab to switch between apps on my Mac – hopefully being able to easily switch to task-specific browsers will prove to be useful. We’ll see – and I’ll let you know.

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